life is precious...

The air is balmy, sticky like a hanging fly catcher. The sun is crashing down and when it hits the skin you can feel a physical pressure like someone laying their hands on your shoulders. But it rained last night, so it's like a huge greenhouse of growth. The garden is just about growing in front of my very eyes.

I golfed with my dad today. We golf maybe once a year if we're lucky, and today was one of the best times. The clouds covered over us like an umbrella this morning, making it bearable. We both shot pretty well for as much as we hit the links. The conversation was refreshing and relaxed. I love being with my dad doing almost anything at this point. It doesn't have to be anything in particular, it's just awesome to enjoy quality time together. He's going to be 60 this coming year. His body isn't what it used to be. His arm is going numb and his neck has what he describes as a pinched nerve. He has a disease that is breaking down his liver and along with that, stealing strength and vitality that gives you the pizzaz to live well each day. He's the pastor of a little church in Fulton, N.Y., and he and my mom pour into that congregation with everything they've got. It seems like every day since we've been here, they have recieved multiple calls each days from people with needs. They graciously set aside whatever it is they're doing and assist if only with a listening ear. Some of these people are what I would call, "Inordinately needy" meaning "social outcasts" meaning "the world's crazies", others are just congregants needy a shoulder to cry on or a ear to bend. My parents have always been overly compassionate to people ever one else snubs or dehumanizes. I stand humbled by their tireless love for the least of these. I hope I can be more like that as the years unfold.

We ate a dinner last night that was to die for. Chiskabobs marinated in "Speedy" sauce accompanied with corn on the cob that was just picked and my mom's famous salad covered in home-made Italian dressing. I ate until my stomach ached. We then consumed an ice-cream cake for Taylor's birthday from Friendly's restaurant. It was a feast for the ages, the likes of which gets recorded on my blog for posterity. As the night went on and we watched the Yankees win another game, the house filled with the smell of blackberry pie. The blackberries were just picked and the aroma filled the house with an intoxicating smell that would make your taste buds bow down and weep like a school girl. Heidi watched a chick flick with my mom and I high-fived with my dad as the Yankees kicked the cans of the Canucs from the north, the Toronto Blue Jays.

I finished the night by tuning into ESPN and watching Barry Bonds hit the record home run to break Hank Aaron's record. I just so happened to turn it on just before he crushed it into the cheap seats. I'm not a big Barry fan, but there was something special about seeing that historical hit live. I just felt God shining down upon me in that moment.

Heidi is out shopping by herself right now and tonight we're going out with my childhood best friend. We're going to an Italian restaurant that is second to none. As if I haven't eaten enough in the last few days, I'm going to continue to gorge my body until it begs for mercy. What are vacations for if not for indulging a little more that normal. And this is a vacation that will be filled with just that, abnormal indulgences.

Stay tuned for more juicy tid bits from my vacation...


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