Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Em and I have been swimming. We signed up for a "Tinman" triathalon--an Ironman Tiathalon that you have one month to complete. I'm amazed at how quickly we've gotten better at swimming--when we first started we did 12 laps and I thought I was going to die. Now we can go 20 without much problem. The weird thing, for me, is that I'm actually enjoying it.

I tend to zone out a bit more than when running or biking. I think that has something to do with how much I have to concentrate on what I'm doing, as opposed to just plodding along on the bike or treadmill. Time goes by pretty quickly.

This shot is of the lanes we try to swim in. This sight has gone from generating fear to excitement for me. It's a great experience.
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Monday, January 28, 2008

Ride No More

I sold my Harley today. Got a great price for it. Rode her one more time across town to say my goodbyes, and dropped her off at a retiree's house. He seems like a good guy, although he said he doesn't plan on riding much.

I called her Jenny, after my late sister. Thought it would keep me safe. Really got into the Harley cultural mindset for a little while, before my real life caught up with me and brought me back. I rode her mainly to go back and forth to work while I was in Arizona, but barely cranked her up when I got to Alabama. Not enough time, and unlike Arizona, no real need to do it. So for six months she more or less sat in the garage, as my time with her grew less and less--like a kid outgrowing a toy.

When we were having trouble selling our house and money was getting tight, I decided it was time. Took maybe 2 weeks on the lot to get a buyer. He didn't even take it for a test drive and gave me full asking price.

Last night I put the monkies on the back and took them for one last spin around the neighborhood. Sarah loved it, Sammy is still too small to even put his feet on the pegs. As I drove away from her new home, I reassured myself that maybe someday I'll get another one, when it's more out of enjoyment than necessity, and I have more time to really enjoy and appreciate owning a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Maybe someday.

Probably not.

Goodbye, Jenny. Thanks for keeping me safe.
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Saturday, January 26, 2008


"With this ring, I thee wed."

We never got to say that. Our wedding was rushed, in an attempt to get the military to keep us together while Sarah was born. So much confusion during those times. So much uncertainty.

I love this photo for the unintended consequence of having the reflection of my daughter in the band. So much is contained in this ring that I wear. A history of over a decade of being with one person, through good and bad times. Three children, worlds of joy and worlds of heartache.

Reflections of what is truly important in my life fill me when I see this picture. Reflections of what wearing this ring means, not only to me, but to those contained within its glimmer.
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Friday, January 25, 2008


What I remember the most about Guam was the heat.

Most people hated going to Guam, for some reason. I absolutely loved it with all of my heart. It was there, I think, that I figured out that the location I live matters little--as long as it's warm.

We dropped SEALs on the island all the time--from high altitudes, all the way down to 1000' over the surface of the water. They were awesome. Cliche'd word, I know--but I honestly can't think of a better way to describe them. Tougher than anyone I've ever worked with, and some of the coolest and easy-going men I've known. One of the guys in this photo had over 10,000 drops and had shattered his legs three times.

I haven't flown in almost four years. There's a good possibility that I'll be going back to flying soon--hopefully in the same training capacity that I loved so much before. My limited experience in the C-130 is kind of summed up in this photo, which I took on one of my last live training missions just prior to 9/11. I like the darkness sillhouetting the jumpers and the loadmaster, and the beautiful sky beyond them. It makes me feel like a part of my life and career that I left behind can still be seen, but grows darker with the passage of time.
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Thursday, January 24, 2008


It's kind of difficult to describe exactly what I was feeling when I took this. While doctors kept telling us that Sammy had problems, all I could see was absolutle, innocent perfection. And he was so strong. As I watched them putting tubes into his chest, down his throat, into his arms, I remember thinking how much that had to hurt--how uncomfortable that must be. How much I just wanted to hold him close and take him home--away from that horrible place and away from the foreign country that, while it was trying so hard to help him, I couldn't help but blame for our circumstances.

He is so resilient. The fighting spirit he displayed in that tiny glass shoebox carries with him even today. He's smaller than most boys his age, but tougher and more compassionate than any child I have ever known.