Tag Archives: blogging

What kind of Sexual are you?

Disclaimer: This is not a post about SEX. If you arrived here looking for a post about SEX, I’m sorry you’ll have to look elsewhere. But please be sure you subscribe to my blog first.

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Lately I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of sexual I am. I’m not talking Heterosexual or Homosexual or Bisexual or even Asexual. I’m talking about these vague terms that describe the way we men-folk look and dress. Have you noticed, more and more frequently, there seems to be popping up (pun intended), lots of ways to describe men as “________sexual”.

Terms like Metrosexual and Ubersexual.

So I set out to do some research on what kind of sexual I am. I’ve often joked on this site about being a little bit Metrosexual. My nickname amongst my group of friends is “Metro” so I guess maybe I show some signs of fitting that bill. In small town Michigan I probably am a little bit Metrosexual. Put me in Manhattan and I’d probably be labeled frumpy.

metrosexual

Exhibit A: Metrosexual

According to Dictionary.com Metrosexual is defined as:

A heterosexual, usually urban male who pays much attention to his personal appearance and cultivates an upscale lifestyle.

Okay, that sort of works. I am heterosexual and I do often pay attention to my personal appearance as evidenced by the amount of hair product I go through every year. But I’m not really an urban male although I was for a little while many years ago. I guess sometimes I try to cultivate an upscale lifestyle although mostly I prefer my simple small-town lifestyle.

Maybe I’m more of a displaced Metrosexual, more of a Pastoralsexual.

I went looking for other possibilities and came across the category of men-folk classified as Ubersexual.

According to Dictionary.com Ubersexual is defined as:

A man who exhibits traditional masculine qualities as well as the caring nature of the New Man.

Huh?!? What does that even mean?!? I moved on.

Upon further research I discovered that a few months ago the category of men-folk classified as Lumbersexual started to become part of the vernacular. Now granted, how the terms “lumber” and “sexual” fit together is a stretch to most of us unless you want to make lots of jokes about hardwood. But I checked it out and it’s such a new concept that the term does not yet appear in any Dictionary.

But I found this tidbit on Gawker.com

To facilitate an easy discussion, it might help you to think of a Lumbersexual as a foil to the Metrosexual, the alleged nadir of masculinity from last decade. So, instead of slim-legged pants, envision pants with a little extra leg room (see: “regular cut”). Rather than be clean-shaven, the Lumbersexual has an unkempt beard. The Metrosexual is clean and pretty and well-groomed; the Lumbersexual spends the same amount of money, but looks filthy. Sartorially speaking, a Lumbersexual is a delicate tri-blend of L.L. Bean, Timberlake, and Sears.

Okay I thought, that sounds pretty good. Kind of a more rugged and manly metrosexual, an LL Bean type, who is allowed at times to be filthy. That sounded like it might be right up my alley, so I tried it out for a bit.

Lumbersexual

Exhibit B: Lumbersexual

It was all going great, I was feeling manly and filthy and lumbery.

Then one day a couple of weeks ago, I read about a new kind of man-folk called a Spornosexual, another exciting breed of masculinity sprung from the roots of the Metrosexual, and named from a combination of the words “sports” and “porno” and “sexual”.

Esquire Magazine described a Spornosexual as this, while referencing Brad Pitt’s appearance in the movie Fight Club:

The spornosexual is a more extreme breed of man than his metro forebear. He is just as plucked, tanned and moisturised, but leaner, buffer, more jacked and obsessed not just with “looking good” in the abstract, but with the actual physical proportions of his frame: the striation of his abs, the vascularity of his biceps, the definition of his calves.

WOW! That sounded exciting. Lean, buff, jacked, and looking good with striated abs and vascular biceps, whatever that stuff means. So I ripped off the heavy flannel shirt, took three showers to clean off all the accumulated filth, shaved the beard and started working out, three, four, sometimes five times a day. I’d finally found my calling. I was gonna be a “Spornosexual”.

Spornosexual

Exhibit C: Spornosexual

I had done it, I had found the kind of man-folk I wanted to be. I felt good, like Brad Pitt in Fight Club.

But then it all came crashing down. I was burnt out from trying to be something I wasn’t. I just wanted to just be a regular guy again, a husband, a Dad, a friend and a blogger. I wasn’t a Spornosexual or a Lumbersexual or a Ubersexual or even a Metrosexual.

I just wanted to be a regular guy. Because who needs labels anyway?

So, that’s what I did.

And you have to admit, there’s something sexy about that!

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Remember that time I was Freshly Pressed?

I’m sitting here in an old school motel in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, near the Northern shores of Lake Michigan. My eyes dart from the words on the computer screen that I slowly type on my old laptop to long periods of staring out the window of my room as ghostly apparitions of blowing snow race across the empty parking lot. My toes are cold and I can’t seem to get them to warm up even though they’re wrapped tightly in heavy wool socks. The desk where I am sitting is next to the window that faces out to the parking lot and I can see my car parked in front of the door to my room, some parking lot lights and the brightly lit motel sign. At the bottom of the sign in bright red neon, the word VACANCY calls out to the few passing cars though no one seems to heed the call.

I have the blinds wide open but I’m not worried about privacy because I think I might be the only guest here tonight. I have no concerns about someone walking by and staring in my window. What is likely a thriving little motel during the summer and fall tourist months is pretty much a ghost town on this frigid cold February night.

The old couple that owns this particular motel where I will rest my head tonight have to be in their 80’s. They live on site and the place is spotlessly clean. This is the third year in a row I have stayed here and each year I walk in and wonder if the old women who checks me in will remember me. But she doesn’t and I’m not really surprised considering the number of people she sees every year. But as always, as I signed the credit card receipts and passed them back to her she asked me:

“Do you drink coffee? I’ll have coffee made in the morning.”

“I sure do you” I replied, then added, “I know, I come up here every February on my way to Houghton and I always stay here.”

She glanced up at me with proud eyes that sparkled like the bitter cold snow outside and with the brightest smile she said “thank you.”

I added, “I really like this place, please don’t ever close it down!”

“We won’t, as long as we’re around” she offered.

I took my key and settled in to room 17.

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I stay in small motels like this all the time when I travel for work. I’m self employed, no company credit cards, no expense accounts, no perks. Every dollar I spend on accommodations or meals or gas for my car comes right off the top. So I do my research and I find the places that are clean and well kept and affordable.

But there’s more than that.

Yes, these motels are unquestionably no-frills, and I’ve had a few objectionable nights over the last few years where I wished I had chosen the local chain hotel.

But the homey, small town places that I find, that I consistently come back to are all privately owned businesses that the owners take pride in and work hard to keep their guests happy. As someone who spent almost 20 years working in a family business I respect that to no end and will do what I can to support that work ethic.

Plus the people are interesting!

There’s the 80’s something couple where I stay tonight.

There’s the Vietnam era veteran with the US Marines baseball cap who always says “I’d put my rooms up against any place in town!”

There’s the lesbian couple who own a place called the “Triangle Motel.”

There’s the macho guy who is a retired police chief and who always has his little dog with him.

There’s the guy who is always drinking from a can of “Miller Lite” while checking in guests.

These places are remnants from a bygone era, like the old Route 66 motels that families stayed in while driving across the country many decades ago. Sadly, these days, for every thriving motel you find that is worth the $50 room rate, there are two or three more that are sitting abandoned along rural routes that folks no longer choose to drive along.

So… what does this have to do with being Freshly Pressed?

Two years ago in February, 2013 my post Old Barn Coat was featured on the WordPress Freshly Pressed page. It happened during this same road trip that I am on now. I started writing the post while I was at home, but I finished it while sitting in the same motel that I sit in now, while sucking down a bottle of wine, on a similar, bitter cold Saturday February night.

I posted it the following Sunday.

It was a great post and I knew it at the time. It wasn’t my usual sarcastic, silly, juvenile humor. I remember struggling to figure out where and how I was going to tie everything together, but when the last line, the culmination, finally appeared to me, I knew I had come up with something good. I don’t remember thinking about the post being “pressed” but I knew it was something special regardless of the number of likes and comments.

Freshly Pressed is the closest most of us will ever get to something we write being “published”. Sure, no one is paying you for what you wrote but it is an example of someone who you don’t know, someone who doesn’t follow your blog, someone who isn’t your friend , either face to face or “electronically”, noticing something you’ve written and deciding it’s good enough that thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of people should see it. That’s an honor none of us should take for granted.

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The words are flowing out now like an open tap. It’s funny how that works, one minute you can’t think of anything to say, but a few struggling, forced paragraphs later, you’ve lost track of time and you have to force yourself to stop typing.

I’ve glanced up from the screen and noticed some of the parking lot lights are off and although the VACANCY light still screams out to passing cars, I know that motel office hours are only until 11:00 and there won’t be much traffic tonight. Blowing snow still dances across the parking lot and I’m glad I’m in a warm room.

Tomorrow morning I will go say hello to the old lady at the front desk. I will turn in my key and share some of the coffee she has made. We will likely talk about the weather and life and why I’m visiting the area and I trust her eyes will sparkle as much as they did tonight when I told her I was a repeat guest.

The coffee will taste better than any cup of Starbucks Coffee bought on any corner of Main Street USA.

Because it’s not about the coffee, its about the people you share it with.

Freshly Pressed or not.

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Where did all my BILFs go?

bubbles

When Brown Road Chronicles was at its peak back in late 2013 before I took my fourteen month-long sabbatical, I had a long list of BILFs. This list was an extraordinary compilation of BILFs culled from many intensive years of blogging, liking, reading, and commenting. Sometimes even just a quick glance at a blogger’s avatar and I instantly knew that they’d be a strong candidate for my list of BILFs. More importantly, a timely, well thought out blog post or comment, full of voluptuous and shapely words that exemplified years of writing experience was sure to get a blogger on my list of BILFs.

So, what had once been a short list of BILFs when I had first started blogging had over time grown into a long list of about seventy-five BILFs.

What was I going to do with all these BILFs? I could barely keep track of all of them. I felt overwhelmed.

Several times I tried condensing my list of BILFs. But it was challenging and complicated because once you’ve determined a blogger is a BILF it’s difficult to just scratch them off of a list.

Plus these were all BILFs who wrote words that were fresh and polished and sexy. These were BILFs who wrote words that exuded sophistication and competency. These were BILFs who were no doubt seasoned and mature, full of deep metaphors and profound thoughts and humor.

Especially humor. Because, although a blogger can dress their site up with lots of fancy imagery, a good sense of humor is one of the primary means of becoming one of my BILFs.

But something had to give.

One day I dug down deep and found the strength. I fired up WordPress and sorted through the long list of BILFs, hour after hour, contemplating whether each was really still a BILF or if I was hanging on to old memories, remembering old posts, focusing on days gone past. Some of the BILFs had long since abandoned their sites, given up, stopped trying. Those were the simplest BILFs to say goodbye to. They weren’t BILFs anymore and they were easy to cross off the list, although there were a select number of these inactive BILFs who were my very first BILFs and who I decided should always remain.

Then there were the BILFs who were still around but who just didn’t have the same appeal as when we had first met. They had become old and stale and boring and with some clarity of thought I was able to determine that they were no longer BILFs either and they were removed from my list. It was a long process but I was able to narrow the list from about seventy-five BILFs down to about fifty BILFs.

That’s about how many BILFs I have now, approximately fifty. I have met a few new BILFs since I reopened Brown Road Chronicles at the beginning of the year and I am looking forward to getting to know those BILFs better. But on a recent scan through those original fifty or so BILFs I discovered that only about twenty, at best, are still active. Perhaps it’s time to sort through the list of BILFs again.

Now let’s be frank here, in this widespread community of talent there’s certainly no shortage of BILFs. And now that I’m back at this on a pretty steady basis, I’d definitely like to discover some new BILFs.

So here’s your job.

If you’re a regular here, you should have a good read on my personality and sense of humor. In the comments section, please recommend one or two of your BILFs… bloggers that you like to follow… that you think I might like to follow as well.

I’ll take a look and perhaps they’ll become one of my BILFs too.

My Bloggers I Like to Follow….

What did you think I was talking about?!?

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Open for Business

Open

Ring… Ring…

“Yo, dis is Joey’s Pumping Service, dis is Joey speakin’. What can I dooz for you today?

Hi… ummm… this is Steve Warner… ummm… just wanted to see if maybe you were open today?

Yo, why da fuck wouldn’t I be open today?

Sorry, just thought maybe because it was a holiday week.

Yeeaaaaah…… no….. I’m open today…. we work every day in dis bidness… there’s always lotsa cleanin’ up ta do. So…. Mr. Warner, what can I dooz for you today? I’m very busy…

Well, I’m not sure, but I think I might have a problem with my tank.

Yeah, okay, we’re da experts in dat department… so what’s goin’ on wit your tank?

Well… ummm… I don’t know but I think maybe it’s full…. there’s stuff kind of bubbling up and oozing out. Like it’s all filled up and overflowing or something…

Yo…. yeah…. dat’s a problem…. dats all da piss and vinegar.

Excuse me…?

Yeah, don’t you worry about dat Mr. Warner, dat’s just an expression we use in da bidness…. so Mr. Warner… what else is goin’ on?

We’ll there’s kind of a smell…

Ha, ha, ha… yeah, I’ve heard dat before too. Dat’s all da bullshit…

Ummm… excuse me?!?

Yeah, dat’s all da bullshit… it’s overflowin’ with da bullshit and the piss and vinegar… but don’t you worry about dat… we can getchu fixed right up good.

So… you can help?

Naaahh…. you don’t need me Mr . Warner… but I know someone dat can help… you just hold on for a second and I’ll transfer you.

Ring… Ring…

“WordPress Technical Support, this is Julie, how can I help you today?”

A writer’s brain is kind of like a big septic tank, all full of bullshit and piss and vinegar. Every day, more thoughts and ideas are flushed into that oozing, gurgling, swirling, soggy mess filling our heads. All of the stuff we experience in our lives, the stuff we see and do and hear, all the thoughts that cross our mind, all the things other people do and say, all the stuff we dream about and long for and all the stuff we accomplish and leave behind, it sits in our brains and ferments until eventually it needs to come back out in some form of written word. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and Instagram are like the bacteria swimming in the tank and struggling to eat up all the ideas, running around like a frantic team of workers in white Haz Mat suits… with the brain screaming orders.

“C’MON PEOPLE, WE DON’T HAVE ALL FUCKING DAY… THIS PLACE IS FILLING UP FAST! MOVE ALL THOSE IDEAS OVER TO SECTION ONE, THEY’RE PRETTY GOOD BUT THEY STILL NEED TO FERMENT SOME MORE… WHO IS RUNNING SECTION TWO, THAT PLACE IS A GODDAMN SHITHOLE… FUCKING USELESS STUFF OVER THERE… JUST BURY IT UP… IT WILL NEVER BE WORTH ANYTHING! ARE YOU PEOPLE EVEN LISTENING TO ME? IT LOOKS LIKE YOU’RE ALL JUST STANDING AROUND. GODDAMN, YOU JUST CAN’T GET GOOD HELP ANYMORE! MOTHER FUCK, HERE COMES SOME MORE… DOES THIS STUFF EVER STOP POURING IN? I DON’T GET PAID ENOUGH MONEY FOR THIS… FORGET IT, JUST PUT IT ALL IN SECTION THREE, THERE’S JUST A BUNCH OF USELESS SHIT IN THERE, DR. APPTS, BAND CONCERT DATES, FOOTBALL GAMES…

It was about a year and two months ago that I retired from blogging. I didn’t miss it for long while, then some days I did, then more days I didn’t and then some days I did again. But missing it isn’t why people blog… at least I don’t think.

Lately I’ve been posting some things on Facebook that I classify as “Seymour” posts. They were long enough that the reader would have to press the “See More” link to read the whole thing. They didn’t necessarily start as longer posts. They were just ideas that grew as the words started to flow, like a chunk of burning ember firing up on a windy day. That’s how Brown Road Chronicles originally started, when little bits of writing started turning into longer pieces of writing.

For a lot of people, social media sites are places to bitch and whine and maybe share pictures of their vacation or what they had for dinner last night. Or a place to crack some jokes or share links to writing they find interesting or keep in touch with far away friends. For others… well for me at least… they are forums that allow me to get rid of little chunks of writing, creative ideas, funny (or not so funny) jokes, epic rants, ideas that are taking up space in my brain.

My wife came home the other day and asked, “so, are you going to start blogging again, I’ve noticed some of your Facebook posts seem to be more like blog posts?”

“I don’t know, there’s so much pressure involved” I said sort of jokingly, but with a definite hint of truthfulness.

“Well, just don’t put the pressure on yourself” she answered innocently like someone who has never reviewed a stats page.

“There will always be some pressure… that’s just the way I operate.”

But maybe the tank is overflowing… yep, its definitely overflowing… chock full of bullshit and piss and vinegar. So, at least for a little while, Brown Road Chronicles is Open for Business.

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Last Call

Part of the Phone Calls to Julie Series

Ring… Ring…

WP: Hello, WordPress technical support, this is Julie, how can I help you today?

ME: Hi Julie, this is Steve from Brown Road Chronicles, thank you for taking my call today.

WP: Hi Mr. Warner… you’re welcome, how can I help you today?

ME: I think I’m done.

WP: You think you’re done?

ME: Yes, I think I’m done.

WP: Ummm…. done with what?

ME: I think I’m done with my blog.

WP: Okay… uhhhh…. so can I help you with something today?

ME: Well, I just didn’t know what to do when I was done.

WP: Well Mr. Warner, you can close it down, or you can leave it up so others can still find and read your posts. But why do you think you’re done?

ME: Well, I just haven’t been spending much time writing. Have you read my blog recently?

WP: Yes, I read every time you post. Maybe you’re just in a slump. All bloggers get into a writing slump sometimes.

ME: No, I’ve been in a slump before, I know what that’s like. I think this time I’m really done. I think this blog has served its purpose. It was a good blog and every good blog, just like every good book has to have an ending, right?

WP: Yes, I guess so…

ME: Well, I think it’s time to give this blog its ending. I want to do other things now. Maybe I’ll start another blog, or maybe I’ll keep working on my tyme4rhyme.com site. But right now I’m ready for a break. Plus, there’s only so many poop, fart and sex jokes out there. Remember when I called you about BOOBS? That was funny, right?

WP: I didn’t find it funny at the time, but yes, looking back it’s funny.

ME: You’ll be happy to know, I haven’t checked my stats page in weeks.

WP: That’s good…

ME: You know, Julie, this blog really changed my life. I’ve met a ton of really cool people, some have come and gone. Others, hopefully I can stay in touch with. It taught me the power of blogging and social media. It was therapeutic at times and it once again, reminded me that I can have a creative side to my life. That had been missing for a very long time. On the other hand, sometimes it was a headache worrying about it and constantly trying to come up with something worthy to write about. But I think I’ve said all I need to say here and I’ve always known I didn’t want to be one of those bloggers that just vanished without anyone knowing where they went.

WP: Yes, that happens often… well if you need help closing it down, I can help with that.

ME: No, that’s okay. I think I’ll leave it up for a while so others can still read it. A good book doesn’t go away once the author’s done writing, right?

WP: Yes, you’re right… then you could always come back to it if you wanted to.

ME: Like Brett Favre?

WP: Hahahahaha… yes like Brett Favre.

ME: We’ll, I don’t think so but you never know. It was a good blog, wasn’t it?

WP: Yes it was… is there anything else I can help you with? We’re very busy today and the phones are ringing…

ME: Ummm… uhhhh… no, I don’t think so… I guess this is my last call.

WP: Mr. Warner… I’m going to hang up now.

ME: Ummmm… okay…. uhhh… wait, Julie?

WP: Yes, Mr. Warner?

ME: Thanks for reading my blog.

WP: You’re welcome. I wish you the best.

ME: Okay, goodbye.

WP: Thank you for calling WordPress. Goodbye.

Click

To all my friends: Thank you all for reading and commenting. This was an amazingly fun ride, full of humor and heartbreak, happiness and sadness, seriousness and goofiness all wrapped up in 229 posts plus many more that were never worthy of hitting the PUBLISH button. I couldn’t possibly list all the bloggers that I have interacted with over the last several years. There is a core group of you though, that I feel like I know better than some of the folks in my “real life”. Hopefully you know who you are and its been your friendships and interactions that have made this journey the most worthwhile.  If you have not yet found me on Facebook and Twitter (@stevetwarner) and you want to, please look me up.

I will tell you all that ending a blog is not for the faint of heart. But I’ve been considering this for a long while and I think the time is right for me to retire Brown Road Chronicles. I don’t know what I will do next on the writing front. I have recently joined a small writers group of folks in my area that write stories for kids and meets once a month, so I suspect they will keep me on my toes.  Maybe there will be another blog in my future. Other than that, we’ll just see what happens next.  I promise though, that I will continue to write, continue to pick my guitar and sing songs, continue to raise two beautiful teenagers, continue to love my amazing wife, continue to sit around my fire pit, continue to drink too much wine and continue to own goats!

Best wishes to all of you!

Steve

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Counting on My Fingers and Toes

Some of you old-timers may remember this post: From One to Ten.  With a little editing I’ve turned it into a song. Sorry, I pulled the audio off a video camera so the recording isn’t that great.

Counting on My Fingers and Toes

I once thought that ONE was enough.
Me by myself with only my stuff.
But I met a nice girl and love it was true.
We had a big wedding and then we were TWO.

We once thought that TWO was okay.
She and I hanging out every day.
But we drove by a sign that said, “kittens for free!”
We took home a kitten, and then we were THREE.

We once thought that THREE wasn’t bad.
There wasn’t anybody we wanted to add.
But then we decided to get one more.
A friend for our cat and then we were FOUR.

This is the story how my family goes.
Changing every day right under my nose.
Kinda like a flower living in the garden.
Sprinkle in some love and it grows and grows.

This is the story how my family goes.
How big we’ll get, well nobody knows.
For now I’ll just have to keep on counting.
Starting off small, getting bigger and bigger.
That’s how my family grows.

We once thought that FOUR was fine.
One cat was her’s and one cat was mine.
One day a beautiful baby arrived.
A sweet little girl, and then we were FIVE.

We once thought that FIVE was alright.
Though space was getting a little bit tight.
But we wanted to add one more to the mix.
Along came a boy and then we were SIX.

We once thought that SIX was nice.
Not a bird or a fish or a snake would entice.
Then we decided two dogs would be great.
We skipped over SEVEN and went straight to EIGHT.

This is the story how my family goes.
Changing every day right under my nose.
Kinda like a flower living in the garden.
Sprinkle in some love and that’s how it grows.

This is the story how my family goes.
How big we’ll get, well nobody knows.
For now I’ll just have to keep on counting.
Starting off small, getting bigger and bigger.
That’s how my family grows.

We once thought that EIGHT was plenty.
At least it was only eight and not twenty.
Then one of our dogs, she went up to heaven.
Suddenly we were back down to SEVEN.

We once thought that SEVEN was ample.
Add any more and we’d surely be trampled.
“I have two goats” said a friend of mine.
We took home the goats and then we were NINE.

We once thought that NINE was neat.
But something was missing to make us complete.
We all liked riding a horse now and then.
We got ourselves a horse and then we were TEN.

This is the story how my family goes.
Changing every day right under my nose.
Kinda like a flower living in the garden.
Sprinkle in some love and it grows and grows.

This is the story how my family grows.
Someday we may add more, I suppose.
For now I’ll just have to keep on counting.
But if we keep getting bigger and bigger.
I’ll be counting on my fingers and toes!

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The Tree of Life

Two years ago, just about this time in early October, I wrote a post called the Tree of Life and dedicated it to my son. It was on a day similar to today, the onset of autumn and days filled with deep, healing breaths of cool, crisp air and the beginning of falling leaves. I stood this morning in my kitchen, staring out the window, with a steaming cup of coffee in my hand and watched a leaf fall from the large Maple tree that sits outside our house. That same scenario, an autumn leaf falling from a tree was the spark that got me to my keyboard two years ago to produce what is one of my favorite posts on this site.

My kids both have milestone birthdays coming up in November. My son will turn thirteen and finally be a teenager and my daughter will turn “sweet sixteen”. I’m so proud of these kids and what they’ve become. Of course, what responsible, loving parent isn’t proud of every step forward their children make in life? But also, like many of you reading, years of guiding our kids in so many directions can take a deep toll on our levels of patience, understanding and compassion.

I’m not always at my most compassionate these days. My wife Kim used to say I had “the patience of Job”, whoever Job is… and she was right. I did and many days I still do. But I’m also a “You’re injured? Wrap a bandage around it and quit moaning”, kind of parent. Last evening my son was an absolute train wreck after weeks of seventh grade classes, daily football practices, Boy Scout events, and on top of that not feeling well. I wasn’t mean or angry with his “call for help”, but I certainly didn’t offer up what would have been most helpful; a strong hug from Dad and some therapeutic compassion. We got home about 8:30 pm and he laid down directly on the mattress of his unmade bed and was asleep in minutes.

Children are resilient little beasts and this morning, all was well again and he was mostly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, as much as a twelve-year-old can be at 7:00 a.m. in the morning. Shortly after the kids left for school, I stood by that kitchen window, with my steaming cup of coffee and watched that leaf fall. It reminded me of my Tree of Life post and reinforced to me that although my kids may be rapidly approaching adult hood, they are still just kids who are trying to find their way in the world, trying to please their parents and teachers and friends and looking for guidance from the adults in their lives.

They are kids climbing the Tree of Life in search of that perfect autumn leaf that they can ride to bigger and better things. As adults and parents, we are that tree and though we often have to fight through the storms that life throws at us, it’s those storms that remind us, always in a most timely fashion, when to dig our roots in just a little bit deeper.

If you weren’t a follower back in 2011, here’s my story: The Tree of Life. I hope you enjoy it.

The Tree of Life

Once upon a time there was a tree.
And it grew in a beautiful place in the country.
The tree was tall and had deep roots and solid branches and green leaves.
And it was a proud tree.

One day a boy began climbing the tree.
And he knew that he wanted to climb until he reached the very top.
So the tree carefully guided him from branch to branch, higher and higher.
And the boy felt safe and loved.

The boy continued climbing the tree, a little higher every day.
And as the boy climbed the tree, the tree provided comfort and protection.
Its leaves gave the boy shelter, its branches gave the boy structure.
And its roots gave the boy a solid foundation to build on.

Then one day the boy finally reached the top of the tree.
He was excited and the tree was very proud of how far he had climbed.
But the tree knew that the time had come.
To let the boy go.

So the tree said to the boy.
“My leaves are changing colors and the wind is starting to blow.”
“Find the biggest leaf you see and climb on it and close your eyes.”
“And the wind will take you wherever you’re supposed to go.”

The boy looked to his right and to his left and up above and down below.
And finally, at the very, very top of the tree on the very highest branch.
The boy saw the most perfect leaf he had ever seen.
And he climbed onto the leaf and closed his eyes just as the tree had told him.

Soon the wind picked up and the boy could feel his leaf trembling.
He grabbed on with all his strength to be sure he wouldn’t fall.
And then he watched as the stem of his leaf began to break free.
From the tree that had nurtured him for so many years.

The boy was excited to be free and on his own.
And as the strong wind carried the leaf high up into the air like a magic carpet,
The boy turned around and waved goodbye to the tree.
And it was a proud tree.

Soon the boy was far enough away that he could no longer see the tree.
So he turned back around to watch where the wind might be taking him.
All around, the boy saw the amazing opportunities the world had to offer.
And he settled in for the ride of his life.

The wind carried the boy to mystical places and magical lands.
On exotic adventures and extraordinary challenges.
Through happiness and sadness and love and hate.
And wins and losses and successes and failures.

As the wind carried the boy he felt exhilaration and freedom.
He began to learn to control the leaf and take it where he wanted it to go.
And he grew and gained knowledge and insight and experience and wisdom.
And felt as if he could fly forever.

But eventually the boy grew weary and wished that his leaf would finally land.
And he remembered what the tree had said when he was first set free.
So he closed his eyes just as the tree had told him.
And the wind began to slow down and change directions.

When the boy opened his eyes, the wind had carried him back to the country.
There was the tree with its deep roots and solid branches and green leaves.
As the boy smiled at the tree, the wind blew one last burst.
And he landed safely right at the base of the trunk.

The boy was happy to finally be on the ground.
He knew that his leaf had fallen right where it was supposed to have fallen.
And when the tree looked down and noticed that the boy had grown into a man.
It was a proud tree.

For my son, who is climbing his own tree and will someday have to be let go.

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