June 11, 2010

Amidst the Blue

At the moment I am parked at a table in a Panera Bread.  I've been here for some time now.  Its a place I like to come every once in awhile to get away from the office to write and think.  Today's task is writing quiet time guides for camp in two weeks.  Shockingly, they are not done yet.

There are two reasons why Panera is a great place to work.  One, the light roast coffee is spectacular.  It has good body without any acidity or burnt flavor--thus the reason its called light roast.  Its good stuff.  Two, there is an endless amount of coffee to be consumed for under $2 a cup.  It is glorious.

Unfortunately, there are a few problems with the Panera.  One, sometimes Paneras are connected to malls.  The one I'm in currently in is a part of the Lansing Mall.  Thus, every time I come here, the place is crawling with mall walkers.  If you are here way early, they are all sitting around, hovering over their coffee waiting for the mall police to allow them into the climate controlled strolling arena they love.  Or, more importantly, if you come late, they sit around after their aforementioned lapping in the climate controlled strolling arena enjoying bagels and more coffee.   Now, don't get me wrong.  I have nothing against mall walkers.  I think they are noble in wanting to get, be, or stay healthy.  Actually I admire them for their tenacity--a tenacity that I wish I had at the moment.  The problem comes into the need for Panera to cater to them musically.  The background music they play around here is atrocious.  That, combined with "retired" talk about GM, the president, and who knows what else forces me to dawn my earphones and drown it out.

Therein lies the real problem for me.  This morning I ventured into itunes and began drowning out the ambient noise in Panera with a little Mumford and Sons, a band that one of my friends recommended to me.  One would think this is a good thing. . . put on the earphones, turn up the tunes, and get on to what you are here to do which is ironically write quiet time guides.  Unfortunately for me, I have the attention span of a 2 year old.  I quickly found myself looking up lyrics to the songs I was listening to to get a better understanding for what the dudes are singing about.  From there I went back to itunes to look at what else they have recorded to see if there's something I'm missing.  That led me to looking up Seasick Steve.  Luckily, my coffee cup was empty and I needed to extricate myself from my earbuds to get another cup.

When I sat down, I realized I had lost too much time on the internet. . . which lead me to wishing the walkers weren't here so I could have some good background music and get something done. . . and then I had to blog about it.

I know, I should take a break, get off my duff, and go walk with the walkers.  My body probably would appreciate it.  But alas, the quiet time guides awake.  Time to find some better music to listen to . . .

June 10, 2010

The Crystal Anniversary

As I have stated earlier on this blog, Steph and I grew up together at the same church where her family and my family met.  We really didn't meet.  We were just there in the nursery together, probably looking across the room from the cage like kid cubbyholes that were built into the wall (seriously, they were built into the wall with sliding bars on them just like you see at the animal shelter).
There's a lot of creepy, yet not creepy things like that about us.  She's the baby of her family. I'm the baby of my family.  Her dad worked for Diebold, Inc.  My dad worked at Diebold, Inc.  Her mom was a stay at home mom.  My mom was a stay at home mom.  She has two older siblings.  I have two older siblings.  She's beautiful.  I'm beautiful!

In my life, Stephanie Jo Kuhl has always been there.  My earliest memories of her are from the 4s and 5s class we used to go to.  I remember sitting around a funky shaped table with her and some of the other kids in the class.  A little later on, I remember being in a Palm Sunday play with her.  I don't remember anything of the play, who was who, and so on, but I remember sitting at this table with her and her cousin, who was also in the play.

One of my my most vivid memories of her in those pre-teen years is from a sledding night our church had at my Aunt's house.  My aunt had a great sledding hill.  When we would get enough snow to cover the corn stalks, we would toboggan down it.  It took a little skill to maneuver the hill, but my big brother was an expert at making the turn.  By turn, I mean the 40 degree left turn you needed to make about 3/4 of the way down the hill.  If you didn't, you were in trouble because you were bound to encounter a barbed wire fence.  Steph's brothers didn't know of this turning need.  They piled on a toboggan and took off down the hill.  Stephanie was unscathed, though shaken.  Her brothers were bloodied a little, but they lived to sled again!

If I remember correctly, I think Steph rode with me down the hill once that night.  I was probably giddy about it because she was a girl and I was a boy.  That's what boys do when girls ride on sleds with them.  I probably also remember this because I'm sure my big brother gave me crap about riding on a sled with her later, though I've blocked that from my memory.

Yet, in all of these memories, there was never anything remotely romantic for us outside of the sled moment we had until after we graduated high school.  Only then, did we begin dating.  On our first date I took her to see the movie, Juice.  It was her choice.  We went to McDonalds after the movie and I had her home by 9:30pm.  I was such a loser then.

Needless to say, I've known this girl all my life.  She's grown on me over the years.  We've traversed from the icky girl/boy stage to the "how you doing" stage all the way to the whatever stage it is we are in now.  Its been quite the journey.  She knows my secrets.  I know hers.  We are one.  And all of that is why I am rejoicing today.  Because, 15 years ago, Stephanie Jo Kuhl became my bride.  For some crazy reason, in all of the creepy above, she wanted to bind herself to me.  And I am thankful for it!

Babydoll, its been 15 years of love.  You were beautiful on that day you became mine.  You are even more beautiful now because I've had 15 more years to fall even farther in love with you.  I pray that my love for you brings you joy, hope, and peace!

June 4, 2010

I'm Still Here

I'm still here.  I've been busy.  Camp is only 15 days away.  15 days . . .wow.  Its going to be a long 15 days.  If I could just quit messing around on the internet and get to the sermon I'm doing this Sunday, then I could focus on the stuff I have to do for camp.  

Blogging probably doesn't help the "quit messing around on the internet" need.  Oh well.  I felt as though all 4 of you needed to hear from me.  So, here I am.  I hope you are doing well.