Archive for July, 2008

Camping Pictures from Emma Long

Here are a few photos from our move and subsequent camp out at Emma Long.

Pulling into Emma Long in the volvo

Pulling into Emma Long in the Volvo

Setting up the camp site

Setting up the camp site

Playing on the discarded float at the camp site

Playing on the discarded float

Camp site from the lake side

Camp site from the lake side

Lounging out in the shade

Lounging out in the shade

Swimming out in front of the tent

Swimming out in front of the tent

Caught at Emma Long - a tiny alligator gar

Caught at Emma Long - a tiny alligator gar

Turtle caught at Emma Long

Turtle caught at Emma Long

My turtle

Yep, that's my turtle

Lake front property is very Moses

Lake front property is very Moses

The full set of camping pictures can be found here.

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Grandparents

You know how a plant grows: pushing ever upward into the sun and ever downward into loam. A family tree is analogous to this as the elder members of the family are left behind pointing the way as they support the new growth. Even as the existing tree grows, the much-older much-aged growth is considered dead, or at least tinder for fire, without moisture or flexibility.  Though dry and ready for the flame, this aged cellulose stolidly allows the tender shoots and flexible branches to reach ever higher and even move in other directions as the environment dictates.

Enough.  (I’m sure the analogy has been better construed by more capable storytellers.)  In my own life, I’ve finally moved into that unhappy category of the grandparent-less.  Those branches will now remain ever motionless.  But they will never fail to render strength and give direction to my life.

My mom was very young when her daddy died.  My dad lost his mom at 15.  So very often I wished I had been privileged to know them.  My precious grandmother passed away more than 10 years ago now.  What a bastion of love, of compassionate service, of utter grace, of such tender kindness.  And last week, my Dado was taken at the age of almost 90.  A long-planned birthday became a funeral and celebration of his life.  Dado was handsome and winsome, a tireless preacher of the Good News gifted in oratory, and became a strong, enduring example of Christ’s endless love and redemption.

My children are more blessed than they realize.  I hope I can encourage relationship with all of their grandparents.  And some day, I will know all of mine far better than I could have here on this shadow, this old earth.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Nomads

It’s very strange not having a house to call your own. I don’t mean living in an apartment. It’s the fact that you know you’ve got to move on soon; that this place where we’re at is temporary. That “your things” will be packed up (or thrown together), and you set out for somewhere else. It is disquieting. I’m beginning to get a better feel for “the Son of Man had no place to rest his head”. Here’s a quick rundown on the temporary housing front:
1) Camping at Emma Long Metro Park
2) Hotel in Searcy
3) Hanging with Ma and Pa Copeland in Memphis
4) House sitting for the one mortgage owning Copeland family in Austin
5) Spending the night in Round Rock with the greatest and kindest mentors at Westover
6) Extended Stay America on 183/Oak Knoll in Austin
7) Weekend in Little Rock with my favorite 3rd cousin’s parents
8 ) Crashing with brother Todd while his family works the kinks outta their car in Searcy
9) (Future) A week in Pearsall Tejas with Ma and Pa Brack while doin’ VBS
10) (Future) Craig continues his imposition with the Todd Copeland’s (probably)
11) (Future) An Emma Long reprise tour (perhaps)
12) (Future) And if all goes to plan, the big move in!!! God willing and the creek don’t rise.

Yep. That’s right. We’ve got a contract pending on a home. It is way more than we could have hoped for or imagined. Close to 45th and Mopac, 5005 Highland Court is crazy…amazingly! central. I must admit, the much wished-for walking distance to UT (or UT bus route) doesn’t seem to have been fulfilled. But in every other way, this particular place fits the bill. Way more room than possibly thought, fantastic schools, a great place for the kids to play (please tell me “riding bikes and shooting hoops in edge of the cul-de-sac” != “playing in the street”), easy driving distance to UT, secluded neighborhood with lots of parking, and best-of-all an owner who would sell to us!

It took 3 heartbreaks, 4 attempts, 4 houses, and about 4 weeks to come to where we are. Memorial Day pain on Wilmes, Leralynn jilting on the June 13th, a Leralynn quandary reprise on June 20th, and 7611 Watson no-response mystery for 6 days until the acceptance of a contract on Wednesday, July 3rd, for a Highland Court residence. The Watson enigma is baffling. According to the very reputable selling agents, the sellers had been wonderful to work with and always responsive with the other 3 or 4 homes they’d flipped. The lack of response was more than curious and I’m sure frustrating to them. (The house remains “active” on the market today.) And the strange behavior of the Leralynn owner …well… let’s just say that getting out of the real estate sector (he was selling off “a number” of houses in the UT area) is definitely a wise decision.

While talking with my wonderful brother-in-law, his analysis was “wow! God has lead you to the right place regardless or in spite of or perhaps due to the hardships along the way. He really has blessed your faithfulness.” Jon’s right. We are amazingly blessed. Our performance was not grand. Our faith was even mustard-seed in size. However, I foresee blessings in greater faith in Him for future events. What adventures are yet in store for us? Only time will tell. Only faith will take us there. Only God will provide.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.