Miracle (Man-Made)

carl-spackler-funny-caddy-shack

DK: How much for the bird seed?
SK:  $40.
DK: $40? Per bag?
SK: Yes.
DK: How many bags a month?
SK: Two.

I do the math: (# bags) x (months in a season) x ($40) x (10 years) = blood pressure increase.  And the torment was first recorded here in this post: Squirrels. Cardinals. Bumble Bees. And Me.

Pick any spring.
Or any summer, or any fall for that matter.
Or any year, for the past 10 years that we’ve lived in this house.
The picture: Same.

I’m sitting, reading in the backyard, transported to C.S. Lewis‘ world of becoming of a thousand men and yet remaining myself…seeing with a myriad of eyes, but it is still I who see.  But, what I see, damn it, is Vermin.

Interrupting my bliss is their rustling. Their relentless rattling of aluminum, scratching and clawing at seed. Hanging upside down, these ravenous beady eyed creatures work to empty the bird feeders one by one – frightening off the intended recipients, who flutter up to the leafy branches overhead until the insatiable keel over from exhaustion.

[Read more…]

And, it was “game over”

Eric-Metaxas

[…]

Mr. (Eric) Metaxas pushes back against what he calls the “lie that faith and science are somehow opposed to each other.” He thinks the two work in tandem. As he wrote last year in these pages: “There are more than 200 known parameters necessary for a planet to support life—every single one of which must be perfectly met, or the whole thing falls apart.” In sum: “Can every one of those many parameters have been perfect by accident?”

This resonates with people. “They say: ‘You know, it didn’t make sense to me that the universe made no sense.’ ” In his book about the miraculous, Mr. Metaxas cites the Christian scholar C.S. Lewis, who wrote in his 1952 book “Mere Christianity”: “If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.” […]

While he “floundered,” he was influenced by a good friend who was a Christian. Mr. Metaxas’ initial attitude was: “Don’t come too close. That’s all that weird stuff I’ve been trained to avoid. On the other hand, tell me just a little bit more.” The friend gave him “The Cost of Discipleship,” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran pastor from a prominent family who stood in solidarity with the Jews in World War II, publicly denouncing the Nazis at his peril. At age 39 Bonhoeffer was murdered by Hitler’s henchmen two weeks before the Americans liberated Flossenbürg.

This story laid the groundwork for Mr. Metaxas’ “dramatic” conversion experience, which he says happened overnight, in a dream. It was “game over.” He said he knew he believed in Christianity and his only question was: “How do I reconcile my life to this?” […] [Read more…]

Running with E.T. August Logs.

E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial


6:00 am, August 4, 2013: 60F. Gentle morning breeze: 3 MPH. Spectacular day for a run. I’m off. Thoughts chattering. Legs pumping but heavy. Thighs stiff. Bottoms of feet tender. All aches emanating from yesterday’s run. Marquis whispers: “Middle age is the time when a man is always thinking that in a week or two he will feel as good as ever.” Yep, that’s about right.

5:30 am, August 4, 2013: Morning weigh in. 60 days left in the Biggest Loser Challenge. I expect a bad outcome. Expectations realized. Loser! Weight: Back up 1.8. And this after yesterday’s grueling 6-mile, rain-soaking trail run with the wolf pack — slopping around in wet woods, dancing on slippery rocks, and sinking in gooey mud. Somehow escaping injury. Rambo. No, Chubby Rambo. I step (waddle) off the scale in disgust. It’s all about intake and yesterday’s feedings.* So Mr. Lewis**, when? When do I learn?

7:30 pm, August 1, 2013: Rachel returns home from work. Dragging. In a mood. She runs upstairs. Comes down. Attired in florescent, glow-in-the-dark green shorts. Matching shoes. Ear buds in. iPhone in hand. Styling!

“I’m off for a run.”
“Wait, I’m coming with you.”
“No Dad. I would rather go alone.”
“NO, I’m coming.”
“NO Dad. I don’t want you to come. I’m not interested in running a time trial.”
“Rachel, you stand right here and wait. I mean WAIT.”

She waits. We go. Road narrows. Evening traffic heavy. I slow to let her pull in front and we run single file. Her hair tightly wrapped in a single braid which bounces up and down in the center of her back. She has a graceful, confident stride. In contrast, my legs are heavy – – long day at work… 3.5 plates of pasta for dinner…laboring to keep up. I’m breathing heavy.

[Read more…]

Losing a step?

So.  What. Is. Eating. At. You.

Restless nights.  And sleeping in. (No.)

Work load doubling down. (Nope.)

Aching muscles after work-out with longer recovery times. (Not at all.)

Need higher volume to hear music. To watch tube. (Illusion. No way.)

Breathless after walking up the stairs.  (Not really.  Annoying though.)

The extra pounds. (Contributing but not core. Not buying new pants.)

Receding hair line. (Be lying if it didn’t tug at me a wee bit.)

Eyesight deteriorating. (Thank God I can still read.  But no.)

Pending Empty Nester drag. (Maybe.)

Forgetting peoples’ names.  Often. (Hmmmm. Sign of…)


“It’s not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it.”
  ~ C.S. Lewis

“I think hell is something you carry around with you.  Not somewhere you go.”
~ Neil Gaiman


Image Source: Marcdesa. Quote Sources: seabois & French Touch X

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