The Whistler's Dream

Everybody needs a dream...
Mine is to go to Oklahoma and play whistles for The Pioneer Woman. (Having been invited, not in a "creepy stalker" kind of way, for the record.) Heck, I'd play in a pup tent in the backyard for the joy of the cows and critters. What can I say? I'm a fan.
Everybody needs a dream...

Random Fluffy Foto!

Random Fluffy Foto!
Writing in bed, and Beka editing by ear. Really. The ear typed some letters. Really.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A conversation

This is a conversation that was rolling around in my head this morning. And yes, conversations do actually roll around in my head. Thus, when I say “that’s how I roll,” now you understand where that is coming from.

“Thank you Lord, for my new job...”



“Your temporary new job.”

“Well, duh - yeah. I know that.”

By the way - I am not, nor am I usually in the habit of saying “duh” to the One who I usually have these conversations with. Really. Bad things happen when I do.

“Your temporary new job.”

“Yeah - that. I know that, you know that, so why make a fuss about it.”

“It’s important.”

“How so?”

“Have you forgotten some of the lessons we’ve been over? The roads we’ve traveled? If so, you’ve just lost your roll your eyes at the forgetful Hebrew children lifetime pass...”


“Shall we review, my son?”


“Let’s roll that beautiful bean footage, shall we?...”

January, 2005 - Working full-time at CU Radio, specifically at His Kids Radio. Coming up on 19 years there, pretty well finally finding my “calling” and settling in there.



Let’s switch to the real version, not the idealized, rosy glasses version.

January 2005 - Although I was working full-time, thought I was settling and happy, nothing was ever settled about me. I weighed somewhere around 380, having come down from 480 through 2 medical fasts, but that new weight didn’t resolve some issues. I was still unsure, had poor self-image, and never felt that I fit anywhere. The exterior of the house was improved, but the interior filled with rot and despair. All my striving to be normal, to find balance and peace, to be at a place where I belonged was for nothing.

January 2006 - I was laid off, just short of 20 years there. Slight insanity follows for about 4 months, and lingers for years after. Vicki is married to someone who shoots up to 480 lbs, wanders through life lost, emotionally wrecked, filled with all the self-loathing and doubt that comes with this kind of path.

January 2009 - through the kindness and care of Weigh To Wellness, about 50 pounds come off. In the meantime, God reveals some of the purpose of the wrecking ball...

Remember, son, what I told you? That I wanted to rebuild you - make you new. But I would not start until the foundation was clear. I would not restore you building on the rubble of the past. It had to be bare, new, clean and ready for the work I wished to do. Everything had to go.

Why? Was it all that bad? Was it all awful, without value? Was there no good part of me?

You know better than that, son.

You’re right. I do.

January 2010 - The path comes into view, where the final walls will fall. Obedience. Place one foot on the path and watch the waters part in front of you.

March 30, 2010 -
My chains are gone, I’ve been set free...

January 2011 - A month of writing and thinking. A time to allow the dust to settle, and to see just where we’ve come from and where we’ve arrived at.

February 2011 - At just the right time, a chain in my mind falls. Where was chaos is now clarity. The middle ground is granted, balance restored.

March 2011 - Opportunities for work, in limited quantities, to at least bring our noses above the waterline, financially. And to show me that I am capable of it.

April 2011 - The temporary job.

Alright, so what did we learn?

My worth is not in what I do, but who I am in You... No “job” ever gets my heart - my heart belongs to You alone... I am Tabula Rasa, all things are new... I’ve been given so much grace, shown so much of how Your hand moves in every life, every day in huge ways, that it’s wrong to waste it in the mundane. Every day that I don’t reflect on, talk about, or point to Your grace is a day I’m not functioning as You intended.

So, want to try again?

Thank you for my temporary job. And thanks that when it ends, the path with You is just beginning.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dear Chicky...

Dear Chicken,

My. That seems so cold and formal... do you mind if I call you Chicky? No? Thanks much...

Dear Chicky,

You are gone, dispatched, shipped, cooked, packaged and now removed from my fridge for the final indignity - deboned. I truly hope that your brief life was pleasant, and that your departure from this world was humane and kind, but since I didn't know you then or have any control of that, let's move on...

As I... um... remove your non-tasty bits and place your um... tasty bits into a storage bag, I wanted to express my appreciation. I'm a post-surgical patient who depends on creatures like you and some of your feathered relatives to supply me with lots and lots of protein, so without your contribution to my life, I'd soon become malnourished, my hair would fall out, and I'd wind up taking a vacation at St. Mary's. You help prevent that, and I thank you.

In addition, I'm one of those poor souls who gags every time I try to eat Tofu, certain beans no longer work with my new physiology, and one can only swallow so many protein shakes. So again, the place you have in my day-to-day existence is important, and once again I say thanks.

The Creator who made us both and decided where our place would be on the... um... well, let's just say it, the food chain, He chose your particular rung, and He chose mine. And although at first glance that would appear to place me on a 'higher' rung than you, the truth is that with a higher rung comes more responsibility. He reminds me to be mindful, to be caring and compassionate, to be a good steward of His creation, and above all to be thankful.

So, rest assured that the portion of your existence that has come into my home will be treated with respect. The parts that are useful will be used to benefit myself, my wife, and, should some scraps fall to the floor, our dog. The non-useful parts (which is another discussion entirely) will be disposed of with proper care and dignity. (Although what happens to them after they make their way to the big blue plastic thingie is out of my control - sorry...)

Your useful parts will find their way into a number of wonderful places, such as the Ramen noodles I am presently enjoying. Indeed, they have added some wonderful flavor and texture to the noodles, for which some grain gave up its existence, as well as the most mysterious substance in our world, the bright yellow powder in the silver packet. (Oh so tasty, but I really don't want to know what that stuff is...) In a few hours, more of your tasty parts will join some Roma tomatoes and flatbread to make a lovely sandwich, anointed with that other mysterious substance, Miracle Whip, that I love so very much.

I guess the point of these random thoughts while engaged in removing the non-tasty bits from the tasty bits is this: to be mindful of God's good gifts, from the creatures, to the grain, to the mysterious substances, as He again provides what we need for this day. So, with a grateful heart and a full tummy, I thank Him. And you.


Sorry you had to hear that. It must have been the noodles - certainly not you. Really. No, really.


Alright - that was the dog. You can't pin that one on me. Nope. See? She's licking her chops. Sure sign of... um... something. Yeah.

Until we meet again, in a couple of hours, I remain,

Your friend, ever so briefly,


Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Have A Dream

I have a dream...

Now, it's nowhere near as lofty or inspiring as the most famous uttering of that phrase... Not even close, just to be clear.

And it's not a dream I would have uttered a year ago, even if it was deep within my unspoken hopes, desires, or dim aspirations.

But it's a dream. 'Lemmie 'splain...

My favorite blogger of all time, all dimensions, all alternate universes, world with out end, alleluia, amen, is P-Dub. The Pioneer Woman. Ree Drummond. She whose encrusted boots I am not worthy to clean off. She writes with the quirky kind of humor I wish I had, is an amazing photographer, actually knows how to use Photoshop to produce beautiful results, is a fabulous cook (she beat Bobby Flay in a throwdown, for corn's sake), and has a Bassett hound named Charlie who is my hero.

That last shows that I have many, many issues.

If you've never experienced the joy and mayhem that is the Pioneer Woman, surf off this very instant and find her. And if you never return, it's ok - I totally understand. Godspeed and much laughter, my friend.

Oh, the dream? Sorry - got lost in the awesomeness.

P-Dub lives on a ranch. And on this ranch is a place called The Lodge, which is a place for gathering and guests and is amazing.

So here's my dream: I get an email from her people, since getting an email from her herself would pretty much render me into a babbling pile of goo.

Which isn't that much of a change, I'll grant you. But even more so. Yeah, that bad.

Anyway, her peeps say, "Cal, we happened to hear this obscure little song from an obscure little album called 'Angelica's Waltz,' and we were surprised and shocked to find that we actually liked it, and were thinking that this sort of thing would be perfect background for a gathering we have coming up at The Lodge."

At this point, I'd be expecting the next words to be, "so we were wondering if we could play your CD at the event. Oh, and could you send us a few dozen copies to give as party favors." After all, if you turn them over, they make a great mirror. Or they work well for target practice, so who would't like a practical gift like that?

My response would be, "uhbabblegarblegookumbeeblewokawokawoka... Sure. Great. Would you like fries with that?"

But no. In my dream, the next words are, "so we were wondering if you'd be available to come to The Lodge and play at this event."

See the aforementioned reference to "goo" for my reaction.

And even if the next words were, "of course, you'll need to provide your own transportation to Oklahoma for you and your stuff, cover all your meals and other needs while you're here, and pay us a hefty fee for the privilege of playing at The Lodge. But we will graciously provide accommodation for you - a pup tent in the back with actual pups for your edification," my response would be, "ebblebeebleglorkgulpwokawokathud... Uh huh, sure, yes."

I want to play at The Lodge. Not be a guest, not take advantage of the hospitality, not intrude in any way - just to use my feeble offerings of music to enhance a gathering for someone who has enriched my life by her writing.

Now, P-Dub has no knowledge that I even exist, much less that I play whistles and thingies. I'm not on her radar in any shape or form. I don't drift in her circles, exist in her world, or anything like that. It's not that she's snooty or inaccessible - she'd laugh at the thought of it. Just that our worlds don't connect.

So what's the point? One year and 175 pounds ago, such a dream would have filled me with depression and hopelessness, something that would have caused longing and self-loathing, reminding me just how impossible the thought was and how very sick and lost I was.

But now? I could see this happening. No, I'm not having delusions of grandeur, or becoming a creepy blogger stalker. In my new life and my new body, I could imagine that if an opportunity like this came up, I'd have the strength, the confidence, and most of all the grateful heart to accept it, do it, and give God the glory for it.

And that, dear friends, is a dream with a happy ending - not the unlikely chance of playing at the Lodge, but where I realize just how far we have come and how much grace has been given, and how truly thankful I am.

I have a dream, and it's a good one...