Friday, June 20, 2008

News from around the countryside

It's time for a catch-up session, just to recap the many powerful events that have been going on here in northwest Ohio...

It's a time of growth and renewal, outside as well as inside. The corn here has benefited from the periodic rains (much less than in other Midwest states!) so it actually looks half-way decent here. Chris (who whimpered all through January and February, "Will there ever, ever be anything green here again?") has been marveling at the green-going-amber waves of wheat, the corn shooting up out of the ground, and the soybeans growing across the main road from the condo. Spring has been much kinder to northwest Ohio - to the point where we actually could USE some rain, here.

Chris is still working 5 days at the hotel/insane-asylum, and then Sunday afternoons at the hobby shop. Even so, we managed to get away to Muncie, IN for the day to see the Saturday session of the outdoor remote-control Extreme Flight Championships (XFC) at the headquarters of the Academy of Model Aeronautics. Their 1,000-acre facility is designed perfectly for model aircraft flight and competition. People from around the US and across the world (Germany, Spain, Mexico, Israel) homed-in on Muncie to see some great modeling and great flying. We had to double-back that night - Chris had to work Friday until 6, and then get back to his other job Sunday at noon - but the drive was worth it.

We also got to prove it - Michigan actually IS a third-world nation. All you have to do is look at their roads. Having gone up to Ann Arbor (cultural jewel of Michigan, home to a supposedly world-class university) and the area around Brighton, it only took 83 miles of US-23 to prove that we had entered third-world status. Of course, the fact that we were riding in a '96 F150 didn't help things either - but our trip two weeks later to the Red Bull Air Races in Detroit cemented the image (pardon the pun).

By comparison, the drive west through Ohio on the Turnpike to I-69 south to Muncie was an almost-pothole-free dream - smooth sailing for 170 miles or so. Where the heck is all of Michigan's road money going? People say to me, "But Michigan has always been that way," but they can't be getting any less road-money from the Feds than other states are... whose noses is all that cash going up?...

Chris went with me today to his first "real" AA meeting - the well-known "Raab Road Group" open discussion meeting outside Swanton, OH. We had lunch with my sponsor and his wife beforehand - it was the first time Brooke had met Chris - and it was a good time. And Chris got to see a classic AA meeting (there are people there from 2 days to 50-plus years of sobriety regularly attending), and he came away with a much better understanding of alcoholism and AA in general. I'm just so grateful that he took the time to use some overtime from earlier in the week and go into work a half-hour later so he could go with me. That says a lot.

I've had a couple nibbles on books I'm trying to sell on eBay and/or on Amazon. So far, it's pennies - I'm sure I'm probably ahead ten or fifteen dollars, after paying for shipping - but it's worth it to get these out of my hair. I need to reclaim my bedroom, and so whatever isn't sold by the end of the month is probably going to the local Lutheran church or the library. (I am one of those people who just can't bring themselves to throw out books.) If you want a list of what I'm trying to get rid of, I will send them to you for the cost to ship them...the primary goal is to get them a good home.

Next Friday, I will probably be presiding over my last official DeMolay event - the district Court of Chevaliers for two young men who should be named today as our newest recipients of the Degree of Chevalier. The award is given for outstanding service to the Order of DeMolay, a group of which I've been a member and advisor since the mid-70's. I gave up the job of chapter advisor a bit over a month ago, and though it's not been overly comfortable, I think it's the right thing. I was driving 200 miles round-trip to do much less of a job than the guy who was living right there in town, and it just made sense. Perhaps I will be an advisor again someday, but at this point in my life, it's just not what I'm called to do. I'm blessed to be able to preside at the ceremony this next Friday, though.

And Chris and I will celebrate his six-month anniversary as an Ohioan and nine months as boyfriends (though "partners" is closer to it, these days). I'm truly blessed to have him in my life - words don't even begin to describe how blessed I am. I'm sure we will have some challenging moments in the days and months to come. But that's the blessing of living "one day at a time" - the evil and blessings of each day are sufficient, to be honest.

There's lots more to write about -
- how the oil companies have finally tipped their hands about Iraq
- why I wish we could stop blowing crap up, and start rebuilding
- wondering how to pray for a gay man in the military going to Iraq
- considering the voices suggesting "lap-band" surgery for me
- why I'm both excited and not excited about Pride month, and
- an upcoming blogging anniversary.

For now, though, "th-th-th-that's all, folks!"


Black Pete said...

2 questions, Steve man: what is DeMolay, and what books are you selling?

Im A Foto Nut said...

Dude, Lap Band is awesome. My son's principle had it done and she has lost so much weight she looks like a different person. I think this may be the answer for you. I will pray for God to give you discernment on this matter.

BentonQuest said...

Steve! You were that close and did not call!! We were in Detroit for Motor City Pride when the Red Bull Races were and we are only 40 miles or so from Ann Arbor.

Michael said...

Okay, the lap-band thing? I don't know anyone with experience, strength and hope to share (like Im a foto nut), but maybe desperate times call for desperate measures. If you have covered all the other bases -- as you know, I lost 100 pounds when a long-undiagnosed thyroid problem was properly treated -- then at least talk to your doctor. I do have experience, strength and hope to share about how my life changed dramatically for the better when I found myself 100 pounds lighter -- and sober! What a treat! So if this is what it takes to get your weight down, I know that the benefits will go far beyond looking better.

As for when does a boyfriend become a partner, that's an interesting point. We actually talked about whether the shift had happened -- it already had -- but we don't have an actual anniversary. (We have a date-around-which.) One sign I found somehwere: When you leave messages on his phone that just start out, "Hi, it's me."

Word verification: ohofxe -- successful weight loss program