Rick and Monique

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Welcome Mr. Jackson

Well, I really don't have much to write about except that we just loved the opportunity to provide respite care for foster parents this past weekend. We had Jackson in our home and he was delightful and I was never so happy to wake up at 3 a.m. The three of us played and we went to stores together, Mom and Dad Huizinga were able to enjoy his company for a little while and of course, as mentioned above, we were privileged to provide 3 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. feedings!

I know it was only Friday to Sunday before we had to give him back. His foster parents are hoping to adopt young master Jackson, and we pray this can happen. Now don't get all dramatic, I'm not feigning parenthood or anything like that, but, we felt so happy being three of us for awhile.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Heroes and Roads

On the road part deus.

I wish I had the ability to learn math. I take that back, I wish I had the gall to tell myself to shut-up long enough to listen. I wish I understood gravity, and I wish that I knew the principles of trigonometry. I wish I understood why my spine did what it did and I wish that my knowledge could help someone who needed answers. I wish that I knew how to propel rockets into space or build drills that find the depths of mines. I wish I could find my falsetto back and I wish I could sit with my dad at a table and understand the words that shaped his profession. I admire a man or a woman who dedicates him or herself to one thing such as respiratory medicine.

I've not seen such a life. My road marked with pot-holes defined by a sometimes bad temper, laziness, addictions and lack of many things. I thought I'd learned how to recognize my limitations and I suppose all our roads are marked with them. I became my limitations.

I always knew I couldn't build a house or a road. I knew they'd have to be built for me. But I also knew that I had the world at my finger tips if only I could find myself to dedicate my life to its fruit. I've learned It's alright to spend my life trying to please someone else, but eventually I must make a decision for myself and my family. I could've played piano way-back-when...piano seems like a lost art amongst men. I could've pursued publishing or television. It seems I could've striven for responsibility long ago.

Now I'm here. I've preached, I've taught, I've learned how to play guitar. I've counseled and I've given advice. I've learned how to read a bank statement, I've learned about real estate, learned how to write and learned how to negotiate. I've learned to talk over the phone and I've learned how to resolutely make decisions for my family. Lots of people became my mentors and teachers along the way.

My point--I've seen all your lives in tid-bits along the way and you've seen mine. I love life that way because I'm sure you've watched me work as often as I've watched you. I'm not sorry I've failed in front of you. I am sorry for the days and years I hid from you.

The things is, I'm me and what I've done might have patched up a pot-hole for you along the road. I know you've saved me from a few. There are great scientists and teachers and workers. The smell of the first rocket that sailed into the heavens rings in the memory of the folks who lived in that day. There are those with a dream and others who ask what they can do for their country. There are great businessmen of whom I've talked about and read. I've met a few of them. Maybe they're knowledge has put us where we are today with Heartland Stores. I met a bonafide star of television and stage the other day. His legacy lies in some books and his actions might have changed the course of history. But he or they are not my heroes...building blocks maybe, but not heroes. I've got my parent's love for words, my dad's hard but patient head. I've got my mom's love for English and poetry and I've got my grandfather's sense of honor and my grandmother's sense of humor. I've got my mom's love for singing and my dad's love for the guitar. I know in whose shadow I've tread until I created my own shadow. And In lieu of my own little ones are those who've needed my shadow for one reason or the next. And I know with whom I am cleft and I am incandescently in love with Her.

Maybe I could've been the one who passed on skills like being an organist to the next generation. I've turned into the guy who simply walks a broken road and whose God has allowed others to watch and learn. I'm glad about that. Because we watch and learn, we gather together and we worship the God who paves roads. We get to watch those on stage playing and singing and we get to be glad for them. We get to watch teachers and cooks and secretaries and preachers and financiers. We get to watch servers and mechanics and we get to watch janitors and builders and cleaners. We're all so afraid of tootin' our own horns, but I'm not afraid to toot mine. My trumpet is pointed towards heaven as my knees are solidly fixed to earth. Some of my notes have been sour but my true heroes forgive them and encourage me to play again, as I've sometimes forgiven another's sour note and encouraged them.

I'm not afraid to toot my own horn because I'm not an island and I'm playing along side my wife ringing bells and singing purely, beside a clarinet and a guitar and a drum and I'm playing beside violins and organs and all those who are tootin' something meant for them. Together we make an orchestra and it makes traveling the road through the narrow gate really loud...but amazingly beautiful.

Roads and those who walk them.

Life is a race and we're always training. My training hasn't looked the same as yours maybe. But I train. My heroes...I don't really have any. But I know who's blood runs through my veins and I know who's name I shall never seek to disparage. And I know who's breath passed into them and who said it was Good. And I know who's Sabbath rest we now lie in.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Write IT DOWN! The road ain't goin away

I've been contemplating life the last few weeks. I find it's better to contemplate life without complicating life...I mean without complicating life by trying to write it down. So, time paid a visit and I let it through the door. It was easier to leave the pen in the glass-turned-pen holder. The grand experiment was to let life happen without working so hard to try and describe it; Like identifying every day sounds without trying to interpret them.

We've experienced a bitter cold winter and yet just a few days ago I opened up my window simply to remind myself that I can breath cold air also and live. A bunch of us connected the Missouri to the Mississippi this summer...a few spokes connected two great bodies of water, much like two great countries who've agreed not to run eachother over. Rubbers and Spokes...Rubbers have often stopped the progression of mankind (hee hee), but not this time. You know what I learned about roads? Gravel kicks up dust and asphalt cracks into holes, but sure as shit they'll get you somewhere. You may feel lost, but stick with the road, you'll get somewhere. I heard it in a movie..."I'm just a four-letter man with a problem to fix." Do we wait for someone else to cover the pot-holes before we drive over them? Tires go flat...get a spare.

I breathed in cold air and went off to some meeting so I could say I ran a company that day. I looked up and the road keeps goin ...crap. We had to help a friend out of a little jam not long ago. It was a bit less of a jam than the Samaritan on the side of the road but it was a jam, so we got him the heck out of Dodge for the weekend. He's attained quite a lot of wealth for a man under 30 yrs. old, so we rented a van, he bought a flat screen plasma T.V. and an adapter and power converter, we hooked it up in the van and the girls drove while he and sometimes I played video games the entire trip. If that's how a friend gets another friend out of a jam, I'm feeling awfully generous! Just kidding, they are two people that are very dear to us and we were more than happy to work this out with him. The road is still wide open...but not wide hopefully. I took my wife out on Valentine's morning...there were no star-crossed lovers out for breakfast on Valentine's day. Just me and her and I felt renewed in the morning. Another friend's daughter has a lot of problems and she writes about how grateful she is to be interrupted by this or that because interruptions remind her to breathe. Monique helped her through a few moments and I sent her a couple of poems, hopefully she breathed and the color on her face turned from blue-ish to fleshy again. She's had a couple similar things happen to her lately. She lost a baby. I know how she feels and isn't that a good thing that someone knows? It is. Another couple had a baby in their home, feeling great about their new adoption, until the birth father dashed their hopes and dreams. But then, they get up in the morning, like we did.

I look up and the road keeps going, much like this paragraph, which by it's design mirrors the road. I suppose I came up to forks in the road or T-intersections but I forgot to notice...if you have any t-intersection stories, let me know them, I'll listen. It would've been good if I'd been observant of my own.

And so God let me try and run and company again today and then, with all my fanagaling (how in the sam-hill do you spell fanagaling?), Rob sold us a Fundraiser! I fanagaled, he sold. I love that life is that way. He fanagaled too of course. Yahoo! Man is that a good thing. I'm so excited about Heartland Stores I can hardly stand it. In some ways one closes their eyes wondering when the next shoe will drop. I've learned to try and figure out what kind of shoe was dropping. It's always one with a little silver lining in it (for instance a van-turned-theater!) and I'm stoked about that. I opened the window and breathed in some damn cold air again. Looked up, saw more road, decided to stop right in the middle of it, no stop signs, no red-lights, and write it down. So here it is. I love the open road and I've decided that I love to write about what I see on the road...the road leads to God's throne, pot-holes and all and It's worth writing about. Right?