Saturday, February 9, 2019

A few milestones on the journey

[Just a warning, this post has nothing more than me rambling and being whiny.]

At twenty-one I learned that the journey is more important than the destination. I was a broke moron graduating college and feeling the restlessness of a new post-graduate life. So I hopped in my 1964 Beetle and headed to Santa Fe, New Mexico. And it was a great drive into some stark and beautiful country.

When I arrived in Santa Fe. I found lots of beauty and wonders, but mostly I found my restlessness and loneliness magnified. I don't know if I've ever felt emptier. Before leaving there, I wrote the line Motion is the only virtue left to August. Heading back to Lubbock at 80 miles per hour in a 60 mile per hour car was a tremendous relief.

A decade ago, I met a newborn. A few months later my mother adopted him. That's how I ended up with a little brother forty years my junior.

As he's grown up, it becomes more and more obvious that his brain views the world differently than most of us. He has autism (and a handful of things that go hand in hand with that diagnosis.) He is intellectually brilliant, hyperactive, and seems to view all people as one-dimensional. In layman's terms, he's an unaware genius and we are paper dolls in his world.

Watching him grow up has made me question most (if not all) of my beliefs. As he grows older, his needs eclipse the needs of those around him. As we've sought help for him, we've learned that Texas is one of the worst states in our country for kids needing mental health care. At this time we are desperately seeking a better life for him and finding little hope.

Trying to create a better life for him has eclipsed a lot of who I normally aspire to be.

About six years ago, this blog was born. And it was a shocking thing for me. I grew up a gearhead in a West Texas oilfield town. I grew up loving all things that required wheels and gasoline. So, the leap from that to a guy who had come to realize that we were selfishly destroying life on earth so that we could have styrofoam convenience and better parking, well, let's just say it was a huge reversal. But pursuing a cleaner and (hopefully) less selfish life and encouraging others to do the same has always felt right. I have loved being the Mesquite Hugger, but there's been little time for that lately and time devoted to it means sacrifice in more important areas, so there's not much to see here.

A little less than two decades ago, I fell in love with a wonderful woman and came to know Christ. In Jesus, I find a savior and a role model. In Jesus I find a reason to care for all people and all life. In Jesus I find a call to non-selfish, non-judgmental stewardship. In striving to be Christ-like I find a destination worthy of a journey. I have also found a lot of generous-hearted people striving for the same.

[All the while, I struggle with being labeled a "Christian" when there are so many prominent Christians espousing judgmentalism, elitism, and condemnation. Ugh!]

At the end of the day, I thank you for taking time to read this blog. I hope that whatever roles you find yourself in, you can find find joy in seeking better for all.

May your destination be more worthwhile than your journey.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Giving Tuesday 2018 - Mesquite Hugger Faves

I started this post a week ago and planned all kinds of great stuff, but here it is Giving Tuesday, and I'm just putting it out there:

Local

In honor of Patience, Permaguard, Fred, Bitsy, Sasha, Nick, and (of course) Condo, please consider a donation to A Place for Us Greyhounds - local greyhound adoption group.

 
My favorite thing to come out of the Florida Mid-Term elections was that people of Florida overwhelmingly voted to end greyhound racing in that state. As the tracks shut down, there will be a large number of hounds up for adoption. They are amazing creatures, and each one I've known has stolen my heart. If you have any inclination to get a pet/new family member, please consider one of these loving and quirky beasts.
 
Open Door Lubbock (Formerly The Carpenter's Church)
 
If you're local and you have a heart for helping the homeless rise out of homelessness, this group is accomplishing amazing things here in Lubbock.

Photos from the recent South Plains Wildlife Rehab Center Open House
 
My favorite place in Lubbock is the SPWRC. When they have an open house, I absolutely geek out and can't wait to see what they're up to and who they are rehabbing back to a life in the wild. This place rocks!

 
At the risk of sounding like a crotchety old dude, one place our society really sucks is in preparing young people to face the reality of being adults. And that problem is multiplied a hundredfold for kids who've grown up in the foster system. Sondra's Song is dedicated to helping foster kids as they "age out" get thrust out into the world. 



Not-So-Local
 

 
If you're like me and believe that a bicycle can be a powerful tool for change, then check WBR out. The difference they are able to make with something so simple is astounding.
 
 
 
Please find someone in the world who is working to make the world a better place, and support them!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Not quite Black (Dog) Friday this year...

...but still a great day!

Our Black Friday tradition the last few years has been to take the dogs to Caprock Canyons State Park for a hike. This year, though, we didn't have a whole day free, and my wife had to work in the morning. So I went for plan B - a morning mountain bike ride at Mae Simmons.

The parking lot was empty. My kind of Black Friday!

The prairie dogs were out in force - my kind of Black Friday crowds!

They had a lot to say about the guy on the bike.

Keep looking where you're going - not where you are.

Yep, the old commuter bike's not scared to go offroad.

As a bike dork who spends most of his bike time on the street, it's been a lot of fun to ride something challenging. It's nice to push my limits - in coordination, strength, and fear.  I was able to ride all of the downhill stuff well enough. I walked the bike up about half of the uphill stuff. As much as I love the electric bike on the street, I'm happy not to have an electric mountain bike. The hill climbing gives me something to work for. 

The morning's ride - a little under 4 miles

Picked up a big thorn - but the air stayed in!

The moral of this story, you don't have to go far to have an outdoor adventure, to avoid the Black Friday shoppers, and to burn off some of those potatoes and pumpkin pie!

May you get outside and enjoy the world while not breaking the bank account. 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Mesquite Hugger Election Day Coverage 11-2018

Snowy Egret - Love all the shore birds!


Red-eared sliders

So nice to have a getaway vehicle
 



 
These photos were taken about 7pm just as the polls were closing in Texas.
 
May you find natural beauty nearby (and fight like hell to protect it!)
 
As always, thank you, friends!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Two More Lubbock Skies

This morning

A week ago
 
Mid-term elections are tomorrow. Please vote to protect natural beauty and the ability for all of us to continue living and breathing.
 
May you know peace and joy today.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Random Lubbock pics in a time of minimal blogging

The riding lately has been more recreation and therapy than transportation. With that said, there are better pics to share.

Clapp Park 1

Clapp Park 2

Clapp Park 3


Clapp Park 4: Chevy Bolt in the wild!

Clapp Park 5

Mae Simmons

Mae Simmons (Where the sidewalk ends)
 
Mae Simmons - poor picture of a great hawk sighting

A napping common poorwill at the Drug Emporium

At first, I thought dusty rag.
 
Raven at the SPWRC open house

A great event

JP flying
 
Thanks for hanging out! May you tread lightly, deliberately, and joyfully.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Notes from the back room - a little break

It's a great morning.

a few nights ago

I'm on a streak - eleven straight days of riding a bike. Last night my wife and I took a ride on rain-damp streets. We don't get out like that enough these days. There was a bit of racing - she won, but so did I. I heard her laugh. I saw mischief in her eyes.

Anonymous coffeehouse art

We've been getting rain lately, nice slow rains. Last night I read the opening pages of The Grapes of Wrath. The way Steinbeck builds the drought - a slow but powerful build and something we've seen around here enough in recent years. So every rain is a relief and a gift to be savoured. (And it's always good to be reading Steinbeck.)

More anonymous coffeehouse art

Life ain't easy, not for any of us. But it's sure nice to have days when the the joys outweigh the stress and the mundane drudgery of chores and jobs and obligations. Lord, it's nice to count the blessings.

May you know peace and joy today - no matter when you read this.