Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lady.......My newer jeep, I named Lady. She is a 2008 vs the 1995 manly jeep that I had named the Bob Marly. I had trouble letting go of the Bob Marly. I had formed a certain bond with it and just wasn't sure I wanted to part with it. However after jeeping with Lady in Moab, Utah I have thoroughly embraced Lady!!! She performed marvelously on one lane dirt and rock roads! She crawled over rocks, rode into the bottom of Canyon Lands National Park and climbed out of the canyon on a one lane, dirt and rock road through a series of switchbacks that was awesome and a little intimidating! I even drove her on some of these back roads over rocks in four wheel low and I have to tell you I was absolutely stoked!!! What a blast! Of course while I was driving I glanced over at Jon and saw that he was holding onto the handles over the roll bar with both hands. He said that it was just for support but I think he may have been just a little nervous. When I stopped driving, I made the comment that I didn't do too badly for a person totally blind in one eye......perhaps that was the reason for gripping so tightly to the handholds.
So I have totally let go of the Bob Marly. After all he has a good home with Jon's sister, Jonalyn. I think she renamed him Raven or something like that. So farewell Bob Marly or Raven and HELLO LADY!

Friday, February 13, 2015

I stood at the top of the hill after hiking back from the Crystal Mill looking below me at our beloved Crystal River and resting due to the climb in the soft snow. The soft snow added to the cardiovascular work load. So as I stood there, I could literally feel my heart pounding hard and a little elevated in my chest. I liked this pounding! I could actually feel the strength of my heart responding to my body's extra need for oxygen. Alive, alive, alive, that is what each beat said to me. I was surrounded by heavenly beauty, the air was crisp but not cold and with each deep cleansing breath and each pounding heart beat I felt alive.
By the grace of God and the prayers of His people I have thus far survived six brain tumors, all thankfully benign. I have one itsy bitsy, tiny iny, brain tumor left. I have named it Seven. And yes, you guessed correctly, it is because it is the seventh. We are not going to treat Seven at this point. It is so small we may never have to treat it. But one thing I have learned through the journey that I did not choose to make, life is simply as the scriptures teach, "like a vapor." Yet it is precious beyond measure! God made mankind from the earth and breathed life into him, into her!
So yes I may seem a little crazy on a hiking trail. I sometimes shout out YooWoo for no other reason than I am overwhelmed by God's creation. Yes I may sing the "Sound of Music" slightly off key at the top of my lungs. And yes I may push a hike a little further than intended just because I want to see what is just around the next corner or just because I have made some internal destination as my goal, but I love to feel that pounding of my heart that says you are alive! You are alive!
God saw me in my mother's womb so says the Psalmist. God knew my journey and has walked with me in the "valley of the shadow of death." And when I feel my heart pounding in the midst of His world, I know that I too am a part of His marvelous creation and that I am His beloved! My friend, so are you!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

You're the hiker......I was volunteering at the Marble Charter School yesterday when a local gentleman came in. I reintroduced myself to him and he said, "Oh, you're the hiker." That sort of surprised me that he knew me as the hiker. We have really only met a couple of times. I responded after a minute of pause that I was more of a wanderer....
So today I took Starbuck on a short wandering walk in the Old Mill Park which was the site of the mill that carved the marble from our quarry and shipped it out by train in the early 1900s. We went there to avoid the mud from all the melting snow. We were on a hard-packed trail that I knew exactly where it led. I discovered another trail that led toward the river and we, being wanderers, decided to take it. After all, there was no chance of getting lost. The problem was that the snow-packed trail dead-ended.
Not wanting to backtrack, I saw that the trail back to the main mill site was just up a small hill and all we had to do was get past a little "unpacked snow." I looked at Starbuck and thought, how deep could it be? So off we went. Oh well, it was a little deeper than I expected. We were postholing (a term I have learned since moving here) up to my knees. So the little trek was slightly more involved for the both of us than I meant it to be. Not only were we knee deep in snow but underneath were baby trees and fallen buried logs. Once I fell in the soft snow and sank to my elbows. Now try getting up with all your shoes and mittens still in place. I started laughing and Starbuck looked at me as if I had lost my mind and had dragged her where she did not want to be!
The adventure was relatively short and I consoled myself by thinking that I would not need to get on the treadmill because my heart rate had been significantly raised with the new sport of postholing! However, once I was on the road with a much relieved Starbuck, I thought about our little wandering. How many times had God provided the nice snow-packed trail to lead me home only for me to wander off on some other trail just because it was shorter in distance and I did not want to backtrack? I pray that I will seek His path. But it was a comfort to know that I learned a little lesson about errant paths and that God often sees us through those choices as well.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding but acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make straight your path..." the writer of Proverbs