Thank You Dad

June 15, 2014

Thank you Dad via The Stories I Meet

Thank you for taking the time to fix the inconsequential.  Knowing you would make time to fix the plastic Breyer horse with the broken leg created in us a confidence that you could help fix the big things too.

Thank you for throwing us across the pool a thousand times.

Thank you for starting the biggest splash ball wars Twain Harte Lake has ever seen.

Thank you for packing us around on hikes, spending weeks at the lake, and driving a thousand miles to all our activities.

Thank you for being frugal enough to wear your work clothes til they were literally falling off you in tatters.

Thank you for taking pride in your appearance, you’re always the best dressed man in the room.

Thank you for telling us we were pretty when we came downstairs.  That assurance from you, made us need assurance from others a whole lot less.

Thank you for also keeping us humble –Your favorite joke of glancing at us in the morning as we stumbled half asleep into the kitchen and then jumping back in horror was not appreciated.

Thank you for teaching us how to work hard.  By not expecting less from us than you would a son, you taught us to not expect less from ourselves and in doing so you taught us equality.

Thank you for teaching us to be independent and self-sufficient.  That alone has affected every aspect of our lives for the better.

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Battles & Memorials

May 26, 2014


Photo Credit: LW's Photography via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: LW’s Photography via Compfight cc

He stood there knee deep in the slow current of the river.  The sun darkening his skin, a smooth flat rock rotated rhythmically in his hands.  He didn’t look at me as I sat quietly on a sun baked boulder, feet dangling in the water.  In a deep quiet voice my friend told me a long story, a story about a bronze medal, a story about a GPS coordinate tattooed on his ribs. He told me about disobeying direct orders. About the carrying of friends, one by one up the mountain to safety.  The best friend he lost and the ones he was losing – carried them all.

And a medal for bravery can hang heavy with loss and feel nothing like a reward. And hometowns and old familiar faces can feel more foreign than any base camp and battlefield a world away.

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Dear Mom

May 11, 2014

I have the privilege of knowing some pretty neat women and their moms are every bit as much worth celebrating as the daughters.  Happy Mothers Day to these incredible women:


Dear Mom [The Stories I Meet]“I love my mom because of how she cares for me. How she’s the one person on this earth that is guaranteed to care about the minutia of my day that no one else does. I love my mom for how much we’re able to be friends as adults, and how much I desperately feel the need to get her approval -on most things. I love her for who she was to me as a child, the selfless service and things sacrificed…and I love her now for giving me an example of how to be a successful wife and mother.” – Brittney Cannizzaro
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Short Cuts

March 1, 2014

In fourth grade I learned that short cuts are rarely that, and the easy way out often leaves you with the heaviest burden. Pride very much does come before the fall; humility gets you back up again.Short Cuts // Stories I Meet

It wasn’t necessarily the fact that KoKo possessed an exceptionally tall frame, over 16 hands with a power house build. And I held no grudge against her for running away with me, and dumping my four year old self on the road. The only damage suffered that of a severely bruised bum, a testament to the fact that children bounce well at a young age.

It was actually a treat of sorts to be upon her back, she was my momma’s prized possession, and my little heart swelled with pride that she had let me ride her, with only my friend Jake for company that afternoon. I was very grown up, you see.

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Your Life Will Not Go Unnoticed

February 2, 2014


To be loved is to be seen.

There are scenes that stick with you, scenes that play with perfect clarity in your mind’s eye years later. This one came from a movie of no consequence, in a story that I don’t recall any particular attachment to—except for this scene. Susan Sarandon describes her reasons for marriage and the unspoken vows whispered at the altar—a vow that from this day forward, you will be seen.

“Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness.”

And the simplicity of it steals your breath; the power of it resonates deep within your being.

What a sweet dream it would be to hear those words fall on your ears, you who have felt altogether unseen. And you realize you’re not alone in this.

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Run The One

November 26, 2013

They ran.

Arroyo Grande Hotshot Firefighters ran Highway 1 from Half Moon bay to Morro Bay last weekend  –  some running fifty miles in a day, others running their first full marathon.  And still others biking the entire route of over 200 miles. They ran for someone else, they biked for their friend, and they made the trek for children in Africa that they have never met.


And they ran because some things can’t be beaten with a wallet alone, some things demand much more of us, some demand our time.

Because we can’t get more of it, and we can’t save it – it’s our most valuable commodity and the most powerful gift.  Money facilitates a change of situation, but time changes the innermost parts of a person.

To give it to another is to whisper something that echoes for years – “You’re worth my time” – this is what alters lives, this is what restores hope, and shines a light into the darkest places.

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The Flag

October 28, 2013

American Flag

The following comments were made in regard to a Home Décor piece written by A CUP OF JO

Kara 11:25 AM

“ugh. American flag decor? Spells conservative republican to me”

Sian 6:58 PM

“Hate it, sorry. From a British person, the flag in American homes to me says racist/republican – or slavish trend follower. The union jack in American homes says pretentious (in British homes either unimaginative or racist type again]. Both countries have done some pretty horrible things while wavng those flags.”

We can’t agree on much these days but in all my naiveté, I thought we still had that thing that united us.  That one thing that held us all together, the common ground, the smoother of the edges.  That this single truth could breach all the divides.  That the rivers of culture, history, and political trends which cut deep winding ravines throughout our country – had a bridge.  That we are all Americans.

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Carstens Fire

July 22, 2013


We ran to hook up the trailer after receiving the call.  They didn’t have enough transportation, and desperately needed help evacuating.  In the chaos of the last few days created by the raging flames consuming hundreds of acres by the day – the need to get people evacuated and livestock out of the area was immediate.

The truck crawled up the steep grade, towards Triangle Road – where the fire was reportedly heading.  We passed the fairgrounds, a riot of red engines, and green wildland vehicles, with first responders amidst them in organized urgency.  Continuing out of town the road was dotted with increasingly more fire engines, and sheriff’s deputies.

I brushed aside the lack of smoke on the horizon.  Only yesterday, we had watched an ominous plume of dark grey smoke billow towards the sky, appearing to be just over the hill from our house.  I’d seen photos from friends’ homes, where visible flames licked up everything in its path.  The presence of Dad’s fire gear, and emergency bag in the backseat, remnants of his 25 year career as a firefighter, did nothing to calm the knot in my stomach.  I wanted to help.  I wanted to do something tangible amidst all the fear, and nerves that permeated the Mariposa air. The frantic call had come from an elderly couple.  An elderly couple that had purchased my first FFA project steer back when I was in High School.  The thought of them being scared, incapable of evacuating their livestock, heightened the urgency to get there.
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