Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy 25th Anniversary!

Anniversary Photos 2
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
So, we have started out as innocent, earnest CCM-loving young adult conservative Christians who were crazy in love and here we are, 25 years later, perhaps less innocent, less fond of CCM, not quite so young and not nearly so conservative, but still crazy in love.

We have traveled a long ways and we have managed to do it together. We have had such a blessed life. So few challenges, so many wonderful gifts have fallen into our laps. Although I have a predilection for getting lost just for the fun of it, in our travels together, we have stayed together and it has been so impossibly easy.

Thank you, Donna, for loving me. Thank you for putting up with my arrogance and idiosyncracies. Thank you for giving us Jordan Seth and Sarah Grace (although they may have been Jackson Green Trabue and Sojourner Truth Trabue if it had been up to me - I'm sure they're thankful to you for putting a stop to that) - what beautiful children! What a joy they have been to our life together.

For all of this perfect, grace-filled, loving life together, I can only say that I hope the next 75 years of our life together are half as wonderful as the first 25.

I love you, Donna Beth Helton Trabue.

I think I have from that first day I saw you playing volleyball with your Arlington High School tshirt and your sweet, fun smile.

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart.

Trabue Engagement

Trabue Engagement
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Gravitation can't be held responsible for people falling in love.

~Albert Einstein

What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork.

~Pearl Bailey

Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.

~Franklin Jones

Friday, May 28, 2010

Beady May 27

Beady May 27
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Our children (Jordan, turning 19 in a few days, and Sarah, 14) have been friends with two other kids, also 19 and 14, for over 14 years now. Our good friends Robert and Cindy have been raising their children right alongside us for all of the younger siblings' lives.

Last fall, Jordan and Dylan - the two older kids - began playing music together and they gelled into a group known as Beady about the end of last year. They've added the two younger sibs over the last couple of months to most of their songs.

I can't tell you how cool it is to have kids playing music that you personally enjoy as much as we enjoy their music. Of course, if they were playing rock or rap or maybe even opera, we'd still enjoy it as best we could and we'd still be proud of them, but they happen to be playing and writing the sort of music that we just naturally love and that has been such a thrill.

Last night, they had their biggest concert so far, playing before some bigger "names" - Paul Baribeau and Andrew Jackson Jihad. Paul Baribeau actually makes an appearance on the Juno soundtrack, so that was pretty fun for them to play last night with these other groups.

They have been pretty prolific with their song-writing. Below, you can find a link to three of their latest songs being worked on. It's a rough recording that is a little hard to see and hear, but it gives you an idea.

We could ask for no greater anniversary gift than to have our kids doing just what they're doing.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Donna and Dan

Donna and Dan
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Sometimes our life reminds me
of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing
and in that opening a house,
an orchard and garden,
comfortable shades, and flowers
red and yellow in the sun, a pattern
made in the light for the light to return to.
The forest is mostly dark, its ways
to be made anew day after day, the dark
richer than the light and more blessed,
provided we stay brave
enough to keep on going in.

Excerpt from The Country of Marriage, by Wendell Berry

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Donna and Dan

Donna and Dan
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Madonna of the Evening Flowers
Amy Lowell

All day long I have been working
Now I am tired.
I call: "Where are you?"
But there is only the oak tree rustling in the wind.
The house is very quiet,
The sun shines in on your books,
On your scissors and thimble just put down,
But you are not there.
Suddenly I am lonely:
Where are you?
I go about searching.

Then I see you,
Standing under a spire of pale blue larkspur,
With a basket of roses on your arm.
You are cool, like silver,
And you smile...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Modest Proposal - Embrace Responsibiliity

While I'm still enjoying a month of reflecting upon and rejoicing about my 25th anniversary with my sweet wife, I am going to interrupt the pleasantries once more just to voice outrage once again about this Gulf oil disaster and to propose a solution.

Of course, every reasonable person knows there will be no "fixing" this, there IS no solution to resolve this problem other than probably hundreds of years of the earth healing itself. Still, that does not stop us from trying to find ways of lessening the damage - environmentally and economically. The problem is, that's going to cost. A LOT. More than BP can or will pay.

And so, my modest proposal:

IF you ever gleefully said, "Drill, Baby, Drill," OR

IF you ever voted for someone who gleefully said, "Drill, Baby, Drill,"

[and thus advocated irresponsible offshore drilling]

THEN, it is time to step up and take personal and societal responsibility. IF you truly believed off-shore drilling was the answer and, as it turns out, you were wrong precisely because of disasters like this (and this isn't the first and won't be the last, if we continue), then I will expect you to take some personal responsibility.

Of course, there is no price able to fix this problem, but let's just say, $100 billion* for starters - to deal with the environmental degradation and the economic impact for millions of innocent bystanders. As it turns out, nearly 60 million of you voted for "drill, baby, drill" this last presidential election and so, if each of you would kindly send the Gulf Cleanup Fund a check for $1,600, that would be a starting step in taking responsibility for your actions.

Of course, there may be others who also advocated "drill, baby, drill" who DIDN'T vote for McPalin this last election. I'll expect you to take responsibility, too, and write your check.

If you don't have $16,000 ready today, by all means, go ahead and write a check for the first $8,000 and go ahead and begin selling your houses and cars or whatever is necessary to take responsibility for your position.

Ms Palin, since you were SUCH a big advocate of this, feel free to forward ALL your receipts from your book sells to the fund. You, too, Limbaugh, Savage, Beck, etc.

Thank you very much.


Of course, I'm just venting a bit on the obvious targets perhaps most responsible for this disaster. However, in truth, we are nearly ALL part of the problem to some degree. We ALL like our gas cheap and our cars plentiful. I know I certainly bear some guilt in this disaster by my choices.

I will probably be looking at this more deeply when I'm past my month of Anniversary celebration.

In the meantime, Lord, have mercy on us all.

* Back on May 3, BP was estimating it would spend $12 billion on clean up, but I suspect that figure is 1. Way too low and 2. Does not factor in all the costs (lost income for all those who depend upon tourism for a living, lost income who feed those tourists, who supply the hotels/motels/condos/cabins, etc, lost income for those who fish for a living, the societal costs to those who will lose their homes due to lost income, etc, etc. This disaster will, sadly, have an on-going and impossible to pay cost.

Also, as noted here, the costs of "clean up" will likely be dwarfed by the cost to the Gulf region in terms of jobs and tax dollars.

The costs related to the spill will far surpass the clean up costs. The impacted coastline produces tens of billions in state revenues from tourism, the Washington Post reports.

Final costs remain to be seen. I'd like one relatively pristine Gulf ecosystem, please. What is that price?

Donna and Dan

Donna and Dan 1
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
A wife is the joy of a man's heart.

~ Talmud

My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.

~Winston Churchill

The man who says his wife can't take a joke, forgets that she took him...

~ Oscar Wilde

Monday, May 24, 2010

Donna and Dan -2

Originally uploaded by paynehollow
One week left. Next week is our 25th anniversary.

For the past 24-ish weeks, I've been posting a poem, a memory, a story - and lots of photos - from our history together. Sometimes, you just do some things for yourself, but thanks for any who've been following our story with us...

Over and Over Again

You sometimes ask me
Would I do it all over again?

Would I really want to live our life over again?
Just as it's been
With heads worn raw from hanging drywall ceilings on our own
And stepping through the bathroom floor
Into the damp cellar below...

Would I want to be pulled over by the cops again
For driving while playing a dulcimer?

Would I want to hike in the rain with a
Cold sad child
Clinging and shivering?

Or camp in a storm
Getting stuck in the mud
Bone-tired and chilled?

Would I really want to
learn all that music together again?
Mandolin and banjo
Guitar and dulcimer
Singing harmonies with you all over again?

If I had the choice
Would I choose to hear the music again
in cheap concert halls
And cry at the sound of a raw homeless voice
moaning and mumbling?

Would I trade a thousand dirty diapers
Shared with you
And vacations with beautiful screaming children -
Sometimes not even our own?

Would I give up Christmases with your
Strong confident mother and sweet, sweet father
Hearing stories of softball games and
tap dances on the porch and bucking mules
and fences built with love for his daughter
So she could have an unridden horse?

Would I give up ten thousand kisses
Soft and perfect
Would I give up one million stars
And dozens of full moons
Would I give up all the sand on the beaches
Rolling under the surf
And walks through the forest
And secret bird symphonies
And the curve of the small of your back
And a thousand sunsets warm on my face
And the way you fit perfectly into my arms?

If I had the chance, you ask,
would I do it all over again?

And I honestly don't know
What else I could possibly do differently
That could make my life any more perfect
Than it is today.

Of course, I would.

Over and over again.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

1996 First Family Portrait

Having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational act that two people in love can commit.

~Bill Cosby

If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it. I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle.

~Vincent van Gogh

Father asked us what was God's noblest work. Anna said men, but I said babies. Men are often bad, but babies never are.

~Louisa May Alcott

Saturday, May 22, 2010

1994-ish Snazzy Jordan

1994-ish Snazzy Jordan
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable.


Boys are beyond the range of anybody's sure understanding, at least when they are between the ages of 18 months and 90 years.

~James Thurber

There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life that he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.

~Mark Twain

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bike to Work Day!

Jordan Cyclist
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Right at ten years ago (maybe 10 1/2), our family became a one car family and I began biking most places I go by myself. A couple of years ago, I mostly gave up the biking and started walking most places I go solo.

For our family, this has been a money saver, to be sure (the average two car family in the US spends something like $3,000-6,000/year for that extra car). It also has been a way to be a bit healthier (I lost at least twenty pounds that first year and, while I haven't lost any further, I haven't gained any back, either) and a great deal of fun.

I've started walking not because I had any problems with biking, but because - as much as I enjoy biking, I enjoy walking even more.

Today in Louisville it's our annual Bike to Work Day celebration and, in honor of that, I thought I'd re-post one of my favorite blog entries. As a matter of laziness, I've not included the links, but you can read the story WITH links here...

On the actual Cost of Cars...

Owning a car cost (on average) $7,823 per a year in 2007 according to AAA. That's figuring in gas, repairs, insurance, car costs, etc.

This is up from $6,890/year on average (according to this article back in 2004). Wow. Costs are rising quickly.

Here's a website that calculates your personal expenses - telling you how much you're paying a month for the privilege of owning a car and how much you'd be saving if you didn't have a car:

(This site includes the little factoid that, if I did NOT own a car and invested that savings instead - beginning at the age of 25 - that I could have saved $1 million + by retirement age. Or I could easily pay for my children to go to college.)

According to that last website, my wife and I are spending a little under $7,000/year for our car.

Let me go ahead and say $7,000 for the purpose of my following illustration.

Now, if we work 250 days (5 day workweek x 50 weeks) a year, that means we're paying $28/work day for owning a car (7000/250). That means, if you make $9/hour, you have to work 3 hours every day to pay for that car. if you make $14/hour, you're working 1 1/2 hours to pay for it.

I bring this up because I want to make the case for walking/biking/busing places instead of driving. Some people look at me and say, "You're spending 1 1/2 walking to work and back home! That's great if you can work it out, but how do you have the time to do so??!!"

The answer is, because I'm not working 1 1/2-2 hours to pay for a car. In fact, by the time you figure that if I drove, I'd be spending 1/2 hour to get to and from work, then I'm coming out with at least 1/2 hour MORE free time than the person in my situation who drives. More still, if that person also later drives to a gym (where they pay MORE money) to exercise.

Want a million dollars? Want to pay for your kids' college? Want to SAVE time?

Sell that car. Or, at least consider it. It's not the time saver you might think it is. And for folk working at minimum wage (where paying for a car might take closer to HALF your workday!!), give it a serious consideration.

[UPDATE: I found this interesting site where you can enter the details of your car to get a "True cost to own" estimate that seems pretty reasonable. So, for instance, if you were looking at a 2005 Toyota Matrix, it figures in financing costs, taxes, fuel, depreciation, etc and lets you know that it is estimated to cost about $5,000/year for the first five years you owned it (fluctuating up and down slightly each year), for a total cost of ~$25,000 for a five year period. Interesting resource.]

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

East Coast Trabues

East Coast Trabues
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
This photo was taken in 1996, the year that our Sarah was born and the year my grandmother Hazel passed away. Hazel was perhaps my favorite grandparent, although she was probably the most... difficult one to live with. I understand (now, as an adult) that she could be a little bit of a complainer and whiner, but mostly, to me as a child and a teenager, she was just the funny lady who made me brown sugar toasts and Pepsi floats, the one who did crossword puzzles with me.

Sarah never got to know her, of course, but Jordan spent some time with her and got to know his "Great Great" as he called his great grandmother. I think for him, as with me when I was younger, she was just that sweet older great grandparent who liked to see him smile.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chasing a wild hair

Chasing a wild hair
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Here's Sarah on our 2003 trip to the beach at South Carolina, I believe. We were on a pier in the evening, getting ready to eat at a beachfront restaurant and the wind was blowing like crazy.

When I was a boy, I scared the pants off of my mom,
Climbed what I could climb upon
And I don't know how I survived,
I guess I knew the tricks that all boys knew.

And you can walk me home, but I was a boy, too.

I was a kid that you would like, just a small boy on her bike
Riding topless, yeah, I never cared who saw.
My neighbor come outside to say, "Get your shirt,"
I said "No way, it's the last time I'm not breaking any law."

And now I'm in this clothing store, and the signs say less is more
More that's tight means more to see, more for them, not more for me
That can't help me climb a tree in ten seconds flat...

But I am not forgetting...that I was a boy too

And like the woods where I would creep, it's a secret I can keep
Except when I'm tired, 'cept when I'm being caught off guard
And I've had a lonesome awful day, the conversation finds its way
To catching fire-flies out in the backyard.

And so I tell the man I'm with about the other life I lived
And I say, "Now you're top gun, I have lost and you have won"
And he says, "Oh no, no, can't you see

When I was a girl, my mom and I we always talked
And I picked flowers everywhere that I walked.
And I could always cry, now even when I'm alone I seldom do
And I have lost some kindness
But I was a girl, too.
And you were just like me, and I was just like you."

Excerpts from "When I Was a Boy," by Dar Williams

Monday, May 17, 2010

Donna and Dan - 3

Sarah: 1999 and 2009
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Another post in the countdown to Dan and Donna's 25th anniversary this coming June, which I began back in December. It is my plan to post a story, remembrance and/or poem once a week for 25 weeks leading to the big date, which will soon be here...

We had a baby shower for Sarah as one of our last acts of fellowship at Baptist Tabernacle. She was born in April of 1996 and we joined Jeff St that summer. It has always been her blessed community.

I was wrapping up school, then, finishing my degree in middle school special education (I graduated in December 2006 and began my brief teaching career soon thereafter). Thanks to working on the college newspaper the first couple of years in school and especially thanks to some of my teachers, I had begun writing a bit. Poetry and essays, mostly. I found out how much I enjoyed writing. Here are two of my early poems, written to our beloved Sarah Grace...


there is music and poetry in her
a grace, a gift
saying simply that "you're acting silly,
and her easy joy is given kindly
to me.

her fingers wrap't around mine

Her fingers wrap't around mine
for the first time tonight
impossibly small
improbably strong
and soon she's asleep
breathing softly on her mother.

Her fingers wrap't around mine
asking with her tired eyes
"Daddy please stay
just a short while"
and soon I'm asleep
breathing softly on her head.

Her fingers wrap't around mine
these fingers so smooth
touched by clouds
touch my soul
and soon I'm crying
breathing joy on her head.

Her fingers wrap't around mine
and for the first time she is
able to hold my whole hand
growing up
growing up
and I don't want to ever
let her go.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Christmas Trabues

Christmas Trabues 5
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Here we are, gathered around our Christmas tree two years ago with our good ol' dog, Howie, who doesn't know how to look at the camera and smile.

Time was with most of us, when Christmas Day, encircling all our limited world like a magic ring, left nothing out for us to miss or seek; bound together all our home enjoyments, affections, and hopes; grouped everything and everyone round the Christ

~Charles Dickens

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Riley Sarah Sara hiking at Laurel Falls

Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.

~Tennessee Williams

The proper office of a friend is to side with you when you are in the wrong. Nearly anybody will side with you when you are in the right.

~Mark Twain

Friday, May 14, 2010

Jordan and his Beady band-mate

Beady 1
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
The latest fun thing in our kids' lives is that Jordan has started a band, Beady, and Sarah is playing with them often. Here are some lyrics from Jordan's songs...

Arianna, my angel. Arianna, please
Sometimes I think it's your warmth that brings colors to the leaves
Sometimes I think that only your eyes can always see the truth
The sky must be flattered when you are feeling blue...

If I could collect every laugh you've ever made and write them all down
I would compile it all in a book and read it to you out loud
Whenever your skies were gray and whenever your night was dark
Whenever you needed some tape for the pieces of your heart
Cus I don't where I'll go and I don't know what I'll do
But I know when I stand next to you the flowers start to bloom...

You are the April showers falling down on my head
You are the soil beneath my roots made up of all the dead
you are my sunshine and you are my clouds
I promise to stand with you until they cut me down

From "April Showers," by Jordan Trabue

I promise to be as gentle as the branches of the mountain pass
and the centuries in the ground from the flowing streams
I promise to be as strong as the ancient mineral rocks
resting, buried just beneath our feet...

Living like a work of art, stacked just like a deck of cards
seconds before they are all knocked down
I'll head back home again, grab some paper and my pen
and try to get some sad thoughts out.

From an unnamed song that Jordan wrote about our Appalachian mountains

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sarah, Jordan and Monks

Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things.

~Tobler's First Law of Geography

What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

~Crowfoot , Blackfoot warrior and orator

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Donna and Dan - 4

Trabues and Weber Owens
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Another post in the countdown to Dan and Donna's 25th anniversary this coming June, which I began back in December. It is my plan to post a story, remembrance and/or poem once a week for 25 weeks leading to the big date, which will soon be here...

While I started at Jeff St with not much hope that it could become a church home for our family, I was won over just about immediately. The sermons were so powerful, challenging, so... CHRISTIAN that I could not help but be impressed. The music was folky and deep and sincere and Christian in a way that my old Contemporary Christian music never was, not fully. And the people, well, they were living saints of God. It was apparent from the first day.

One of the first Sundays we attended was communion Sunday. When it was time for this, the congregation gathered in a circle. Pastor Cindy had a loaf of bread (not a stack of those yucky styrofoam wafers that so many churches used!) and a cup of grape juice.

She made it clear that all were welcome there at Jeff St and invited everyone who wished to share in the cup of Life and the bread of Salvation, to please, share joyfully. And they did. The congregation, black, white, homeless, mentally ill, displaced, the children and just "regular folks" (although they are few and far between it seems) all took part.

There was a moment where I balked. "Children can't take part in the communion!" I thought to myself. "Why, why..." but it melted away, just like that.

Of course, children are invited to the communion of Christ. ALL are welcome.

Communion is not some stuffy ritual meant to separate, it is the blessed banquet to which ALL are invited. It is life-giving and real, not styrofoam and ritualistic.

And, as children danced and squirmed and imbibed in communion, I knew I had found a home. Donna, too. As we talked about Jeff St in those first few Sundays, all we could marvel at was why it had taken us so long to find such a challenging, difficult, impossible, wonderful home of such grace.

We had found a new church home, a new community.

Soon thereafter, we began meeting with yet another group interested in community - this one largely being members of Jeff St. As part of that, we were asked to write down what it was we were looking for in a community. Here's an excerpt from my answer...

I'd Like to See...

I'd like to see a row of houses,
a block in the city - two blocks, back to back
with gardens where old gray city dirt is
loved and nurtured,
mulched and composted, turned and graced
into deep black warmth.
Where mothers and neighbors, friends and children,
fathers and grandfathers
join together with God and earth and community
to raise corn, okra, potatoes and family.
Where the pride of these united individuals who
share the neighborhood
has banished all of the broken
broken glass and papers and trash.
Yet those who have broken
broken lives and no papers and trash
are received as neighbors,
loved and nurtured, turned and graced,
shared with and sharing with.
Where stories are traded and the blues and praise
ring late into the sunset
and with each passing day
the trust grows tall as sunflowers and as bright
and love roots them all to the ground.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Family Friendly...

Oak Square Girls
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Check this out.

[WARNING: when you enter your blog name and press "Rate it!" the first page you get to asks you to sign up for a dating service or something like that. You have to go to the bottom and hit "NO THANKS, take me to my results..."]

This is a fun bit of nothing-ness. I don't know why, but I found it so enjoyable that I'm posting it up here just for kicks. It's a website that will "rate" your blog, like a movie (G, PG, R, etc). It apparently has some rather odd parameters (the mere appearance of the word "abortion" or "missionary" can contribute to a more "adult" rating), but it's fun for what it's worth.

I saw this over at Brother Stan's blog Winging It, which received an R rating.

Neil over at the Eternity Matters blog got an NC-17!

And, while I got a G rating, my church's blog, Life at Jeff St got an R.

Go figure.

Have fun...

2000 Halloween

2000 Halloween
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Sarah, Jordan and lifelong pals as Buzz Lightyear, a ladybug, Harry Potter and a pirate.

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

~Howard Thurman

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

~Albert Einstein

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

1996 Family
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
I was your rebellious son,
do you remember? Sometimes
I wonder if you do remember,
so complete has your forgiveness been.

So complete has your forgiveness been
I wonder sometimes if it did not
precede my wrong, and I erred,
safe found, within your love,

prepared ahead of me...

...this, then,
is the vision of that Heaven of which
we have heard, where those who love
each other have forgiven each other,

where, for that, the leaves are green,
the light a music in the air,
and all is unentangled,
and all is undismayed.

~From To My Mother, by Wendell Berry

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Grand Canyon 2004

Vacation Time!
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
We went to a wedding in Sedona, Arizona on a long weekend in 2004 and made a too-brief visit to the Grand Canyon while we were there. It is so incredibly, powerfully beautiful there. It's on the places we'd like to visit again.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Destroy those who destroy the earth...

Okay, so I'm trying to enjoy this month leading up to our big 25th anniversary, not really trying to think about politics much, but then we have these disasters happening - I'm especially thinking about the oil spill in the Gulf.

And then I read things like, from the AP...

Petrochemical giant BP didn't file a plan to specifically handle a major oil spill from an uncontrolled blowout at its Deepwater Horizon project because the federal agency that regulates offshore rigs changed its rules two years ago to exempt certain projects in the central Gulf region, according to an Associated Press review of official records.

The Minerals Management Service, an arm of the Interior Department known for its cozy relationship with major oil companies, says it issued the rule relief because some of the industrywide mandates weren't practical for all of the exploratory and production projects operating in the Gulf region.

The blowout rule, the fact that it was lifted in April 2008 for rigs that didn't fit at least one of five conditions, and confusion about whether the BP Deepwater Horizon project was covered by the regulation, caught the attention of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar....

And this from some Wall St website...

BP... will benefit from a law passed after the Exxon Valdez incident which capped the liability for oil spills at $75 million. BP says it will still bear the costs of the clean-up which its says costs $6 million a day. But, the cap is its financial salvation. The Oil Pollution Act will save it from collateral damage and liability from the fallout of the “accident” beyond its direct costs.

The safety net of the Oil Pollution Act could be cut by Congress. Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey wants to raise the cap to $10 billion. It is too early to say how much support he will have among his peers, but it will certainly be politically popular to attack BP and other parties such as Transocean (NYSE: RIG) which were involved in the disaster...

And idiots like this (cited at

Texas Gov. Rick Perry Monday offered a stern warning against halting oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of a massive oil leak, and he raised the question of whether the explosion was an “act of God.”

“We don’t know what the event that has allowed for this massive oil to be released,” Perry said alongside several other governors on a panel Monday. “And until we know that, I hope we don’t see a knee-jerk reaction across this country that says we’re going to shut down drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, because the cost to this country will be staggering.”

Which would be EXACTLY the wrong conclusion to reach from this. Fortunately, I don't think US citizens hold Big Oil to be their god, like Perry must be thinking. I'm hoping we can learn something worthwhile from this and the recent coal mine disasters. There is no such thing as a free lunch, there is no such thing as "cheap" fossil fuels. The only way fossil fuels have APPEARED cheap so far is because we ignore actual costs and push real costs off on the environment, on our children, on future generations, on the sick and on the poor.

Lord, grant us mercy and at least a little bit of wisdom...

The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great--and for destroying those who destroy the earth.

~Revelation 11:18

Donna and Dan - 5

1996 Super Brother
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Another post in the countdown to Dan and Donna's 25th anniversary this coming June, which I began back in December. It is my plan to post a story, remembrance and/or poem once a week for 25 weeks leading to the big date. And now, now that we are down to our final 30 days to the Big Wahoo, I think I'll begin posting a photo a day from our life together...

As noted in the last post, we had already met some Jeff Streeters in our time meeting with an intentional community group. Also, when Donna was pregnant with Jordan, she found out that our current pastor, Cindy, was also pregnant with what would be Dylan.

Donna and Cindy had met ocassionally through her work as a social worker and Cindy's efforts to meet needs at Jeff St. With this new common tie, Cindy and Donna began meeting every once in a while as sort of a pregnancy support group and established a friendship.

At that time, though, we still attended Baptist Tabernacle, Donna still had her job there as a church social worker and we had no plans to move. Besides, as much as we liked many of the people we were meeting at Jeff St, they were just too liberal for our tastes. The big problem for us at that time was the whole gay thing. Jeff St was welcoming and affirming to gay folk and Donna and I were not.

We had become more comfortable with the notion of hanging out with those more liberalish than us. We had always leaned towards peacemaking and justice issues, we had a concern for the poor and a desire for simple living, we shared a concern for the environment and had an appreciation for social workers, teachers, environmentalists, Gandhi, Romero, MLK, etc. In short, at that point while we may still have at least a little identified as conservatives still, we were closet liberals and just didn't know it.

At Baptist Tabernacle, funds had begun to get tight and times had begun to get difficult. Sometime, just before Sarah Grace was born in 1996, it became clear that we could not stay at Tabernacle any longer. After having spent almost ten years there at our first real church home together, we would have to find a new church.

As I said, we were familiar with Jeff St. We had attended the Urban Goatwalker - their wonderful coffee house for the homeless, poor and mentally ill - and were impressed with that. We had begun some good friendships with a few of the people there and respected them as a church of peacemakers and saints of God.

But there was still the whole gay issue.

So, we shopped around, looking for a new church home.

Nothing fit.

Sometime, in the years leading up to this stage in our lives, I had come across a book by Art Gish. Donna and I were in Nashville, IN (an arts/crafts kind of town) and I was visiting a used book store, as I am wont to do. Back then, when I was looking for books, I almost always would go to the Christian section of the store and there in a little used bookstore in Nashville, IN, I saw, Living in Christian Community, by Art Gish.

Gish comes from the anabaptist tradition and, at the time, I knew very little about anabaptists except what I knew about the Amish, whom I respected but had no great desire to live like. But because I was still interested in living in Christian community, this book just jumped out at me.

In reading its pages, I found a home. "THIS is what I believe!" I remember saying to more than one person.

Gish describes not just the various anabaptist traditions - Mennonites, Hutterites, Amish, the Brethren - but also other faithful Christian groups who attempted to live life in a more communal way, hearkening back to the early church as described in the book of Acts. The book had a great impact upon my life.

While Donna was, at the time, more comfortable with "the liberals," there was still a part of me that held "them" at arm's length. I was glad to participate with them in rallies, in opposing war, in supporting housing for the poor, Habitat for Humanity and these sorts of efforts, but I didn't really want to belong to a "liberal" church. However, one of the things that stuck with me in Gish's book (written in the Viet Nam era) was that he identified and felt comfortable with the Jesus hippies he met. And, if Gish (whom I respected) could be comfortable with them, I guess I could give it a try.

I agreed to go to Jeff St...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Trabues at Cannon Beach 2006

Trabues at Cannon Beach
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Here we are on our one and only trip to the west coast, up in Oregon. Beautiful place to visit. We stopped at Mt St Helens on that trip, as well as visited the ocean and the temperate rain forest. Would have loved to spent more time there.

We visited Mt St Helens on a foggy, misty cool day. We went in to the theater where they do a short show about the history of the blown up mountain/volcano.

They describe the mountain and all that happened when Mt St Helens blew, talking about all the grandeur and power and beauty and tragedy and then, at the end of the video, the screen rises, the curtains behind the screen part and you're given a view of MT ST HELENS! Except, on this day at least, all we saw were clouds, so the big View was a bit anti-climatic.

Still, this trip was a beautiful, wonderful trip. Maybe we'll get back there some day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Heltons and Trabues, 1991

Heltons and Trabues
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Here we are nearly 20 years ago, with Donna's sister-in-law, brother and father, William Seth.

The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family. ~Thomas Jefferson

Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family. ~Anthony Brandt

Of course if you like your kids, if you love them from the moment they begin, you yourself begin all over again, in them, with them, and so there is something more to the world again. ~William Saroyan

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

2008 Sarahs

3 Sarahs 1
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Sarah playing some of the instruments around our house. That our kids have embraced the acoustic music that we so love has been such a delight. That they are able to introduce us to new music we haven't heard has been a fine surprise.

Monday, May 3, 2010

1995-ish Dan and Jordan hiking

1994-ish Dan Jordan 2
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
I forget where this was - a camping trip somewhere in Tennessee, I believe.

The father is always a Republican toward his son, and his mother's always a Democrat.

~Robert Frost

On the green they watched their sons
Playing till too dark to see,
As their fathers watched them once,
As my father once watched me

~Edmund Blunden

Sunday, May 2, 2010

1996 Donna Sarah Jordan

1996 Donna Sarah Jordan
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Donna and the kids, the summer Sarah was born. Sitting next to the flowers in the backyard of our first house.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Donna and Dan - 6

1986 Donna Shoveling
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Another post in the countdown to Dan and Donna's 25th anniversary this coming June, which I began back in December. It is my plan to post a story, remembrance and/or poem once a week for 25 weeks leading to the big date. And now, now that we are down to our final 30 days to the Big Wahoo, I think I'll begin posting a photo a day from our life together...

So, Jordan was born in 1991. We were attending Baptist Tabernacle near our home in the West End of Louisville. We still had people living with us for Jordan's first few years. Our "unintentional community" wasn't panning out exactly as we'd hoped, but we were still looking for community in some form.

While Donna was pregnant with Jordan - and for a while after he was born - we met with a group of folk who were talking about intentional community. Amongst these people, there were two friends who had connections to our current church, Jeff St. More on that later...

At this point - after the Reagan administration and into the Bush administration - Donna and I had both grown a bit wary of those self-identifying as "conservatives." Nonetheless, we were not exactly calling ourselves liberals, either. I'd say that Donna was the first to start thinking that the liberal tag might come closer to fitting her than the conservative - at least if Reagan was the face of conservatism. I believe at this time, I was sort of in a netherland between the two, not really identifying fully with either group.

This is one of the blessings of our life together. If either of us were as "liberal" as we are perceived to be today back when we first met each other, neither of us would have considered the other a good match (ie, we would have RUN from that flaming liberal as fast as possible!). If either of us were as "conservative" today as we were back then, we'd be in an ill-matched marriage. But instead, we've grown together over the years. What a miracle!

The year Jordan was born, I went back to college (or "started college," might be the better phrase, since my first attempt at college really didn't take at all). Donna had graduated from the Seminary in 1988 and at that time, she was working both at her current job (Volunteers of America) and as a church social worker at Baptist Tabernacle, while I did college and worked various jobs (UPS, Zip Express, woodworking at different shops).

When Jordan was born, I was still with my Christian band. Or at least the shattered remains of it. It was really down to Ed and I, by that time, although we had a sometimes lead singer named Fred. But it was clear that that time was coming to an end, after ten years in the band and community called Remembrance. There was no real falling out to speak of, we just each went our own way.

Although I sometimes joke about how bad that band was, it was in a very real way my first exposure to community. We went through a lot together and grew as people during those first ten years of our adulthood. I shall forever be thankful for that time and those fellas.

But life moves on. It was clear that I had a new community, a community of three: Donna, myself and our precious firstborn son, Jordan.