Monday, October 29, 2007

FEAR- Rerun

The Fear That Lies Beneath the Bed

I know everyone has experienced it, some time or another. The irrational fear of going into the basement, entering a dark room, or walking through a grove of trees at night- especially at this time of the year when all the leaves are gone and there are just sticks and spooky shadows. For whatever reason, we just know something is watching us, stalking us, and at any moment- when we least expect it- is ready to grab us from behind and drag us away.

Generations of kids- and sometimes not so kids- have lived in fear of what lies beneath the bed. They are in terror of leaving a foot too close, too long next to the edge of the bed. I admit it, I have always been afraid of that brief moment after my foot hits the floor and I start to stand up. "Is there anything under the bed?" Just to be on the safe side, I always offer a quick prayer as I put space between myself and the edge of the bed.

It happened on one of those nights when everyone is asleep and you're there still wide awake...feeling thirsty. I wanted to get a drink of water, but that would mean I would have to get out of bed...and it's dark. I was a prisoner of my own irrational fear.

No!!! Enough is enough! I decided to prove to myself (and to all of humanity) that this fear of something being under the bed is completely unfounded! It'’s not like I had never seen beneath the bed before. All previous inspections had turned up not one demon, not one monster, not even one bad guy! I would symbolically, and actually, put my foot down once and for all and not be afraid. I was not going to pray for protection either! I was going to be the grown man that I was and just do it!"

I flung my covers off with authority and in a mighty gesture I took my small step for man- giant leap for mankind and planted my foot squarely on the floor. My other foot majestically took the spot right next to the first as my body swung around to an upright sitting position. I sat there for a moment as if I was King of a newly conquered world. And then it happened.

In a wink of an eye, my foot was grabbed from the dark underbelly of the bed. I gasped for air, felt my blood run cold and I could feel my whole body swell with fear. After all those years of waiting for me to blink, to let down my guard, something had grabbed me, caught me- like a fly in a spider's web! My own arrogance had lead me to this demise. "Do I dare look?"”, I thought. Of course, I have to look!

I looked down at my feet and there, with a firm grip was my worst fear. An arm, a skeleton arm, partially clad in a dark robe sleeve protruding out from under the bed, it's bony fingers securely wrapped around my ankle. I was stunned, injected by the venom of fear. I couldn't think. I couldn't scream for help. I had already screwed myself on the praying thing. I began to accept my doom.

I felt the grip of the hand tighten as it started to pull back as if to pull me under the bed. I didn't move. The arm pulled again, this time a bit more forceful and with a jerk. I still didn't move. A light turned on in my head! It had waited too long! What started out as a scrawny 6-year-old boy was now a "too-much-for-skeleton-demon" 240-pound man- definitely not to be dominated by bone and robe!

I kicked my leg up as hard as I could and could barely contain my smile when I heard his bony head clunk against the bed rails. I laughed as I did it several more times. This was fun now! I felt his grip loosen, so I quickly reached down and grabbed the arm that had held me bound and yanked that so-called demon out from under the bed. And then I saw what I believe no one else has ever seen before...I saw fear in the face of fear!

I laughed in its face- "HA!" and let it go. It and his black robe began disappearing...Nay! Running...Nay! Fleeing into the darkness.

What exactly was I supposed to glean from this moment? I am not entirely sure, but I know I learned a couple of things, four things actually.

First: Sometimes, as in the case of my skeleton friend, you can wait too long for some things.

Second: Sometimes, as in my case, good thing do come to those who wait.

Third: Size does matter.

And Fourth and the probably the ultimate lesson: THERE WAS SOMETHING UNDER THE BED!!!!!!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Is the Lake "Half-Summer" or "Half-Winter"?

The late afternoon walk at the lake produced a half frozen lake, snow bound trails, and no people. It was a sign that our walks at 9000 feet are soon to be over and winter is set to take full control.
It was also one of the most enjoyable walks I have had at the lake.

Thank you Marci, for a beautiful afternoon.


I guess beavers have their last minute things-to-do before winter as well.
I have to cover the cooler, rake leaves and prune the trees. They have trees to cut and... well whatever they do with the trees!

Dam Trees

A bunch of trees that have been "damned".

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Feast or Famine

It’s funny when you get into the right mood and the ideas flood your mind like water down a canyon when the dam breaks. So much, so fast, that seems almost a waste only to disappear as quickly as it showed up. Everything I see sparks a possible column, Blog entry, speech segment, book, or article. And then there are times like today.

Life was going on great and then boom! One thing happens and it weighs on your mind like a wet blanket, suffocating all other thoughts and ideas. It causes our mind to stick on a cycle of emotions: hurt, anger, pride, sadness, despair, vulnerability. The world, although trying to cheer you up, seems to be powerless to change the mood, alter your thoughts, or inspire to reach back to that high experienced just shortly ago.

The only hope, really, is that as quickly as the “down” cycle began so can the “up” cycle. Today I pray it starts soon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Walter Bagehot Said...

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Big 1-0

Happy Birthday Riah!!

Better Left To Chance

It’s always shocking the first morning that there is snow on the lawn.

I had actually heard the forecast the day before warning us. I had felt the cool air as the storm blew in during the afternoon. I had seen the snow pellets mixed within the raindrops as the storm began to hit. Yet for some reason, as I looked out the window on Sunday morning, the inch of white on the lawn still surprised me.

I do this a lot, but not just with the first snow but with a lot of different things. I can be told its coming or happening, see all the warning signs as it approaches, and then go “OMG!” when it happens.

Am I really that dumb? Or am I just that faithless. I would worry more about it but I think there are many who are equally faithless. They, just like me, don‘t believe anything will ever happen until it does. That’s the definition of a true conservative right. Someone who believes nothing should ever be done for the first time.

Luckily, life does not wait for the unbelievers to believe before it decides to act.
Life just moves forward. It waits for no one, no event, or no declaration of readiness. It just moves forward.

And luckily it does. Life would be dull and uneventful if it actually waited for us to be ready. If everything only happened because we wanted it to or were ready to accept it or thought it was a good idea, I doubt that life would be worth living at all.

I may be faithless but it keeps my life exciting.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Down But Not Out

Last night I watched the Boston Redsox win the American League Championship Series after trailing 3 games to one. It was a great comeback, and in most cases it would be their biggest comeback but for the Redsox, that distinction came in the 2004 play-offs.
In 2004, the Redsox came back from a 3-0 deficit and it was against, no less, the Yankees. Not just the rival of the Redsox, but the Evil Empire itself. It was like the Forest moon of Endor all over again!

This time is was a measly 3-1 deficit. Highly unlikely, but not thought of impossible. That is what I think is the miracle.

It used to be that once a team got down 2-0 in a series, it was considered over. History does not record a lot of 2-0 survivors, but enough not to dash all hopes. But 3-0 or 3-1? Fans are normally sucking down bullets at that point. But Boston has shown that it does not need to be that way.

And what about the National League Champions, the Colorado Rockies? They swept though their two series 3-0 and 4-0, but theirs is a story of seemingly insurmountable odds. They had to win like 14 of their last 15 games of the regular season just to make it to a one game play-off for the wildcard spot. In that game they were down by two runs in the 13th inning and yet found a way to win. They may have earned themselves a couple of series sweeps since that time, but they are comeback kids nonetheless!

This year’s baseball play-offs are the example that will be used for years as the “never give up” season. The season Writers and Speakers will write and talk about for years. Especially if one of these teams get way out ahead and the other one comes back. As a writer and a speaker, I am watching this storyline with much interest!

“Sorry honey. I have to watch this game, I’m working.”