Wednesday, May 26, 2010

16 Years and Counting...

This past Saturday was our 16th wedding anniversary. He spent it in South Bend, Indiana, attending two conferences (one on, erm... open theism, I think, and the other celebrating Alvin Plantinga). I spent it here in Alabama, madly painting the bathroom and building new vanity doors and sewing a new shade.

Something to ponder - why do I always take on a huge project when he goes out of town?

So we are in the process of purchasing him a new vehicle. Our 2000 Focus became an organ donor after the wreck (no one was hurt, and that is a Good Thing), and now we're looking for a early 2000s Ford Ranger to replace it. And yes, I've already named it.... "Strider". ::grin:: Anyway, since we're paying cash for the truck, I didn't want us to spend money on fancy gifts. So I got the philosopher a salad spinner. Nerdy, you say? OF COURSE!

But I digress. He actually spent nearly 14 hours in a car on Sunday, driving home. He didn't have to do that - he had an offer of a place to sleep at about halfway. But he wanted to be home, and I am Very Glad. That was the best present he could've given me. (Well, that, and he's promised to cook some tasty meals in the next few days!) Actually, what's even better is that he returned from his weeklong trip renergized, mentally recharged, and ready to get back to work on The Book.

Sometimes the care and feeding of a moody philosopher can be tricky, especially when their batteries are drained. So this past week was really a blessing for both of us, even if it meant we'd be apart on May 22. And even though we're still in a place of uncertainty in our lives, and where we should be, and what *exactly* we should be doing, right now All is Well.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cracking me up (and speaking boldly)

OK, I live in Alabama. And I'm sure y'all have heard the many jokes about Alabama, and its backwardness and redneckness and... well. Yeah. (For example: "Hey, we're Alabama - at least we're not as bad as Mississippi!" and the Application to Live in Alabama)

Well, Alabama's in the news again, and it's not about the Gulf oil spill. Apparently several candidates running for office in the June primaries have caught the attention of some "big names" and bloggers out there. Like Tim James (on Bill O'Reilly). And Rick Barber. And then there's Dale Peterson (interviewed by Glenn Beck, no less). I mean really, who even KNEW that Alabama elects its Agriculture Commissioner? Amazing.

Now, I have friends and family on both sides of the political spectrum, and this isn't meant as a slam on either side. But my goodness, if all our politicians spoke forthrightly about the issues and what they *actually* believe, do you think there would be as much craziness in DC right now? Do you think we'd all still be thinking "will those folks we elected actually look after *our* interests, like they're supposed to?" Would we be wondering "what does that Senator actually believe", and "what does that Congressman actually want for our country"?

So whether or not you vehemently agree (or disagree) with Mr. Peterson or Mr. James or Mr. Barber, at least give them props for speaking boldly and letting us voters know what they *really* think!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Another Hiking Adventure

This weekend we trekked back to Cheaha State Park for an eight-mile loop hike. We started at the Cheaha Trailhead and took the Cave Creek Trail south to the Pinhoti Trail connector, then came back to the trailhead via the Pinhoti. It was a glorious day, a bit windy, but beautiful nonetheless. What's really cool is that we've hiked from a southern trailhead north to the same connector, so bit by bit we're visiting entire trails!

We had lunch at McDill Point, an absolutely stunning overlook about a quarter mile off the main trail. And even more interesting, there are the remains of a plane crash there. Being the librarian, of course I wanted to know the details. Surprisingly enough, there have been at least a dozen crashes that have happened near Cheaha since the 1940s. There was one in 1991, one in 1986, one in 1967... and the list keeps going. After researching on the NTSB site with the small bits of info I had, I believe this (2003) is the crash. It's in the right place (near Hernandez Peak) and it's a two-seater. So, my prayers go out to the families of the two men who lost their lives. I took a photo of the debris, but I don't think I'll post it... and actually, I'm surprised that the park left the debris on the mountainside. There's a forest road not too far away, and what's left is mostly aluminum.

Anyway, back to our hike. Here are some photos from McDill Point...

There was a pair of hawks riding the thermals just below us, and that was amazing to watch. We hiked the Pinhoti part of the trail back last November, and the difference in the landscape is something to behold. Six months ago it was barren rock and leafless trees, and this weekend it was lush with spring flowers and all kinds of green undergrowth. My favorite is by far the many, many sassafras saplings. You can't transplant them worth a darn (and I speak from personal experience), but they smell So Good!

I'm hoping for at least one more spring-like weekend, because once summer rolls around in Alabama, it's just too hot and humid to hike!