Friday, April 29, 2005

I See You!

I See You!
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

Red State Blues

Soon after the Iraq Invasion began, I added an 8” x 12” piece of plywood to the back of my bicycle, to serve as a bumper. I then proceeded to post bumper stickers with regularity. Most were in the STOP BUSH vein.

On occasion, I have to go out of town for work and when I do so, I rent a car from this place not far from where I live and work. Four of the times when I've rented a car, I left my bicycle chained to the inside of the rental company's fence.

Each time that I've done so, some Patriotic 'Merican has felt it his civic duty to unceremoniously rip off my STOP BUSH! bumper sticker and, each time, I've replaced it with another.

I had to rent a car again two days ago and this time, after parking my bicycle inside the fence as normal and getting in the rental car and taking off, I stealthily returned with my camera and began a stake-out, so I could capture the red-stater red-handed, thinking I could blackmail him into making a sizable donation to the Democratic Party, Sierra Club or some similar penance.

But alas, after an exhaustive 45 minute stakeout, I had better things to do and sadly had to give up the hunt.

Still, I wish I could have been there when he returned (as he did) and ripped off the bumper sticker (as he did) only to find that I had painted STOP BUSH directly on my plywood bumper and all his ripping was in vain. I noticed, too that he had found my note taped between the bumper sticker and the painted message.

SHAME ON YOU! Now go, and sin no more.


You reckon he will?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Chasing a wild hair

Chasing a wild hair
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

Green fills my dreams

I could write an outraged posit on the state of religion today. I could fume about Washington's plans for Venezuela. I could mourn the ongoing death in Iraq.

But I think, at least for the day, I will rejoice in the green that has overtaken our city. What was gray and pregnant with anticipation two weeks ago has burst forth in vibrant jade leafery. Life has had its way and I'm pleasantly taken aback at its verdant ferociousness.

I rejoice also in my wonderful children who are growing forth as well. My son is a young man with wild, fantastic dreams about what he might one day do. My daughter has a strength that won't be denied and I smile at just the thought of these two.

My wife and I are coming up on twenty years of life and love together! What have I done to deserve such a blessed life? One of my old friends who hadn't seen me in a while commented not long ago that I seem to be heavy-laden with worry about this earth and its violence, and he chastised me a bit. Perhaps a criticism somewhat deserved, but then I also think: If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.

But aside from that, I don't really live my life in a state of constant outrage, despite what this blog might suggest. I've the best family anyone could hope to have. I have friends that would run a mile for me (no small feat when you and your friends have reached our age). I've a faith community that is loving and challenging and all things good that a church should be. I've got all of creation at my door, just waiting. My life has been graced by frequent joy and deep hilarity.

Thank you, thank you all.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

War...What is it good for?

Abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolph is gladly going to jail, sure that the murders he committed were righteous because he had killed for a just cause.

The 9/11 terrorists went to their deaths with joy, content in the knowledge that the ensuing slaughter was a strike against the Great Satan.

George W. Bush proudly calls himself The War President and is willing to see tens of thousands of lives snuffed out, burned and maimed because it's a necessary price to pay in the fight against terrorism.

What do these people have in common? The belief that, if the cause is just, using deadly violence is justified and even a good thing.

In the end it comes down to this:

Will we do nothing? That's what the pro-war crowd says about Peacemakers.

Or will we oppose evil with evil? That's their solution.

Or will we oppose evil with a just defense?

I believe we can do better than war.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Despairing Garden Angel

Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

It's that time again...

garden dreams

I have dreams of having a garden

unfortunately I have a

black thumb

And as I age, I try to grow greener

but never grow more than

a crumb

or two of corn or a

rather small helping

of peas

I talk to my plants - I do! - and I

pray to God,


won't you bless my potatoes or

do something with them?"

I say.

"Lord, Help this garden to

grow a gardener someday."

Monday, April 11, 2005

A Grizzly Dog in the Forest

A Grizzly Dog in the Forest
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

Cat Trabue

I've been experiencing some picture posting troubles, so I'm going to go ahead and post an entry and get pics back in when I work out the difficulties. And so now, a cat adventure in two Acts.

Last night as I was getting Jordan to bed in his third floor bedroom, I looked out the window into the black night beyond and was startled to see a pair of eyes staring in from outside this third story window!

After a brief scare, I realized that it was one of our stupid cats, Beady. Jordan's window was up to enjoy the night breeze and the cat must have loosened the latch that kept the screen shut and walked out on to the 8" ledge. Of course, once outside, the screen shut and he couldn't get it back open to get in.

When I approached, he was nervously trying to paw it open, but as soon as it opened a crack, it would cause him to back up precariously towards the edge. After thinking a few seconds (should I leave him out there and experience some natural consequences?), I tried carefully opening the screen in order to grab the cat. I had the same trouble the cat did, though. As soon as I opened it a bit, it pushed him towards the edge.

The ledge on the third floor extends beyond the window, over towards another third floor window, but also gets much narrower. I tried to urge the cat to scoot over briefly to the narrower ledge so I could open the window but he wasn't cooperating.

So, I went to the other window, which is about four feet away from the window where the cat stood. There I was at 10pm halfway leaning out a third story window trying to reach the stupid cat who brilliantly backed away from me. Once, he let me grab the scruff of his neck, but as soon as I put any pressure to see if I could safely lift him (without both of us crashing down into the bushes below), he started squirming and backing away, so I let him go.

Finally, I decide that it was serious enough that I run downstairs and fetch a knife. I then cut open the screen so he could safely just walk back in to Jordan's room. I held the screen open and said, "Come on in stupid cat." He declined.

Instead he backed away from me...over the edge! Jordan and I looked at each other and our guts sort of went Whoomp!

Not knowing what else to do, I peered nervously out the window AND THERE WAS THE STUPID CAT ON THE SECOND STORY WINDOW LEDGE outside of Sarah's room, where Donna was still putting Sarah to bed!!

Jordan and I ran down the stairs to see Donna and Sarah staring at us, wondering what in the world was going on (they told me later they were just getting quiet when the heard a Whoomp! followed by a meek, meow?). Donna quickly saw what was outside the window and opened Sarah's window (where there is no screen) and let him in.


He seems fine.

This is the same cat that has fallen from our second floor landing to the first and the same cat that was so sick right after we brought him in that he nearly died.

I'd say he's used up about three of his lives (not counting me wanting to kill him for needlessly cutting open a screen window).

Stupid cat.

Well, here's to happy landings.

Three Bold Adventurers

Three Bold Adventurers
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

Sunday, April 3, 2005

The Lengthening Days

We travelled this weekend to Donna's parents' home in western Kentucky. The trees along the way were largely leafless, but budding with great promise.

The dogwoods, redbuds and other flowering trees have begun their annual show, though and made for a pleasant enough drive. We also saw a few redtailed hawks and redwinged blackbirds and our first cardinals of the spring.

Yesterday, Sarah, her twin cousins (who are her age) and I hiked along the stream that runs behind the farm at Granny and Papaw Helton's. Because the field has yet to be plowed or planted, it made for easier access to the stream than is the case for much of the year. Not knowing the name of the stream, we named it Adsano Creek, taking the first two letters of each of their names.

We also named Shiny Rock Beach, Trillium Hill, Snake Bend, The Not-So-Grand Canyon and the Trabelton Forest (after their last names), along with pretty much anything else that looked like it ought to have a name. Perhaps most importantly, we located a likely camping site for later in the year, when it's warmer and drier, although Sarah's aunt assures me that, while the twins may have made plans to camp during the light of day, they will likely have a change of heart come sunset on Camp Day.

We'll have to wait and see.