When We Lose Ourselves

I am one of them;

One of those struggling no-accounts and castabouts who succumb daily to the world's humanistic sophistry in pursuit of a fantastical, all-consumptive wealth. I am convinced by all I see around me that I am obligated to accrue some measure of worth extralimital to dwelling in God's grace - as if true worth is something that can scraped by our own ineffectual struggles from the bottom of some universal pot of fortune - but in reality we are dragging our nets through a cesspool where one can only finds brewing only the potent poisons of nihilist desperation, myopic ambition, and a seductive, sickly sweet aromatic cloud of vapors which elicits hallucinations of happiness which quickly fade in the hard light of the truth.

Recently more than ever I have been knocked upon my back and have fallen repeatedly; been broken upon the reality of my complete personal failure to capture that mythical creature called "Happiness" and in this dark and compromised place, I find a strange and most unexpected revelation not only of God's love, but also His sense of humor when I see that I've been striving in vain to carry a small bundle of pebbles up a steep hill, fully convinced that I can use them to build a house once I reach the lofty mountaintop.

But upon falling all the way down again, I awake from my desperate fantasy to find that what I seek on that mountaintop cannot be found anyplace except in God's perfect, inestimable plan. At first I feel only mortal chagrin, but when at long last I come to a place of acceptance of my heavenly Father's gentle remonstrances, I find a peace that passes all my understanding.


Power Out

Because of a unseasonably summer-like windstorm, the power went down in our neighborhood. So like all good survivalists would in this type of situation, we had an MRE cookout. Cheeseburgers anyone?


Fish Story

Went fishing this evening with Ben and friends and caught a couple of crappie (yes, that is a real fish name).

They were yea long!


Your Hair

I recall now, years later and with shortness of breath
The way your hair gathered upon your head,
The pony-tails, the tangles and curls,
The dark, shining glory that filled my world.

You've always been a mystery, and now, even more,
Though I knew you better than anyone before.
Your eyes and your smile tease me from a photo frame
And I lose every inch of ground I've gained.

Like a flower pressed between my mind's pages,
You stay always the same, and the same storm rages
When I open the book and forget I left you there,
I try to close my heart, but I remember your hair.


Time Flies

This weekend my unit went to Norfolk for some amphibious assault training.

We got on the buses Thursday morning.

Stayed aboard the good ship, USS Whidbey Island.

It was very tight quarters and it wasn't long before cabin fever set in.

But the sunrises were nice.
Click on image for full-size panoramic view.

We did some training on the beach and worked on our farmer's tan.

This is my fireteam. Yup.

 And we did a familiarization tour onboard the USS Wasp

The ship had recently returned from busting up drug smuggling in Cuba where they earned the snowflake on the side of the ship.

This is me and some of my fireteam waiting on the buses to go home... did I mention that we are special people?


Movie Night II

Drinks on the veranda before dinner. It's the Southern way.

MaryAnna brought over lasagna. I made garlic bread again, this time with a sweet brown italian loaf, and a romaine leaf and spring mix salad mixed with a light dressing of balsamic vinaigrette and romano cheese.

Movie time!


A Change

A raven hit the windowpane
As the wind blew o'er the lake.
This house will n'er be the same
Now that you've gone away.

We slept all through the hurricane,
The water crept up where we lay.
As I held you, you laid the blame
On a ceiling water stain.

Dreams like this come to call again -
My life is going through a change;
The things I love are being framed,
Archived and laid quietly away.

Where do you go when everywhere you are and have been is exactly where you don't want to be?



Yesterday evening I took the bike out to join J. and B. at "L'ermitage."

In the morning we had breakfast...

Listened to some music...

Then ran through the jungle...

Walked through the fields...

And explored an abandoned house...

Good times...


Spaghetti and Movie Night

David and I breaking ground for the night in the kitchen.

Heating up the ground beef for the sauce.

My garlic bread is ready for the oven.

Butter, fresh minced garlic, parsley, oregano, & basil... dipped and slathered.

David chipping away at the thawing hunk of beef as it is cooked while MaryAnna cleans the mixed greens and romaine leaves for the salad.

David's reduction of a 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon by Crane Lake and fresh minced garlic to cook the beef in.

Good for cooking, good for drinking... what more can you ask for a cheap wine? Does it do magic tricks? Well, enough of it can make just about any meal taste good.

They're getting along... so nice :-)

Finito! Molto Bene!

MaryAnna modeling my finished work.

Jim's home from work - the meal can begin!

And here is the meal served... Spaghetti - cooked al dente - with meat sauce, a slice of garlic bread, mixed greens and romaine salad with balsamic vinaigrette and parmesan, and a glass of Barefoot merlot table wine. Amore!
MaryAnna was jealous of our button-down shirts so I lent her one of mine, which she draped over herself without bothering to remove the hanger. I do not predict a new fashion trend.

Enjoying a smoke, some string quartet music and a decanter of red wine on the porch.

Everyone's cuddled up on the couch for the movie, and I'm leaving to go to work. Ah, the joys of being on the night shift...

Good night for all...

 Goodnight all!