On the Road Again: Back from Camping, and at Heartbeats ~ Soulstains

photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc
photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc

Friday came and went without a Go Ask Daddy.

And the world? She kept spinning. I knew she would. I fell asleep 17 times Thursday night as I tried to write it. Seventeen is the limit. Seventeen is when I say, ‘no mas.’ If I wake up at 3:37, I’ll do it then. If not … maybe I’ll take Friday off.

Today, though, I’m at Debbie’s. She writes Heartbeats ~ Soulstains blog, Hers is an intriguing story I can’t do justice to. Go check her out yourself to see what I mean. I’ve written a guest post for her today about the lessons my kids have taught me.

Some of them came into play during that couple of days I didn’t check in for comments*.

Grace and friends on the Lake Norman Soccer Club float for the Independence Day parade.
Grace's view of fireworks over Lake Wylie.
Grace’s view of fireworks over Lake Wylie…
july4 lightstick
… and her glow-stick dance on the fishing dock one night later.







july4 sunrise
at sunrise at camp Pacheco …


... or sunset.
… or sunset on Lake Wylie.
You never know what will happen when the kids get a hold of your iPhone.
You never know what will happen when the kids get a hold of your iPhone.
"Daddy, it says right here ... DO NOT SIT ON LID."
“Daddy, it says right here … DO NOT SIT ON LID.”










It was a great run for my girls on the lake, too. Final count: 20 fish, including this baby largemouth bass Elise "wrestled" in.
It was a great run for my girls on the lake, too. Final count: 20 fish, including this baby largemouth bass Elise “wrestled” in.

The doe and me

On our way to the lake, I stepped into the woods because, well, nature called. I chose a lucky tree, unzipped, and felt one with the forest. I also felt eyes on me.
I looked up to see a kind and gorgeous doe looking me straight in the face. Mostly. She twitched her ears and looked me up and down again. What did she see in me? A new buck, marking his territory? An old stag, overstepping his bounds?
I zipped up, and at that, she bobbed her head, made three snorting sounds, and ran away.
Time will pass and years will fly by, mating seasons will come and go. But, that doe and me … we’ll always have McDowell Nature Preserve on Independence Day.
camping quote


5 For Friday: What I’ll Do When I Have a Little Dough

photo credit: kennymatic via photopin cc

So, I have a job again. No more leisurely mornings playing disc golf or schlepping around the running track at the park. No more resumes cluttering up my desktop. No more avoidance of updates on my LinkedIn profile.

No more DSS, no more indeed.com, no more thought to whether I could work overnight shredding paper for eight hours (I decided that I could.)

I’m not exactly rolling in dough, unless you count the cookie variety. I had to step back out of the middle class when I traded my benefits check for a bonafide paycheck, but that’s the American dream, right?

I’m good with it, even though my disposable income now goes to pay past-due bills, and my fun money is what I call the running total it takes to gas up my car.

But some day, when I do make it big, I swear I’m gonna …

1. Take $20 out at the ATM and go to the fair

Seattle ferris wheel
I’m serious.

An entire Andrew Jackson, to spend frivolously on funnel cakes, roasted corn and impossible-to-win fair games. (We’ll stay away from the livestock and friend Twinkies, I think.) So many of our fair trips have been spent watching perfectly happy middle-class citizens riding rides and eating fair food, and for the love of Paula Deen, I intend to be one too. And not just nose-shop.

2. Register for a 5K, and bring any kid of mine who wants to come run it with me

If you’re going to spend an Andrew Jackson-plus on a T-shirt, it’s best if it’s one you earn by running 3.1 miles. (Why don’t they make 3.1-mile car magnets?)

I’m nearly finished with the Couch-to-5K plan, and the girls who’ve run figure-eights around me at the track would love to slow their roll with dad for 35 minutes on race day, wouldn’t they? For a T-shirt and snacks, I guarantee they would.

3. Buy some worms and go fishing with Grace

The Child of Impossible Kinetic Motion slows to a crawl when there’s a rod and reel in her hand. It’s like a marvel of science to see Grace cast, wait, reel in, think, cast, wait … she’s playing this patient game with her friends with gills, and winning. It’s definitely worth the cost of a bowl of night crawlers to spend an afternoon re-baiting her hook and losing track of the fish she catches and releases.

4. Take Marie to All You Can Eat Crab Legs Night


It’s cool when her rich friends take her out, and treat her to fancy things like regular movie tickets and crab legs. It’s almost as cool when Obama’s generous EBT plan allows you to buy some on sale and make them on your own. But I feel funny buying such an extravagance as a poor man, so I will hope for the day we can hit Red Lobster together and eat like cash-paying royalty.

5. Buy some food and bring it straight to Loaves and Fishes

I’ll write about my visit to a food pantry for the first time. Overwhelming. The lesson I learned is that I’d been unable to provide for a family of our size for years, and didn’t know it. Grace even went with me the last time, and asked, “where does all this food come from?” I told her it came from generous people who want to make sure others have enough too. Like we used to be.

And hope to be again.

Even when things are more comfortable, when I can work hard and take on more projects and contribute the way I hope to at my new job, I’ll want there to be balance.

Gratitude, and appreciation.

Funnel cakes, and charity.

Sounds pretty yummy to me.