Last Friday, my wife and I arrived home just before midnight after spending the evening at the movie theater. As always, there was Scout to greet us as we opened the door. With only one child still living at home, Scout gets less and less attention and I often feel bad for him and his spending more and more time alone. “Good boy Scout” I tell him as I rub his head and scratch him behind his ears. He closes his eyes and tells me, “oh yeah, that is the spot, that feels great.” He has been alone all evening, so I tell, “come on boy, let’s get you outside”. He protests at first and its obvious he does not want to go outside. I can’t blame him. After hours of boredom, there is finally activity in the house and Mom and Dad are likely to start snacking before they go to bed, food just may hit the floor and be Scout’s to claim. As I open the front door and turn on the porch light, he just looks at me and pleads with his eyes to not make him go out in the sub-freezing night air. “Alright Scout, I’ll stay by the door, make it quick and I’ll let you back in shortly.” He complies and heads out into the cold night. A quick pit stop works for me too. It’s late and I’d like to hit the sack myself. I start thinking about a warm bed and a good book. But I know I’ll only get through about 1 paragraph before my wife pokes me to get me to stop snoring. Sleep will come quickly. Okay Scout, lets hurry up. I guess he decided to explore a bit. He obviously decided to stay out longer, so I go to get ready for bed and give him more time outside. 10 minutes later, my breath is fresh from toothpaste and I’m wearing my flannel PJ pants and a Life-is-Good T-shirt. Strange that Scout has not started barking wanting back in. I’m sure he is waiting patiently by the door. As I peer out the window, I don’t see Scout. I step out into the cool night and call for him, no response. We have 4 acres encapsulated by a buried invisible fence, so it’s very possible he is in the back of the property and I just don’t see him. I call again but get no response. After 40 minutes of calling and peering into the darkness, I realize he has braved the shock of the collar and ventured beyond the electric fence. In all of his 9 years, he has never crossed the barrier of a heart stopping electric bolt. Even though I am frustrated by the adventure seeking pouch, I decide to unplug the electric fence to remove the incentive to stay out longer than necessary. I then crawl in bed and hope to get some sleep before Scout wakes me barking at the door. “Aren’t you going out to find him?” My wife asks. “Nope” is my reply, “I don’t’ want the neighbors calling the police because someone is roaming the streets with a flashlight.” “good night” I tell her and I quickly drift into a deep sleep. Three hours later I wake up for no apparent reason other than a strong feeling that Scout is back and waiting by the door. A quick trip to the front door reveals my intuition to be correct. Scout greets me like nothing has happened, “hey dad, what’s up, I think I’ll go to bed now” was all he had to say for himself. “Okay Scout, go to bed, but we’re going to discuss this in the morning,” I tell him. He seems indifferent to this comment as he curls up on his bed in the laundry room. As I climb back in bed, curiosity steels my sleep. I wonder, where did he go and what did he do for 3 hours? What smell, sound, or primal instinct drew him away from our house late on a Friday night? Will I ever know or will this remain a mystery forever? Will little Scout’s suddenly emerge from a neighbor’s house weeks from now? I think about the emergence of police body cams. Maybe Scout needs a pouch cam for moments like this. But then I wonder if I would I even want to know what adventures he enjoyed? Maybe what happens during late night wanderings should stay late night wanderings. Perhaps once every 9 years a dog needs a venturesome night to blow off some steam and live the wild life of his ancestors. Perhaps he needed to get out and howl at the moon. I decide to give Scout this simple adventure and just let it go. I won’t even bring it up in the morning. With that thought, I fall back to sleep and dream of my own adventures.
“I don’t always bark at night, but when I do, it’s for no reason…”
I arrived in Phoenix late in the afternoon this past Saturday. It was January 14th and a storm system was moving in across the west. The flight from Denver was bumpy and I thanked God for bringing me here safely. I booked this flight a little over a month earlier when my college age daughter invited me to run with her and her roommate in the Rock’n’Roll half marathon in Phoenix. She brought this up while we were visiting her in Tucson for Thanksgiving. The allure of a warm January day in Phoenix took hold immediately and I quickly accepted. Continue reading “A Race in the Desert”
I was driving to work this December and barely paying attention to the radio station when the DJ asked a simple question, “What are your strongest memories of Christmas?” Before I could consider my answer, two things popped into my head; 1) The year my father declared on Christmas Eve that he was cancelling Christmas and 2) Going to see the movie Misery, on Christmas day. The Misery movie was nothing more than a bad decision. I remember leaving the theater drained of any Christmas spirit. I made a mental note that going to the movies was probably not the best use of precious Christmas hours, maybe a game of scrabble or twister next year. As for my Dad cancelling Continue reading “Christmas: Just another day?”
It was finally summer time in Colorado and I was looking forward to a long weekend trip outdoors with an old friend, my nephew, and my son. A few months before we all agreed to take an early June rafting trip down the Arkansas River, when the water levels would be their highest. We decided on a 5-day getaway in the mountains; camping, fishing, mountain biking, and rafting! Continue reading “Riding the rapids….”
This questions keeps coming up, ever since I was a kid, running through my Maryland suburban home with my dog Socks. I never got a good answer as a child, or as an adult. I even researched the bible on this topic and could not find a definitive position on the subject. So I’ve had to think this one through and have concluded that dogs are in heaven (for cat lovers, this conclusion applies to cats as well). Why did I reach this conclusion, it just makes sense. I can’t imagine a heaven that does not include our canine companions. My current dog, Scout, and the 5 previous dogs I’ve had, all display the core attributes you would expect to encounter in a heavenly creature. Well, maybe not all 5, my mother’s poodle, would be an exception (sorry Mom!). But the others all had the sweet innocence of a two year old, the patience of a loving mother, and the loyalty of a fellow soldier under fire, and they are this way every day! Continue reading “Are there dogs in heaven?”
I hope everyone is having a great summer! Mine has been busy, with little time to devote towards my blog. I’m guessing many of you are just as busy and may be limited in the time you have to read through long posts. Despite the busy summer, I still want to connect with the community we are building through NothingImportant2Say. So I’m trying something new today. A short blog topic that is intended to be a quick read while soliciting some feedback on how your summer is going. Below I posted a couple thoughts on what summertime is to me. I welcome you to post a response with your definition of summertime!
Summertime is…a cool morning on a scenic mountain trial with my dog Scout and nowhere I need to be all day. This gets even better when a mountain bike is involved!
Summertime is…a crackling campfire, graham crackers, chocolate, and extra large marshmallows.
Summertime is…breaking out the lawn furniture for a Friday afternoon on the patio with neighbors and friends.
What is summertime to you?
Flowers appear on the earth, the season of signing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. – Song of Songs 2:12
Our entire journey as parents is about letting go and giving our kids more and more freedom. It starts with a little letting go at a time, giving our kids some slack in the rope. Then we proceed to bigger lengths of rope and eventually we let go of the rope completely, giving our kids fully to God. Letting go starts with removing the bottle, then the crib, then the security blanket or teddy bear. We drop our kids off for their first day of school, help them with the transition from grade school to middle school then to high school. Now we get into more Continue reading “Letting go…”