Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Heidi's Senior Pictures

I've had the privilege of working with Heidi at the school for seven years now. She's one of the kindest girls in her class. She always works hard, earns good grades, and strives to serve others- a joy to teach. One of my favorite memories of Heidi is when she and her classmates started throwing cupcakes all around my old office. Of course, they blamed it all on me . . .

She's one of the students I'll really miss.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baby Nora

Some might disagree with this, but I think this is the cutest baby in the world!



The Last Half Mile

Saturday night at 9:45 I pulled off the highway at Santa Clarita. Only three miles left to drive. Part of me feared a major breakdown in those last few hundred yards. By God's grace I was almost there.

The Third Break Down.

Although I was to upset to video the horrific episode I broke down AGAIN in the wilds of Northern New Mexico. Yes, it's true. Three breakdowns on the same trip. In fact, what broke? Remember the new tire they put on my Uhaul trailer Thursday afternoon? Yeah, that tire sheered off in a one-lane-both-way construction zone with no shoulder to pull off on. When I finally got both the Explorer and Uhaul off the rode I inspected the Uhaul to find that the tire and rim had sheered completely off. It was all gone. For all I know the tire is still rolling through New Mexico today.

I called Uhaul and attempted to calmly share my displeasure. This time I left the trailer where it was, drove to the closest hotel (30 miles away), got a room, and asked Uhaul to call me when everything was ready to go.

Broke down at 9:30 pm. Got back on the road the next day at 11:30 am. I was not happy.

BY THE WAY . . . If anyone knows the best way for me to call Uhaul and ask for a full refund of my trailer costs and hotel cost, I would appreciate any advice I can get.

Back in the Saddle Again

At this point it had been a few hours since I cut a video. After breaking down twice in twenty-four hours for almost twenty-four hours I just wanted to drive. Drive. Drive. Drive I did. If you'll recall though I hadn't had much sleep the night before. What do you do when you have to make up for lost time but feel yourself slipping to sleep.

Here's a prime example of what keeps me awake behind the wheel. Try it yourself.

Still Stuck and No Lugnuts.

At five in the morning a wrecker finally arrived to jump my Explorer and tow my trailer into the nearest town. As soon as I could drive I got back on I-70 in the hopes of finding a nice comfortable hotel at the next exit. Instead I found a nasty hole in the wall. "Who cares!" I thought. I just wanted to sleep.

By 5:30 I was crawling into a bed shared with numerous other little creatures I didn't want to think about. At nine Uhaul woke me with the phone call that they'd be sending someone to help me. Yeah, I had heard that one before. Help arrived at noon. However, the help didn't bring any lugnuts which had disappeared from the tire at some point during the night before. This new mechanic then had to drive an hour round trip just to find the right nuts.

I broke down at 8:30 pm. It was now 1:30 pm.

Frustrating Waiting

The second mechanic failed. He arrived and worked for a while only to inform me that I not only needed a new tire, I needed a new rim as well. He had none and would have to drive 60 miles round trip to find one. At this point I didn't care how far he had to drive, I needed to be off the highway. He disappeared into the night with a promise to return in an hour and I never saw him again.

I broke down at 8:30 pm. It's now 4:00 am.

Can you hear the semi-trucks whizzing by the Explorer?

A Solution . . . Perhaps

The Second mechanic finally showed. He pulled the blown tire off, took it back to his truck, and began fixing it. Perhaps this was the solution.


I broke down at 8:30. It was now close to 1:30.

Still Waiting . . .

After a long, and unfortunately uneventful wait of an hour and a half no mechanic from Uhaul showed. In fact, after I made a few phone calls I discovered that the mechanic had discovered that he didn't have the correct replacement tire, and rather than share that fact with Uhaul and I the mechanic went home and crawled into his nice warm bed. All that while I sat and waited alongside I-70.

At this point Uhaul contacted a second mechanic. This man promised to come save my trailer.

I broke down at 8:30. The time was now almost 11:30.

Stuck Along the Road

Only an hour after getting back on the road from the first near-accident my passenger side tire blew on the Uhaul trailer.  I had only made it into the eastern edge of Indiana.  Sure, this was getting depressing, but Uhaul promised that in only a matter of half an hour someone would be on their way to get me up and going again. 

The time was 8:30 pm.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Me and Mac

I've owned a Mac for the last three years. I've loved every minute of it. I've had less trouble with my Mac in the last three years than I had with either of my other computers in the four years before that.

That said, my Mac blew its hard drive last week. Which, I hope, explains why I haven't finished posting the videos from my trip. I have the videos, I just need to make some quick edits and get them posted when I can.

California's great . . .

My niece is beautiful . . .

My sister and Dave are doing great . . .

I love the new apartment . . .

I'll try to get the videos and pictures posted as soon as I can.

Ps. I took some pictures on the way here. These are posted above.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Blowing the Tire

Stuck in Sinner City

Broke Down in Ohio

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Christ in Camping

For the ninth time in the last eleven years I woke early on a Wednesday morning, showered, dressed, and walked out the door to head to Slippery Rock Baptist Camp's Staff Training.

Some of my fondest life memories come from Slippery Rock. It was here I counseled teenage kids for the first time. Here I preached my first weeklong series of messages. Here I led boys and girls in a prayer for salvation. Here I made friendships that will continue through eternity.
I can't think of a better place to spend a month of summer. You enjoy five weeks of fellowship with other Christian young people. You play several huge group games a day. You canoe, tube, and float down the creek. You climb towers and fly down ziplines. Spend hours at paintball, capture the flag, frisbee football, and endless water games. And mingled through all this fun you share Christ with those around you! You tell the fellow friends, counselors, cooks, maintenance guys, and campers all about how the Lord is working in your life. You glorify God in such clear, tangible ways!

As I read my devotions this morning my heart paused on several wonderful verses:
Psalm 16:2 I say to the Lord, "You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you."
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence is fulness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.