Thursday, May 22, 2008

Old Friends

This week I said goodbye to some old friends. These friends were not people. I am not sure just why it was so difficult to say goodbye to these old friends, it shouldn’t have been. They were just shirts. I have had a number of Hawaiian style shirts that have been in my closet for a pretty long time. I guess it is a matter of common expectation that one will get a little larger over a period of 15 years. Until this weekend I wasn’t sure just how much larger I had become. See, a few years ago, and some of the shirts in my closet would have verified this, I wore a size medium shirt. Sometime along the way, it became necessary for me to move up a shirt size, to large. Then somehow, the large shirts started feeling a little confining, so out of concern for that feeling on confinement (certainly not because I had become larger, just needed more room) I began buying some XL shirts. They felt so good on that I bought a couple of XXL shirts. That means that I had some medium, some large, a ton of XL and a couple of XXL shirts residing in my closet. How embarrassing it was when I realized how many of the shirts that were just hanging in my closet, I haven’t worn for who knows how many years. I decided that I would get rid of the shirts that I no can longer wear. Little did I realize that such a large percentage of my shirts would be taking the trip to DI.

Now I really don’t consider myself a sentimental person. But each shirt I picked up had some kind of memory associated with it. Hence, I was saying goodbye to an old friend with each shirt that hit the bag. This was not one of those sob sob cry cry kind of moments. Just the realization that some of these shirts, regardless of what kind of memories they had associated with them, were no longer worth keeping (Kay says that if I haven’t worn them in 6 months I probably don’t really need them). I haven’t gone down a size, even once, in the time that I have been in Vegas. I figure that it is unlikely that I ever will. In the interest of making more room in my closet, the logical thing to do was get rid of clothes that I couldn’t wear. I have to admit that my closet looks so much better than it did. I have so much more room. Do you know that the walls in my closet were the same color as the walls in my bedroom were? I wasn’t so sure that was the case.

Just a sideline here. I had 4 suits in my closet that I had been holding onto, figuring sometime, just maybe I would loose some weight and get back to those sizes (Well maybe it was really just wishful thinking.). Well that ain’t happening. They went into bag as well.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

And I Call That Work!

I have had a revelation. Yes, I know what you are all thinking about as you read this, “What is this guy talking about.” Well I have had some information revealed to me that has in fact been a real eye opener for me. “What is this information that is so important that he has had revealed to him?” you might ask. Well prepare yourselves. This may come as a revelation to you as well. Ponder what your life was say 15 years ago. Then compare it to what things are like today. This is the important news. You are not as young as you used to be. Maybe you haven't realized it yet as I have. Maybe to make this more correct, I should say that I am not as young as I used to be. How did I receive such a revelation? Read on and you will see.

Some you may have read my wife’s blog referring to the fact that we have been doing some work in the master bedroom and bath. Now, work is the key word here. I go to “work” as I call it 4 days a week, I put in 10 hours and come home. Much of my time is spent talking with students, grading papers, preparing lectures, giving lectures, and other things that teachers do. Yes I call that going to "work" (Kay says this is too easy that I can’t really call it work. Now, I just might be inclined to agree). But after this weekend I think I may have to come up with another way to refer to the activity that I participate in Mon. thru Thurs. Because if that is work, then what I did last weekend has to be something on the order of sheer torture. Or perhaps, more correctly stated, if what I did this weekend is work then, then I am sure lucky for the type or work that I do each week. I just looked up the word work on Here is the def. “exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil.” Well that is what I did this weekend and the word is so well defined.

See, while we have been fixing up the master suite, Kay has done most of the painting, I did paint the ceiling but she painted all of the walls. But On Friday and Saturday, my "days off”, we started laying ceramic tile in the bathroom. Now this bathroom is on the 2nd floor so that necessitated placing concrete board down to prepare the floor for the tile. We laid that on Friday. Friday night, I was exhausted. But little did I know what Saturday was going to have in store for me. We rented a tile saw and at 7 am we started the project of laying the ceramic tile. The saw was outside on the patio. The bathroom is upstairs. There were very few tiles that did not have to be cut. Up and down the stairs, first or all carrying the 70 lb boxes of tile to the upstairs area ( no, don’t bother mentioning to me that if I had left the boxes of tile near the saw, there would have been so many trips carrying up the tile only to bring them down one at a time to cut them.) Well by the end of the day, after what seemed like no less than a thousand trips up and down the stairs, we put the past piece of tile in place, around 7:30 that night. Now here is the revelation. Thirty years ago, that day would have been nothing to me. I have had those days many times in my construction career, that would be BD (before dentistry). But on Saturday night, I could barely move. Sitting down in the chair required more effort than I have exerted in some time. Getting out of the chair, well that was just something else that I don’t even want to think about right now. The last trip upstairs to go to bed was, well, sheer exhaustion. I don’t ever remember being that tired, and sore , and exhausted. There is no doubt at all, I am not nearly as young as I used to be.

But Most of the time I don’t feel any older, just when days like Saturday come along. Then I know for sure; my mind, that sometimes thinks I can do everything now that I could at 20, is just deluding myself.

Now don’t get me wrong. Kay is not a slave driver. We worked together on this project. She was by my side most of the time (well not up and down the stairs quite as many times as I was) but she must be a whole lot younger than I am because she didn’t grunt or groan, or complain about being so sore that she couldn’t get back up the stairs, no not even once. In fact she messaged my back just before we went upstairs. She is quite a woman. But, I fear, she just might be as young as she used to be, but not me. I learned that one for sure this weekend.

Oh by the way. As we were getting ready for church this morning, Kay looked down at the floor we "finished" yesterday, and wouldn't you know it, we missed one very small piece of tile. But there is consolation in knowing that when I do put that piece of tile in, it will be only once up and down the stairs. I should be able to handle that.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Take Time to Enjoy Nature

I have as wallpaper on my laptop the same photo that is at the top of this blog page. I took this photo while on the North shore of Oahu, near the beach popularly known as “Bonzai Pipeline.” (This just happened to be same location that I asked Kay to be my wife. Besides being such a beautiful site, it has some special meaning to Kay and I.) I spent some time pondering the picture. I came almost immediately to the realization that there are some beautiful sites on this earth. I have decided to include some of my favorite pictures in this blog. Hope you enjoy them.

Not long ago, Kay and I stopped at Kolob Canyon, just outside of Cedar City, Utah. We happened to get there at about sunset. How incredible it was to watch as the sun set to the west and shining on the walls of the canyon to the east. After considering this I have decided to blog by putting some pictures of beautiful scenes that I have been priviledged to photograph.

Just outside Las Vegas is an incredible area called
valley of Fire. The sky was so very blue when we were there. Neat place right?

On one of the jeeping runs outside of Moab, Utah called Elephant Hill, you can reach this mesa that overlooks the confluence of the Colorado and the Green Rivers. It is pretty amazing that the line separating the brown waters of the Colorado and the green waters of the Green continues for as far as we could see downstream.

This beautiful sunrise was photographed out of my bedroom window one morning when the glow of the sunrise painted my room with an interesting golden glow. Glad I didn't miss that one.

Last Fall while I visited Kay in Ogden, we went up to Snow Basin. This scene of fall colors was taken there.

This is the ocean scene near Sharks Cove, near Sunset Beach on the North Shore of Oahu. I never get tired of places like this.

I suppose that one of the great privileges of living in this day and time is that we can see beautiful scenes like those that I have shared here. We can photograph them and and keep them within a key stoke of observing on screen. We can look at them at will and enjoy them anytime we desire. I guess that my biggest concern is that some people spend their time running from here to there and never really learn to appreciate some of the fantastic scenes that nature provides us with. I want to take more time to smell the roses, more time to appreciate the sights that nature has provided us with.