Thursday, November 8, 2012

Viva La Vida Al Máximo

I want you to imagine that you've already lived your entire life.
As you look back on the many years you've spent on this earth, you see that you've wasted much of your time, and disregarded many of the blessings which you were given. Without making an effort, you allowed many of the opportunities which you had to help others and to accomplish great things to simply expire, leaving you only with the unsatisfiable contemplation of what could have been.

Now I want you to continue imagining that by some miracle you were given a second chance, and were sent back in time to this very moment, to relive the years of your life in a more productive and meaningful way. Like Scrooge waking from his visions on Christmas day, there is now an inextinguishable eagerness in your heart to live every second in a way that is more pleasing to God, and more beneficial for every man and woman upon whom the light of your influence has a chance to shine.

Now quit imaging, and begin living this way for today and for as long as you live. Never again say that you wish you could go back five or ten years into the past to do things differently. Instead, thank God that you still have yet to live every moment of your life from this day on.



Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…”
-Colossians 3:22

“Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say,
“I find no pleasure in them”—
before the sun and the light
and the moon and the stars grow dark,
and the clouds return after the rain;
when the keepers of the house tremble,
and the strong men stoop,
when the grinders cease because they are few,
and those looking through the windows grow dim;
when the doors to the street are closed
and the sound of grinding fades;
when people rise up at the sound of birds,
but all their songs grow faint;
when people are afraid of heights
and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms
and the grasshopper drags itself along
and desire no longer is stirred.
Then people go to their eternal home
and mourners go about the streets.
Remember him—before the silver cord is severed,
and the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
and the wheel broken at the well,
and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”
-Ecclesiastes 12:1-7

*The first section of Ecclesiastes 12 is full of figurative language describing the process of getting old and losing things such as hearing and sight. So I wanted to include this passage as a reminder to serve God now.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The problem with our plans

This last Sunday I was again blessed by seeing how God answers prayers. I am not sure what He did to work things out for my answer, but there have been several times in my life when things like this have happened. Times when I have worries or a question, and then the sermon at Church ends up being exactly what I needed to dispel my anxieties or answer my problems.  Like I said, I am not sure how God does things like that in an age when gifts such as prophecy and inspiration are gone; but somehow He does.

The sermon was about how basing our foundations on God alone will give us strength in hard times. Though not particularly about worrying, the sermon focused upon how we don’t possess a perfect understanding of every situation like God does, so we can easily lose sight of the fact that everything will work out for good, and this causes us to worry. But when we are firmly focused on God and His word, the troubles of this life can’t throw us off course. This sermon was the perfect reminder of truths I already knew, and the very encouragement I was needing. It reminded of something which I realized back during another time of distress in my life. “If the troubles of this life are always getting you down, then you are probably too focused on this life, and not focused enough on the next.”

How this message helped me
My first response to the sermon was that I really need to worry less. I feel sort of ashamed to admit that I sometimes worry. It shows a lack of trust in God. And normally I consider myself to be a person who rarely worries or complains about anything. I know that if I serve God that things will work out for the best in the end. I honestly worried very little when I had cancer because I knew it was God’s will and I was determined to find good things resulting from my situation. But the more I thought about it, I began to realize that I got more from this sermon than a reminder not to worry. Worrying is just one of the symptoms of a greater problem in my life. My problem is that I am a plan maker.

A little background story (okay quite a bit)
If someone of this world looked at me now,  they would see a single 23 year old guy with no career, college degree, money, or any other promising things going on for him. And they likely would suspect me to be just a bum with no ambitions or plans for my life. The truth is, despite the fact that I don’t seem to have anything going my way, I have long been an excessive plan-maker. For you to understand what I mean, I must tell you a little about myself and my history with making plans. I will begin my account with the spring or 2007. 

I was just about to graduate from high school with high honors.
I did very well in school, and in some subjects I was ranked in the top 1% of all high school students in the nation. More than that, I knew where I was going to college and what I would do. I wanted to go to a Bible college in Missouri for a few years to increase my understanding of God’s word. While there I hoped to find a decent job so that I could save up enough money to attend the prestigious Embry Riddle Aeronautical university in Arizona. I was so confident that all of my plans would work out… Boy was I in for some life lessons.

Just a month before I graduated high school, problems starting sprouting up in my plans. My older brother William who was already attending and working at the same Bible college in Missouri was beginning to face some trials. He had recently written a note on facebook about how immodesty was becoming a big problem among the college students. It was written in a loving way to educate and encourage students to be more honoring to God and each other in how they dress, but it created an uproar against him. Many students hated him for it, and the college faculty told him that if he didn’t delete the note, then he would be fired. Well he didn’t, and so he was fired. My brothers Michael and William decided not to return to the college that fall, and I decided that I shouldn’t go either. It was now May, and the first part of my plans had collapsed. I was pretty discouraged because it was already too late in the year to apply at any regular college. So I improvised my plans a little and decided I would go to a community college for the next year. There I could gain general credits to transfer towards another degree, and I could still keep my plan of saving money to go to the school in Arizona.

A year passed and I was getting anxious to leave Kansas and head to Arizona. Unfortunately the college I wanted to attend was very expensive. I was offered over $21,000 a year in financial aid, but I still couldn’t afford it. Realizing that there was no way I could go to Arizona - I unwillingly scrapped my plans, and at the last minute decided to move to Denver with my brother Michael where I would go to a small Bible college. I couldn’t stand the thought of spending another year in  Kansas doing nothing, so I thought Denver would be a fun intermission while I worked on another plan. There I would spend the next two years of my life. It would take far too long for me to explain what all hardships I encountered there, but let me just say that my time in Denver still remains perhaps the hardest time of my life. In August of 2010 I moved back home to Kansas with barely enough money to make the trip. I felt so tired and thinly-stretched, “like butter scraped over too much bread”. It was nice to be back home where I could recover and relax. Being the plan maker that I was, I had already come up with several different plans for attending colleges in Kansas; but those plans all quickly dissolved as I realized that they weren’t for me. So I started to reconsider a discarded plan from long ago which involved going to a Bible college in Idaho. Idaho was one of the three states in the U.S. which I thought would be nice to live in someday (The other two being Minnesota and Maine). While working on finding a job so that I might save money for moving to Idaho, I also made use of my time by returning to take more classes at the same community college I had years before. This gave me mixed emotions, as I enjoyed the reminders of a more lighthearted time in my life, but also was left feeling like I had accomplished nothing over the last three years. Sure I knew that I was a better and stronger person. I had been through a lot and had picked up valuable experiences and wisdom. But It still hurt to consider that while all my class mates from high school were about to graduate from college, I had not even really started working on a degree. On paper, I - the one who once had such promise, and such fireproof plans - had nothing to show for myself. This feeling would grow when I realized that I would not be able to afford moving to Idaho due to the fact that I was only making near minimum wage at a fast food restaurant just like I had been doing ever since 16. And there was no way such a job could save the amount I needed for moving to Idaho. So I again started making plans. I needed a better paying job before I could think about going to a Bible college again. And to get a better paying job, I would need to go to school for a career. As an avid nature lover, I decided that a career in forestry would be a good fit for me. Not long after that, I decided to move to northern Minnesota where I would begin working toward a forestry degree. If you are interested, you can go back in my blog archives to read more about that point in my life, but the short version is that I was diagnosed with cancer only a few months before moving to Minnesota, and my plans again had to change. So I eagerly waited while I finished my treatments, and was finally able to move to Minnesota almost a year after I had originally planned. I was so confident that this time things were finally going to work out. My plans seemed so perfect and clear! It felt like everything I had gone through before was just God leading me to this point. I finally had found where I wanted to be in every way. But… even though my current situation and the plans I had for my future seemed like they were meant to be, that was not at all the case.

The end of my plans
It was difficult to find a good job when I moved, and after finally finding one, I had to choose between keeping the good job or going to school in the fall like I had planned. I chose the job, which unfortunately started to slow down dramatically just a few weeks after the fall semester began. And then about the same time as my hours started being cut to nearly nothing, I learned that my medical insurance wouldn’t cover the doctors visits and CT scans I recently had. I knew God could get me through anything, but it was discouraging to begin needing more money just as I began making less. With all these recent developments, I would have been very upset that I had skipped school for a job that would fissile out; but I had began to realize that a career in forestry was not a very good choice for someone like me. I hate missing any Church services; and since forestry jobs are rare, it is unlikely that I could find a job in a town with a faithful congregation of believers. Along with my plans for school and a career, I was beginning to realize that all the other plans I had made for my life were collapsing too. I felt so discouraged and lost about what I was going to do with my life! I can’t explain how much it hurt to see only dead-end plans when I looked backwards; and to see absolutely nothing at all when I tried to look forward. Yes, I still knew that God was in control, and that things would work out in the end; but that didn’t bring me any relief. My discouragement wasn’t because I didn’t trust that God would work things out for good. I was discouraged because I couldn’t see how things could work out the way I wanted them to and the way I had planned. This time more than ever before my plans had seemed so perfect, and yet they were falling apart like all my other plans had before them. And when they collapsed I lost my confidence and my cheer. I tried to shrug it all off and think optimistically, but I knew that wouldn’t work for long. I still wasn’t letting go of my plans like I should. I was just faking optimism, and telling myself that maybe my plans would still work out after all. I knew I needed to let go, but it felt like I couldn’t since I saw nothing else to grab hold of. And then came Sunday with the very sermon that I needed to hear. With the lesson and reminder from the sermon, I was finally able to let go of my plans.

Conclusion
Right now I still don’t know where I will go, or what I will do. I have no plans, but that is okay. Yes it is good to be someone who plans for the future; but we should never hold on to our plans so tightly that it feels like we lose everything when our plans fail. God is the perfect plan-maker; and though we can’t always see or understand them, His are the only plans that really matter, and they will never fail! All we can do to affect them is to make sure we are living for Him, so that we will be part of His winning plan.
Smile

Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.  Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.’”
-James 4:13-15

Monday, September 17, 2012

Meeting Monday

This morning my alarm clock went off at 4:30am. Slowly my eyes and mind were able to muster enough alertness for me to attempt my Bible reading and memorization. At 5:00am I took the plunge out of my warm bed and proceeded with my workday routine of getting dressed, making breakfast, and preparing a lunch. Before I left for work at 5:45am I had a little free time and almost considered updating my status on facebook to express how tired I was after a weekend of camping; and how dearly I wished I could have slept some more. But my mind was still too numb to artfully express the thought; and my disposition was still so longing for the wrong side of the bed which I had awoken on, that I was unable to construct any sort of positive conclusion.

So with my cell phone lighting the ground before my feet ― I stepped outside to meet the 28° windchilled pre-dawn twilight.

As usual I arrived at work a little early. So I just sat in my truck and waited for the arrival of my coworkers and the keys which unlock the door to the employee time-card.

The one-hour-and-ten-minute-slow clock on my truck soon read "4:54", and yet none of my coworkers had arrived. It was a Monday morning though, so I didn't think too much of their tardiness. So I waited some more. And some more. And some more still.

I waited until 6:30am and besides the arrival and departure of a truck driver, no one else ever showed up. For some reason never in any way communicated to me, this was a no-work day. So I returned home with the first glimpse of the eastern sunlight shining through my truck's rear window. Once I got home and had climbed back into my warm bed I discovered something awful...
I was now fully awake.

Now warm and with a due smile on my face, I can tell of these circumstances.  I smile because it is funny; and because I am glad that I was able to learn a lesson from all of this. Despite my worrying and my dreading of the coming work day; my work day never came to be. Many worries in life are this way. We can spend hours fussing about any great number of things which will never happen. We should instead trust in God, and let come what may.


Time for a nap.
:)

Friday, June 15, 2012

My purpose for living

This has always been one of those areas where I am not sure when to draw the line and make a distinction. As a Christian, my purpose for living is to serve Christ and to help others find their way to Him. But living for this life is also necessary. What order do I put my priorities in, and how much time should I give to each one?

This topic again revisited my thinking several days ago as I was preparing for my classes at a Bible camp, and as I was doing my morning Bible reading today. It may shock you to learn what realization I have come to. I have realized that God is not, nor should He be a priority in my life.That may sound like a terrible thing to say; but I believe it is the correct mindset for a Christian to have.

When I have priorities, I separate them based upon importance and assign each one varying lengths of my attention corresponding to their priority rank. For example: I would give my #1 priority 60% of my time, my #2 priority 15% of my time, my #3 priority 8% of my time, and so on. The thing is that I believe God is so important that He shouldn’t just be designated a measured slot of my day. God is not a priority, God is life! Whatever I do for the Church, for myself, for my job, and for others; should all be done with God as the foundation of my focus. Sure God doesn’t care about what I eat for breakfast, or what color my socks are; but there should never be a moment in my day where I switch the “living for God” sector of my mind off. I should always be open to thoughts about how I can be a better person, and about how I can help God’s kingdom here on earth.

No I am not saying that I aspire to become a sort of modern-day monk who ignores all the attractions of earth so that I may study and teach. I don’t believe that is the most productive way to witness to others; and being human, I couldn’t do it. I need some pleasures and hobbies to keep me sane and my disposition pleasant. Plus certain things of this life can bring us closer to God, like having a family or enjoying this planet which He has created. Also, certain hobbies can bring us closer to others and allow our Christ-like attitudes to influence them, and or words to teach them. The point is that after I am gone, I want people to think of me, and say that I lived for God rather than for this life.


”For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.”
-Romans 14:7-8

”Live,
I want to live inspired
Die,
I want to die for something
Higher than myself.
Live and die for anyone else.
The more I live I see
This life's not about me”
-Anberlin

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

BONSAI

Two of the things I brought up with me from Kansas are my little bonsai-trees-to-be.

Bonsai Redbud
bonsai hand

They are not actually bonsai yet. I need to let them grow until winter, and then prune their roots while they are dormant.

bonsai redbud

Bonsai Oak
bonsai oak hand
I
grew this guy from an acorn which fell from one of our oak trees in Kansas.
bonsai oak

They may look small now, but just you wait…. Actually, I am hoping they always look small. Smile

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Getting use to my surroundings

One of the things I have always enjoyed is long and rejuvenating walks. Evening walks are best because the humidity and temperatures are low, and the colors are amazing. All my life I have lived in cities; so I would try to take my walks to the edge of town, a quiet park, or along some train tracks.The funny thing is that usually I spent half of my time just getting to a place like that where I could enjoy my walk. Things are different now though. Now for the first time in my life I live in the country! I need only walk to the end of my driveway to find myself on a beautifully scenic country road. I have already gone on several nice long walks since moving one and a half weeks ago. I would like to share some images from the walk I took yesterday evening.

Looking down the road…
Road
One thing I love about this part of Minnesota, is that it contains a healthy amount of open spaces and pastures. This makes it a lot easier for me to adjust after spending most of my life in Kansas.

I still can’t believe I live here…
road zoom
I think this view will look nice come fall.

Daisies along the fence
flowers

Sunset view from Steam Boat Road
sunset

Freshly planted power poles
Wires
I am not extremely thrilled that there are signs of civilization being installed in the pasture down the road. But the sunset’s colors were so superb that it was hard to not enjoy the view.

A final look at the day’s final colors
Red Skies and pipeline
One of the horses grazing (I’m not sure which one)

And these are only the views from a short walk down my road... Smile This is such a wonderful place to live!

Monday, June 4, 2012

My thoughts about Owl City’s good thoughts

I really felt the need to share this blog post from Adam Young of Owl City. It is weird to put a link to a blog post in a blog post, so I will just paste what he wrote here, and I will put the actual web link at the bottom after some of my own thoughts.

======================================================

Ebullient

I want so badly to discover who and what God intends me to be because I want every second to count. I want to be thrilled out of my mind because of who Jesus is, what He’s done and how alive and real and astonishing He is that I can’t even keep from talking about it, my love for Him just keeps coming up in conversation. I want to be so alive and ebullient that I’m unshakable to the point that no allure of the world can pull me into apathy or impassivity. In reality I get to dream and write songs and make music and travel the world and meet people and change lives and I love every second of it but I want the tremendous joy I find in doing these things to pale in comparison to the joy and splendor and satisfaction I can experience in God. I want Him to wake me up and keep me awake because more than anything, I want my personality and my character to be His means of expression. I just want to love and follow Jesus, I don’t want anything else out of life.

“For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
Col 3:3

======================================================

It may be easier for me to say this since I am not very well off financially; but living my life for Christ is by far the most important thing to me. Sure I would love to have a newer and more reliable car, a nice large piece of land with a sturdy house on it to live in, and enough money that I could travel to anyplace in the world; but when my head clears I realize that God has already given me so much, and is offering me a whole lot more if I just follow him.

Needless to say, I still wouldn’t mind having all of those earthly things I mentioned. Smile And I will work hard so that I may have a comfortable life on earth, and so that I can provide for my family some day. But I have prayed many times for God to prevent me from ever being really successful financially, unless I can continue to remember and focus upon what is really important in life.

To whomever may be reading this, I would love to hear your thoughts on this!


Here is the web link to the Owl City blog:
http://owlcityblog.com/2012/06/04/ebullient/

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Yard Report May 22nd

It has been just over three weeks since my last update. The trees were all pretty much full then, so the only noticeable difference has been in the garden and fruit trees. I am actually kind of disappointed with the progress lately due to the fact that we haven’t had hardly any rain for the past two weeks. However, even though the garden may not be as lush or vibrant as could it be; our early spring means everything is still ahead of normal, and we have already enjoyed quite a bit of produce from our garden.

The Yard (you may notice that Teddy managed to sneak into three of these photos)
front
Home
side
back


The Trees
The apples and pears have actually grown slower lately since they are shaded by a large oak and other trees. The walnuts are soaking up lots of sun though

Pear
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Apple
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Walnut
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The Garden
I didn’t take pictures of everything, since carrots and other such stuff are not so exciting until they are actually harvested.

Grapes
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Pumpkin
pumpkin

Corn (chest high for me)
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A lady bug eating the eggs of some garden pest off of our corn
lady bug

Black Raspberries
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Red Raspberries
red raspberry

Broccoli (we have been enjoying fresh broccoli for the past couple weeks)
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Tomatoes, Onions, Broccoli, and Potatoes (Left to Right)
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Cucumbers are planted all along the fence
cucumbers

There were many more plants which didn’t make it into pictures including peppers, Romaine Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Squash, Carrots, and other things I am not sure about. It has been fun to take these photo updates as the trees and garden came alive this spring. It is pretty interesting to look back at my first post and compare the changes. Though the calendar says it is spring still, I have a sunburn which is telling me it’s summer. I do hope to do something like this again some time. Maybe on a smaller scale though.

Until next time….

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Work Shoes

Let me tell you about these shoes….
IMG_3829
With the preparation for a move comes many decisions. Decisions about which stuff to bring, which stuff to give to my younger brothers, and which stuff to throw away. Looking at the above picture, you might think that the fate of these shoes is not only obviously the latter of the choices, it is also a bit overdue in the making. But you don’t know their story. Let me tell you about these shoes….

The year was 2004. My older brother Michael was working his first job, as a cook at the Pizza Hut in North Topeka. IMG_3836Anyone who has ever worked fast food knows that one of the employee’s required out-of-pocket expenses is some black slip-resistant shoes. Often employers have a program where money can be withheld from your paycheck to purchase shoes which are usually more comfortable, more stylish, and cheaper then the selection at your local Wal-Mart shoe department. So from a Pizza Hut employee catalog, Michael bought these shoes.

It wasn’t long before I turned 16 and also entered the workforce. In January of 2005 I became a pizza-making apprentice under my brother’s trainingIMG_3837. Regretfully, I opted for a pair of not-so-stylish and not-so-comfortable shoes from K-mart. The long shifts (sometimes 12 hours with no breaks) were murdering my feet, so I quickly commandeered his shoes when Michael found a new job at Ace Hardware.

Some time later, Michael once again required the use of these shoes. On top of working full time at Ace, he also picked up a part time job as a fry cook for Sonic over the summer. So he would wear the shoes during the times he worked at Sonic, and I would use them whenever they were available to me. They saw a lot of use that summer. Finally, about two years after they were purchased I escaped Pizza Hut; and the shoes went into temporary retirement. They moved with Michael and I to Denver in August of 2008; where they periodically saw some use being the comfortable and quick-to-slip-on shoes that they were. Denver was an expensive place to live, and it was hard for me to find a job at first. So I lowered my job search standards back down to fast food; and in May of 2009 the shoes were once again employed full time. Actually that summer they became employed overtime. I worked three jobs for awhile that summer. Wendy's, Subway, and finally a third as the front desk clerk overnight at a Comfort Suites hotel. My job at the hotel didn’t require non-slip shoes though, so these shoes got a little rest. I was soon stabilizing financially, and was able settle down to working at Subway only. And then I had my bike accident….IMG_3840 Though it only would cover a portion of the medical costs, I had to sell my car. Which meant walking to work. IMG_3841Getting to Subway was a tedious 40 minute walk each way. And believe me, I walk fast. Since I worked in these shoes, I also walked in these shoes. The speed-walking commutes I made to work five days each week were starting to take a toll on these shoes which was many times greater than what the several thousand hours of employed standing had already done. The padding behind the heels started to fall out, which caused the comfort level of the shoes to fade almost as quickly as the once non-slip souls beneath my feet. Seven or so months later I was able to start biking again; but so much damage was already done. Still I took the shoes with me when I moved back to Kansas at the end of August, 2010.

Though living in Kansas is cheaper, I still needed to work. So these shoes accompanied me as I found a job at another Subway, and eventually also at Red Lobster. When I first got the job at Red Lobster I used the shoes which I had purchased long before at K-mart. They were almost never used, and looked much more presentable than this worn pair. But that didn’t last long since they were still much more uncomfortable than the worn pair. I would just have to be careful walking on slick floors, and hope nobody looked at my feet. Red Lobster puts more wear on shoes than a standing only fast food job would; so again their stability started to decline.

So here we are eight years after Michael originally bought them. What you see in these pictures is what the shoes look like today. Many times throughout the last year I nearly broke down and bought a new pair of work shoes. But each time the comfort and ease of these ones called back to me. I guess in that regard, these shoes are much like living here in Topeka. There are better places to live; but Topeka is comfortable, cheap, and what I’m use to. So, after learning the story behind these shoes I hope you will understand my choice when deciding their fate. You have to consider that it is hard to throw away memories; and besides, my younger brother Thomas might be getting a job in a few years. So…

.

.

.

.                                             GOODBYE!

IMG_3842

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Why Worry?

Around this time last year is when my stomach aches started significantly worsening. Just over a month later I learned that I had cancer. At that time anxieties started attacking me from every direction. Am I going to be alright? How will this effect my plans? Will I be able to pay all these bills?

Looking back, I realize how unnecessary my worries were. Apart from some recent post-chemo hair loss, I am fine now; and I have had over $165,000 in medical bills taken away. Yet I still face uncertainties and rough days from time to time. Today seems to be one of those days. And today as I caught myself worrying about things, I had to scold myself for not remembering how God got me through all of those other trying times. God never fails!

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 4:6-7

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. "For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit."
-Jeremiah 17:7-8

All I can do is to trust in God, and strive to be the best person I can be. Everything else will work itself out.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Preparing to say ‘Goodbye’ to North Topeka

If all goes as planned, then I will be moving away from North Topeka in less than two weeks. (I haven’t decided on an exact date yet.)
I would be lying if I said that I am not eagerly anticipating my move; but I would also be lying if I said that I won’t miss this place.
IMG_3451
I spent 17 of out of the 22 years of my life in North Topeka.
Despite it’s oddities, Topeka has a feeling of stability to it.
I feel as though the ground beneath my feet is solid here, more than anywhere else I’ve ever been.
It is the simple things about North Topeka that I find relaxing.

4th of July fireworks on our street corner,
the old hound dog and chickens that reside on Jefferson street,
our tree-lined street,
the summery sound of cicadas,
and much more…

For better or for worse, there’s no place like home.
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One of the comforting oddities of North Topeka

Monday, April 30, 2012

The End of April

It has been three weeks since my last update. I did take pictures, but I didn’t post them since I lost my camera cord. I am still not sure where it is, but I decided to go ahead and use my old camera since things have significantly changed in the last three weeks. Here are the pictures I took today.

The Yard
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The Trees

About a month ago I predicted that all the trees would be fully-leafed by May 1st. As you can see that is almost the case. One exception is our Pecan trees.

The Pecan Trees

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The Apple Tree
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The Walnut Trees
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The Pear Trees
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The Garden
The Garden has taken shape quite a lot since my last update. There are many plants in it which I did not photograph today, but hopefully I will next time.

Grapes (same cluster as in all of my previous grape photos)
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Sweet Corn
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Potatoes and Swiss Chard (Left to Right)
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Tomatoes, Green Onions, And Broccoli
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Raspberries
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I actually think it is better doing an update just once every three weeks now that things are not changing as noticeably each week. If things go as planned, then my next update will also be my last, since I hope to move that week. I expect many crops will be very far along by then, so I will be very thorough. The grapes have already come a long way, and the corn is about a foot high and growing nearly an inch each day.

One Last shot for this week is of our Peony blossoms. They normally arrive in mid to late May; but like everything else this year, they are very early. Peonies are one of my favorites.
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