Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Dropped Off

Wow...spend a few days being lazy and suddenly I realize I've disappeared. Amy and I are getting our schedules worked out a little and I haven't put in time for writing.

I do want to assure you we haven't fallen down the biggest hole on earth.

I wish I could say our days have been jam-packed with activity, but we've basically been drinking coffee, swatting mosquitoes, and sitting on our back porch in the scorching Texas heat.

Okay...perhaps insanity has set in...or maybe heat stroke.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The President Sends His Regards

This is the last day Amy's going to let me get away with this, so I figured I better get this post up quick. You're now reading the pseudo-wisdom of the President, Owner and C.E.O. of "The Aspen Group."

Why you are reading it is a question you'll have to answer.

One of the reasons I've been posting less frequently since we returned from Ohio is that Amy and I have been strategizing, second-guessing, double-checking, and most of all praying about our non-hostile takeover of The Aspen Group, a web design and web hosting business formally run by our dear friend Gordon who's now exploring new dreams.

Amy has actually been doing work for Gordon for a while so we know what to expect for the most part. We expect no one is going to get rich. We expect to enjoy more time together...and quite frankly I'm expecting a fairly healthy tax write-off if nothing else.

It's the perfect opportunity for Amy since she can work from home, try very hard to please people - which is a key to her general happiness, there's no physical activity involved and she can put her creative juices to work.

It's also a good chance for me to kick the tires on what's essentially a hobby with potential...a hobby that has little to do with radio.

I can envision us developing a passion for it, and that's worth more than almost anything.

Much to Amy's chagrin, I am technically the President, Owner, and C.E.O...which is a step up from my role in our previous part-time computer repair business where my title was "Lackey."

Today we finalized the paperwork and structured the company with me as "the boss" least on paper. Someone had to be, and I won the coin toss.

I plan to be active in the sales end of the venture, which I'm anticipating will actually be fun. I'm not going to break my neck in the process, but it'll be an interesting diversion to explore and certainly it will be a low-pressure environment.

I'm sure I'll write more about our new business, and our progress, but for now I only wanted to mention that I'm the President, Owner and C.E.O...because that's the last time Amy is going to let me get away with it. I think I wore out the line on courthouse employees, bankers, family members and most certainly Amy.

She already nixed the idea of my having business cards listing me as "Philosopher King."

Anyway, after spending the afternoon running from the courthouse to the bank and through our wildest dreams it's now time to put The Aspen Group to bed for the night, and spend some quality time with the love of my wife.

I want to be all business as far as that part of our lives is concerned.

After all, this could be the middle of a beautiful relationship...

Monday, July 17, 2006

This Is Paradise?

You say you've been promised virgins in "Paradise."

I hope you've thought that through.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Seasons & Reason

Sorry to have been out of touch lately. Amy and I are sort of going through post traumatic vacation syndrome. We got home Sunday and haven't quite regained our energy.

I've been catching up at the office, while competing with Amy to share Emily-sitting duties at the house, and working on our vacation pictures. By the way, that's the big disadvantage to having a digital camera. We used to return from vacation and simply toss the rolls of film in a drawer never to be seen again. Now, we have instant photos. I can print them almost immediately and even have them framed and up on the walls in only the amount of time it takes to get to the Dollar Store - to buy the frames.

It takes a lot more effort to come up with excuses for my laziness...mercifully, I'm well practiced.

Actually, I have been pretty good about dealing with our vacation photos, getting many of them up on the web for family members and printing out a few choice ones to hang on walls.

Yet our vacation quite obviously did seem to take more out of us this year.

After a few days to give it thought, I believe I've figured out the biggest factor: it's finally hit home that we've entered a new season of life.

Our children aren't children any longer at all.

They have each moved into seasons all their own...seasons which we can still share, but from a somewhat disquieting distance.

It's not a bad time, but it's a different time.

I suspect it's a time for which we weren't adequately prepared.

In fact, I think the reality of it hit home at the completely wrong time...a time when we were too far away from home.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


There are man-made moments which are truly spectacular..

A truly amazing array...

And then there are moments which are beyond spectacular...far beyond the making of man.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Hideaway Hindsight

Getting caught up in the view while overlooking the vision.

I love our time at Lakeside, which by the way now includes wi-fi access if we force ourselves to buy coffee...yeah, that's not a tough trade off. However this year I can't help but make comparisons to the short bursts of time we spend here as a family to the traditions Amy and I were privileged to take to heart at "The Big House" earlier this year.

I can't help but look at photos of that family home and think, "If only we had known."

If only we had realized what it was we hoped to accomplish before we started, we would have had goals, a game plan...and perhaps achieved even more than the already astounding amount of family bonding that takes place at Lakeside.

Each year a large portion of our family - Amy's side - mine has already drifted too far afield, gathers in a rented house at Lakeside on Lake Erie with the intent of keeping the family together.

In comparison to most families, this is a remarkable thing and we do it well...very well...considering the short amount of time we set aside for it. Yes, there are some familial rough edges and carried-over hurts which seem to arise each year causing stress, and temporarily hurt feelings. However, for the most part, those feelings pass quickly and we are able to enjoy each other's children, for at least one week a year, see how they've grown...or grown up. We've seen the family expand and hope to see it to continue to grow and prosper.

However, I do realize that we missed a chance. We overlooked an opportunity by getting too caught up in the wonderment of the view. It's easy to see I only wish we had seen it then.

We didn't see the real chance we had 14 or 15 years ago to deliberately set aside a space for the family. Not a rental house, or a one week cottage for a summer "visit", but a permanent spot to gather during all times of the year. The good times...the hard times.

It wouldn't be a place where we would measure how each other's children had grown, or how each family had changed over the course of a year, but rather it would be the foundation of our family of faith and a place to influence that growth. A communal home that would grow with the family and where the intent would be purposeful: to pass along and reinforce our family values.

Almost like a saving's account where we would constantly be reinvesting in what's truly important, the family's strength.

Don't get me wrong, each family within our family has been blessed with great kids, but had we - a dozen or more years ago - set aside the notion of "where" and instead focused on the goal of "why" I think we'd have an even strong family and would certainly have made a far wiser choice.

In truth, for a fraction of the monies spent over all these years, we could have purchased a giant ramshackle house in the middle of nowhere with room to grow and instead of the family fortunes being invested in air fares, travel costs, gate fees, and restaurant tabs associated with our "one week" together, we could have set aside those funds to really settle in. We could have plowed the ground, turned the soil of generations and really provided a place for the seedlings of our family, the basis of our beliefs to bloom.

Oh, what that would be...a place where family could come together for holidays and vacations, but also for celebrations, weddings, and even to gather to share our common grief.

I knew the first time we visited Lakeside how special it was for our children to have a place where they could establish relationships with their cousins and grandparents and uncles and aunts...but I didn't have the vision to see the true opportunity.

Instead of a rented vacation home...we could have set up a homestead...upon which we could have built a devoted and devout dynasty.

Looking back is so easy....

I forget that looking ahead and not seeing what seems so obvious...that's easy too.