One of the houses that I grew up in was out in the country on an apple orchard.

I have great memories from this house.
I remember learning to drive a manual transmission between the apple trees. I was told not to hit any of the trees.

Hey mom and dad: thanks for the advice. I figured if I could pull that off, I’d be in a good shape.

Another was trying to learn how to drive a motorcycle; which didn’t go too well at all. I ran that Trail 90 straight into the house and knocked the two-story gutter down.
Not my best moment.

One of my favorite memories had to do with “tossing” apples. My dad used to make us get rid off all the “downed” apples before we’d mow the lawn (that way the apples wouldn’t get torn up and caught in the blades). Well, instead of just tossing them across the road into the ditch, we’d wait for cars to speed past and we’d roll those Red Delicious under their car – hoping for an explosion of applesauce.

It happened more often than not, too.

One time in particular stands out, though. Rachel (my sister) and I were in charge of getting rid of the apples and playing our normal game of applesauce when an unfortunate thing happened: Instead of rolling the apple under the car, she hit the side panel of the car as it roared past.

I was gone . . . and obviously much faster than Rachel. I looked back and she was still there. Even as the car slammed on its brakes and slammed into reverse. I called for her, but she was rooted like one our apple trees.

Funny thing is, I can’t for the life of me, remember what happened next. I don’t even know if we got in trouble later when our parents found out . . .

Oh well, the mind is a fragile thing.

One of the most fun things I can remember doing was ice sledding with my grandma Hall. One winter night – we already had a ton of snow – we got freezing rain . . . for hours. When I woke up in the morning to a Snow Day I was extremely happy. The only problem was that my mom told me it was too icy to go anywhere . . . the roads were covered in the dreaded black ice.

You can imagine my surprise when my grandma rolls in about 30 minutes later and wants to go sledding. The top layer of ice/snow was so thick, that as we walked (rather, skated) to the sledding hill behind our house, we didn’t break through the crust.

I remember hopping on my circle sled and going forever.
I mean, I was sledding uphill at one point. It was that icy.
and that awesome.

Another great thing about this house was that we had a great garden. It was full of green beans, cukes, squash, tomatoes, beets and even grapes. Oh yeah, and we lived on an apple orchard and had three varieties of apples whenever we wanted them. We had macs (my favorite), spies, and red delicious (still my least favorite type of apple).

It was a little bit like Utopia or Shagri-La.

And then, for some inexplicable reason, we moved.
the end.

Life is all about who you know.

I love repaying favors.  I love repaying favors for a couple different reasons: #1 – getting to repay a favor means you were dealt a favor in the first place and therefore it’s a good way to say thanks.  #2 – It’s better to give than to receive.  I’ve known this since I was very young.

But it’s also good to know that most people perform favors for each other with no thought of getting “paid back”.

Mankind is interesting in that way.  We go about life in such a way that we need this much money to pay the bills and buy groceries and gas, etc.  But we don’t think twice about a favor for a friend.  At least, a lot of my life is consumed with “where the money is coming from”.    But favors are a different animal, aren’t they?

Anyway, I was just thinking on a favor that someone hooked me up with today and realized I’m very excited to help them out in the future – even if they don’t ask!

until next time.

Reinvesting is a topic on my mind, lately.  A friend of mine was driving down Coal Avenue for the first time in a long while this past week.  She used to work downtown and at some point she stopped noticing the vacant buildings that clutter Coal Avenue.  But this past week when she was cruising down Coal, her eyes were opened.  I think this is how it is for many of us who work downtown.  We just stop seeing what we don’t want to see – which is a plethora of empty storefronts amongst some really great businesses.

I have no idea what needs to happen with the City, the BID (Business Improvement District), building owners and with any other entity/person that has a stake in downtown development.  What I do know (beyond a shadow of a doubt) is that something needs to happen.  And I am not unaware that things tend to move slowly when so many people/entities are involved. But I also recognize that we need to start.

Like most of mankind, I am a very impatient person.  I detest meetings where nothing is accomplished.  I cannot stand people talking to hear their own voice.  I don’t appreciate my time being wasted.  These are things that we can all agree on, right?

I want so badly for something to happen for downtown.  Something huge that will completely change the landscape down there . . . but I will settle for one idea, one simple idea.  Maybe it’s not an earth-shattering or groundbreaking one – but it’s a start.

We really do need to stop talking a simple idea to death.

Let’s begin to revitalize downtown Gallup.

And for those of you that have less invested in downtown, please feel free to walk around down there.  It’s always good to see a new face in one of the MANY GREAT PLACES TO SHOP AND EAT.

I’ll tell you what, there are some phases of life that can get a bit out of control.  All of us have jobs and work is one of the reasons that I can sometimes feel stressed out.

This is not a new realization for anyone.  I think we can all recognize that we get stressed at certain times – in certain phases of life.

I was out skiing the other night with a very good friend and it hit me that I am only as busy as I want to be.

I have a friend that uses work as a crutch more than anyone I’ve ever met.  What I mean is, this friend can’t do anything outside of work because she is too tired from the day itself.

She has closed off everything due to work.  No more parties, no more game night, no more late-night skiing, no more weekend sports, etc, etc, etc.

It’s not that I’m trying to judge – although, man, it sounds like it.  I’m trying to justify why I sometimes go home at 2pm on a Friday to sit and read.  I’m trying to justify why I loaf around the house some mornings and don’t get to the office until 10am.  Now, of course, as long as my work is complete, my hourly work week shouldn’t factor in, right?

But here’s the deal.  It doesn’t feel that way.

I could do so much more.  I could hunt down more ads and more side work (away from the magazine).  I could network more evenings per week or join more organizations.  I could better my business by working more and more hours.   But at what point does the law of diminishing returns kick in?  At what point am I using my own business/networking as a crutch.  At what point am I overdoing it?

Nobody cares.  Nobody that I know wants to hear how much I’ve done this week.  They don’t want to hear me brag about the countless hours I’ve spent on the job.  Everyone works and everyone works differently.  At the same time, they probably don’t want to hear that I took off at one pm yesterday to catch a movie (while they were working).  I actually didn’t, but I was tempted!

I guess what I’m rambling about today is that I wonder why I feel like I’m n0t living up to my potential when I’m not always at work.  You know, when I don’t just wake up, eat, work, get home, sleep and repeat.

Why do I feel like I always need to be working to be fulfilled?  I think it’s partly just the American Way of Life – which is great.  You work more to get more and sometimes it really is that easy.  And, of course, this means you get more money.  But sometimes all I want is more time.  I don’t necessarily want to work more to get more money.  Sometimes I just want to work and then go home early.  Sometimes I just want to hang with Tana and Joel.  Sometimes I just want to go skiing or hiking.  Sometimes I just want to lay down.  Sometimes I just don’t want to be working.

I’m not sure where the breaking point is on the law of diminishing returns.  What I do know – beyond a shadow of a doubt – is that I don’t want to end up like Scrooge and Jacob Marley.

I want to live my life and if that means cutting back on work – so be it.

I’ve never really thought work was what life was all about, anyway.

Of course, this could just be a phase, too.  Cause work is about to get really busy.

Anyway, until next time.

i was just sitting here thinking about how wonderful my family is.

I’ve always liked how watches look on other people’s wrists.

i can’t pull them off, though.  i’ve tried on lots of different styles, shapes, colors, sizes and nothing looks good on my puny little wrists.

i’m not sure why i got stuck with puny little wrists, but i did.

i think big and chunky watches look the coolest – but these, of course, look massive on me.

i only wear a watch to run.  i like to be able to see my progress (or lack of).

maybe i should get one that hangs from a carabiner on my belt loop?

we sold the tin bean.

chuck is loading it up this morning to bring to ABQ . . . it’s sad in a way.

in another way, it’s great to be rid of it.

it was a bit of a headache just thinking about it . . . and chuck was forever working on it – something about the cold, cold weather out here.

now that this phase of our life is complete, it’s time to find another.

i’ll let you know what that phase is, once it’s been found.

So Bill finished getting my cross country skis put together and I think I’m ready to get out there for a little ski.

I’m going to be playing volleyball this evening, though and I don’t want to be too tired for that, either.

Maybe just a little ski . . . nothing too long, just to get my feet wet, as it were.

Here I go, wish me luck.

i was thinking this morning about jobs and lives.

you know, it’s amazing to see so many cars on the road at all times.  everyone with a place to go.

wow.  and this is in just one city, on one road.  imagine that this is happening everywhere in gallup – on every road.

imagine that this is happening (people driving somewhere) everywhere in new mexico.

everywhere in the u.s.a.

everywhere on the continent.

everywhere in the world.

it’s crazy . . . we’re all going somewhere.  we’re all doing something.

we all have lives.

and yet, we’re all stuck in our own lives.  so often, we just stick with our routine.

we drive to work, we work, we drive home, we sleep . . . we eat in between, etc.  but we sort of stick to the same old stuff.

i’m not sure if this is necessarily a bad thing.  it’s just what we do.

anyway, something to think about today.

peace out

i haven’t written for months . . . and for that,  i apologize.

i could trot out some tired excuse, but i’ve been lazy – i dont’ think that counts for a tired excuse, right?

all is going well over at the magazine.  we’re trying to do some expansion, which isn’t going as smoothly as one might hope.  but we’re hanging in there.  we’ll find out on monday (i hope) if we can move forward . . . cryptic, eh?

we have some other potential jobs in the works, too  – which would be huge for us; we’ve just got to make them happen.

we live in a really gorgeous place.  i’m looking out the kitchen window at the hogback behind our home and wondering why i don’t hike up there more often.  acutally, i haven’t even hiked up it since we moved in.

how does that happen?

oh yeah, i get super-lazy.

i’d rather read a book or watch “how i met your mother”.

hmm, and now it’s so snowy i’d probably slide right off the edge once i got up there.

no matter, i’m working on a new plan to exercise more often (which starts today).  i have some old x-country skis in the garage and today we’re heading to ABQ after church to get some bindings and boots to slap on those old (and i mean old) skis.  i’ve been hearing the forest has three or four feet of perfect skiing snow . . . i need that.

hopefully it will be really fun.

anyway, enough of this ramble-fest . . . it’s time for some coffee and a shower.

peace out homies