Category: Randomness

One of Those Airport Moments

The other night, I was driving to the airport, to settle down for my semi-sort-of nightly gig. My jams are playing, it’s still semi-sort-of light out (Which is a cause to celebrate for any third shift dude or dudette!), and the speed limit on the last road I take to reach the airport is 55.

I can drive 55. Especially with all the windows open and the jams playing. 55 at 56 (years) feels like 70.

Old I am getting. Say this not did you need to. Read more

Randomness and Happenings

It’s been a long, l-o-n-g time since I did a general update as to how things are. So if you’re one of the folks who look forward to some deep spiritual insight whene’er ye read these pages, well…
a) you’re on the wrong page – the deepest we get around here is not quite deep enough to wet our toes.
b) this might not be your day. Perhaps tomorrow.
For the others who haven’t run away, muttering as they shake the dust off their feet, we have these little gems, in absolutely no particular order, thus insuring lack of coherence and comprehension. This is how I serve mankind.
1) Homeboy played the organ on August 7th
Some of you didn’t even know that I played the organ. My feet had forgotten, too. Seriously (yeah, right), it was amazing to play again – something I hadn’t done seriously in at least two or three years.
And I realized that I’ve NEVER played at my present size. I started playing the organ in college, when I was already over 300 pounds. So sitting pretty on the bench at 224 was a new experience. My right foot, normally anchored on the swell pedal (volume pedal, for those who don’t use nomenclature…) to help me keep my balance and to keep my enormous tummy from playing its own unique stylings on the lower manual (keyboard, see above), decided that my left foot was having so much fun down there on the pedals that it wanted in on the action. My hiney (rear end, south pole), greatly reduced in its scope and girth, said that it could handle the balance issues, and since my tummy (spare tire, gut, thing that used to proceed me where’er I would go) has made its way from enormous to saggy, it was happy to cooperate. So “Righty” kept jumping down to the pedals, saying, “Lemme help! I can help! PLEASE???” And “Lefty” replied, “do you mind? All these years of me carrying the load, and NOW you want to help?”
“I’ll take my shoe off…”
“Step right in.”
Yes, my various limbs do have conversations like this. Thanks for noticing.
Anyway, organ was played and Cal smiled. So did Vicki. And various others did too.
2) Miles and miles of miles and miles…
(quoting one of my favorite authors there – David Eddings)
Trike riding has been ongoing, usually a minimum of 10 miles in a ride – more usually 15 or so. In fact, we did 19 hair-raising miles yesterday [end of June], including one hill that actually forced my feet backwards. Ouchies. But we made it, and would do that route again. Truly amazing. I’m still faster than Vicki on three wheels, and can usually hold my own when she’s on two wheels. But I always climb hills faster than her. (insert fist pump here) I’m living out our motto, adapted from “Avatar”…
I am a stone-cold trike rider, death from beside (and slightly below).
I really want to get part or all of that painted (or decaled) onto my next Nutcase helmet. The one with the blue argyle I’ve been oggling over.

(and, because sometimes months pass between first draft and these puppies seeing the light of day, we did 24 miles on Monday, September 12th. Belmont to Cedar Springs and back on the White Pine Trail. Sweet!)

3) Every day in the Word
For the first time in my life, I’ve been in the Word (via the Daily Audio Bible) every day since June 1st. Now, there have been a couple of times when I had to catch up from a busy weekend, but God allows some grace and doesn’t grade us on such things… I think. But the routine of meeting Him in this place every day is becoming more and more rooted in my life, and I love it.
(And, after writing that in June, I had a total fallout in August and got out of the habit. Grrr… So I’m catching up slowly – wanted to finish the book of Job – then I might jump forward to the current podcast, rather than trying to catch up and falling further behind. This isn’t a race, and there’s no award for neatness. Just a reward for faithfulness.)
4) It was 29 years ago today… ok, over a week ago today… Ok, last month
On the same day that I blew the dust out of the pipes at church, Vicki and I celebrated our 29th anniversary. What a difference from last year. What a huge gaping chasm of difference from two years ago. What an immeasurable outpouring of grace from God’s hand, both in my present health and in my spouse. She is my heart, my life, and my best friend. God is good, and I know that because He brought Vicki into my life.
5) Standing on the promises
On July 24th, it was great to be a part of leading worship with my dear friend John Mulder out in Ferrysburg, something that we have the honor of doing once a year or so. It’s become one of the highlights of my summer.
This year, there was no seat or stool in sight.
I stood throughout the music, without falling over or having my knees give out on me. The good news is that it’s AMAZING to be able to stand and play. The bad news is that it enables me to move and groove as I play, which totally proves, as Weird Al would say, that “I’m whiter than sour cream.” Homie can’t dance. But, as the folks who put up with me every week at First Cov will testify to, lack of movement ability doesn’t stop me. Really. *sigh*
And, as a result of some amazing happenings in August, I was part of a recording session a week or so ago (9/10), playing some bass on a bunch of good ol’ Gospel songs, and I stood for most of the day. My tootsies were tuckered by the end of it all, but we made it!
6) The dog as a senior citizen
Ezri is beginning to show her age. At times, that is. When she’s in “play mode,” she still has her puppy heart. But she doesn’t play quite as long, she lays down a little faster these days, and when she gets up, there’s a little more stiffness in her booty. Once in a while, one of the back legs gets pulled up and she does the tripod thing until the leg relaxes and she can walk again.
And it’s now possible to sneak up on her, which seems to indicate that her hearing isn’t quite as sharp as it was. Unless it’s the rattle of food, of course – she can still hear that from three miles off.
7) ResponsibleCal…
I’m approaching my 18 month anniversary, and starting ever so slowly to get a tiny grasp on how my world works now. To the point where I’m starting to ask questions like, “What’s next?”
Now, before you become concerned, rest assured that my journey is not becoming routine or mundane – it receives my attention each and every day. If it doesn’t, I can become very, very sick, so maintaining my new life is still job #1.
But I’m now starting to look at the rest of life, my walk with my Lord and with Vicki, the gifts He has given and how I should be using them, and asking the question, “Where shall we walk today?”
There’ll be a whole other discourse on this process but, for now, know that a new character – ResponsibleCal – has stepped on stage. He joins SpoiledBratCal, StoneColdTrikeRiderCal, FreeSpiritCal, BusyButProvidingNoIncomeCal, ArtsyAndVERYFartsyCal, AstonishedHusbandOfVickiCal (more commonly known as “Mr. Vicki”), and others who shall be revealed in the future. We’ll see how his ascent to power shakes out.
So here I am, on September 14th, reading words originally written at the end of June, and it continues to amaze me just how much God can bring through our lives in just a month. How much things can change. How much the mundane of life can blind us, hog-tie us, deafen us with its screaming, and smother us with useless things.
And so, Lord of All, I ask for what You already provide freely – grace. Grace for this day, as You provide what I need for this day. Thankfulness for all Your hand provides. Passion to share Your light with everyone, so they too can see Your hand at work in their lives, every day. Guidance on the road ahead, lest I try and make my own path. Patience to wait for what You provide, one day at a time. And wisdom, so I can hear and follow Your voice, and shut out all the distractions of the mundane.
Thanks for reminding me that even though these past 18 months have been a wild roller coaster, you’ve been right there in the front seat with me. You’ve even encouraged me to put my arms in the air on some of the big hills. 😀
Thank you, Father. So, where are we headed today?…

Dear Chicky…

Dear Chicken,

My. That seems so cold and formal… do you mind if I call you Chicky? No? Thanks much…

Dear Chicky,

You are gone, dispatched, shipped, cooked, packaged and now removed from my fridge for the final indignity – deboned. I truly hope that your brief life was pleasant, and that your departure from this world was humane and kind, but since I didn’t know you then or have any control of that, let’s move on…

As I… um… remove your non-tasty bits and place your um… tasty bits into a storage bag, I wanted to express my appreciation. I’m a post-surgical patient who depends on creatures like you and some of your feathered relatives to supply me with lots and lots of protein, so without your contribution to my life, I’d soon become malnourished, my hair would fall out, and I’d wind up taking a vacation at St. Mary’s. You help prevent that, and I thank you.

In addition, I’m one of those poor souls who gags every time I try to eat Tofu, certain beans no longer work with my new physiology, and one can only swallow so many protein shakes. So again, the place you have in my day-to-day existence is important, and once again I say thanks.

The Creator who made us both and decided where our place would be on the… um… well, let’s just say it, the food chain, He chose your particular rung, and He chose mine. And although at first glance that would appear to place me on a ‘higher’ rung than you, the truth is that with a higher rung comes more responsibility. He reminds me to be mindful, to be caring and compassionate, to be a good steward of His creation, and above all to be thankful.

So, rest assured that the portion of your existence that has come into my home will be treated with respect. The parts that are useful will be used to benefit myself, my wife, and, should some scraps fall to the floor, our dog. The non-useful parts (which is another discussion entirely) will be disposed of with proper care and dignity. (Although what happens to them after they make their way to the big blue plastic thingie is out of my control – sorry…)

Your useful parts will find their way into a number of wonderful places, such as the Ramen noodles I am presently enjoying. Indeed, they have added some wonderful flavor and texture to the noodles, for which some grain gave up its existence, as well as the most mysterious substance in our world, the bright yellow powder in the silver packet. (Oh so tasty, but I really don’t want to know what that stuff is…) In a few hours, more of your tasty parts will join some Roma tomatoes and flatbread to make a lovely sandwich, anointed with that other mysterious substance, Miracle Whip, that I love so very much.

I guess the point of these random thoughts while engaged in removing the non-tasty bits from the tasty bits is this: to be mindful of God’s good gifts, from the creatures, to the grain, to the mysterious substances, as He again provides what we need for this day. So, with a grateful heart and a full tummy, I thank Him. And you.


Sorry you had to hear that. It must have been the noodles – certainly not you. Really. No, really.


Alright – that was the dog. You can’t pin that one on me. Nope. See? She’s licking her chops. Sure sign of… um… something. Yeah.

Until we meet again, in a couple of hours, I remain,

Your friend, ever so briefly,