Monday, July 2, 2012


Pardon me... this is only a test! I have not been able to post up lately, so if this works... I will talk to you all later! God Bless you, Stickman

Friday, May 11, 2012

Trail Days in Damascus and Sensory Overload

Hello everyone!

A special shout-out to Johnny "Four-Iron" Male! Johnny was so kind to invite me along on his trip to Trail Days at Damascus this month, but alas... I can't quite swing it! I had approval from my workplace, the go-ahead from my wife, Cari, and a free ride with Johnny... but just couldn't do it.

Work is picking up, with the promise of more hours, and I need to be realistic in regards to my financial situation. My "recent" (10/21/11) quadruple bypass surgery put a damper on my plans for this year, but, Lord willing, next year will be a bit more to my liking. I suspect that when Gods' plans supercede my plans, great things will happen!

At any rate, "Thank You!", Johnny... and I hope you have a fantastic time down there in Virginia. Hope the weather holds out for you, too, so you can get a couple of good days hiking in.

The weather... not so great lately. I'll be the first to agree that we needed some rain... but, come on now!?! There is, however, always something to be appreciated, regardless of the weather, in spite of the weather, or because of the weather. I am trying to get more exercise as of late, and have taken to poking around with a metal detector.

(If it seems that I just "stepped off trail", I might have... but stay with me, anyway.)

So... I took a stroll up into the woods, figuring to metal detect an old Boy Scout camp area. It had been raining, now reduced to a light drizzle, and my walk in was refreshing! The terrain and "feel" of the short hike was not unlike some of the Appalachian Trail that I had enjoyed. I was slowly being transported to the Trail, my detector transforming into a hiking stick! I suspect that I could have chucked a stone a mere ten times, and hit my truck, which was parked at the access... but it seemed that I had put in a good days' hiking. I was getting close to camp, and passed by a privy. It was a beauty! Certainly another wonderful variation of the vast array of privies that one might find on the AT. I was really starting to get in the groove!!! Hey, there we are! Boy Scout Camp! But, boy oh boy, it had the feel of an AT shelter! There was the firepit... being the first to arrive, I would take great pleasure in having a toasty campfire burning, to kindle the spirits of the other hikers, when they began to arrive. Visually, it was hard to take in my surroundings as reality. It "seemed" to be an AT rest stop! ...then the smell found it's way to the brain. Yes, this place smelled like it was supposed to! I looked it over real well... but I couldn't find a shelter log in which to leave an entry. I went to the picnic table, resting from the day, and thinking that I might want to filter some water before it got late. Sure would be nice to have a cup of hot Ramen noodles with a bunch of dehydrated veggies tossed in... then do up a coffee to enjoy while cozied in the sleeping bag. ... ...

Realizing that it was getting dark and raining steadily, I came out of my "AT experience" and started back downtrail... but, I can assure you, I will be back!

Hope all your days are sunny, even in the rain!

May God Bless your path with the proper amount of rocks, roots, and mud.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Wishing for some walking...

Good evening Friends!

I thought I would stop for a quick minute to give an update on the goings-on around here. Everything is looking up these days, and I hope it is the same for you.

My health continues to improve, and I feel strength being restored. I continue at my Rehab sessions, three mornings a week. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays find me up at 4:00AM, to enjoy a light breakfast, then head off to my 6:00AM Rehab. I am told by my Rehab Nurse, Heidi, that I am achieving my goals ahead of schedule!

Heidi DID frown, however, at my suggestion of my heading South next month with Johnny "4Iron" Male, to do a week or two on the Appalachian Trail. I am SO wishing for some walking... you know... There is nothing more health restoring, (in my mind...), than a pleasant hike on the A.T.! Heidi is of the opinion that I need to BE a little healthier before I attempt to GET healthier!?! I think she is afraid I might die in the woods, alone... which I wouldn't find to be a BAD way to go! I figured it might take the edge off for her, if I tagged along with a friend, but I guess dying in the woods with a FRIEND is not really acceptable to her, either. I guess her primary goal is to keep me alive. I will have to learn to be a good patient, and be patient...

Great news! God is good, and cares for us, if we let him! My family, friends, (and my Church family and friends), have taken care of me and my family in such a loving way. We did the best we could these last four months, tightening up the spending, lowering the thermostat, reducing our driving, and more. Then, we gave it to God! We have been behind financially, but have never been without! I will not "name names", but I thank all of you, your kindnesses have overwhelmed.

My best friend called the other night. He has been there for me, always. When I ended up in the Hospital, he called me. He told me that he would come to Maine, immediately! The exclamation punctuation of the preceding sentence is warranted, as he lives in Florida, and would, indeed, have headed right off to Maine. I had to beg him not to come home, assuring him that his thoughts and prayers would suffice. He has been faithful in calling me, offering up encouragement, and entertaining me. He gave me good hope.

His call to me the other night was much enjoyed, as usual. We talked a lot, of things we would do together when he makes his trip to Maine this Summer, and of the other adventures we would like to take on someday. We talked of my health, and the great news that I had returned to work, (kind of). I was so happy when my employer offered up some "light duty" work, at one of his other stores! I have completed my first week of work, and all is well... when payday comes, I can start helping with the bills! My friend offered up a financial gift, to help us get back on level ground, but I begged him not to. God has been so good, and now, I can not only help pay the bills, it is time to start giving to those less fortunate...

I have wandered a bit tonight... but I think my point was to give an update, relating my happiness to Gods' Goodness, rejoicing in the wonderful people that He places in our lives... and, oh yeah... let you know how much I was wishing I was walking!

May your trails be straight and crooked, walked alone, or with a friend, and always travelled with God as your Guide.

Blessings, in abundance...


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Little Steps and Giant Leaps, Giant Steps and Little Leaps

Hello to You!

As I sat this morning, generally just passing time, and occasionally having a thought, I began to contemplate the journey I'm on. As many of you know, I am a recent graduate of Open Heart Surgery, Class of 2011. The Ceremony was performed on October 21st, 2011, and consisted of a quadruple bypass, rectifying troubles caused by seven major blockages. It is now three months, three days post-graduation, and I am looking not only at the path I have travelled, but at the path before me. As with any Graduate, Diploma in hand, and stepping out on a new path, there is much excitement!

The path of my life has been navigated by taking little steps and giant leaps... interspersed with a few giant steps, little leaps, and quite a few stumbles, tumbles, and falls. It's kind of like traversing the infamous "Mahoosuc Notch" in Western Maine. That stretch of the 2,175 mile Appalachian Trail is considered by many to be the toughest mile of the AT!

Although I would sometimes prefer to travel at a faster pace, I am well aware of the dangers of "being in a rush". For now, I will take little steps, and little leaps... and when the opportunities present themselves, I will take a giant step or two, and build my strength and confidence to achieve a couple of giant leaps, when the right time comes!

I look down the path ahead of me... looks like I may be returning to the workplace soon, if only for light work and part time. It looks like better trail a few miles out, though! Rehabilitation is going along nicely, and by Springtime, I look to be working full time again. The Winter months have treated me kindly thus far, allowing me to venture outside, safely, for many long walks. I may be able to do a little hiking in the Bigelow Range, come better weather!

Strength is building, and when I look down the path, I still see my dreams...

I pray that you still see your dreams, too, when you look down your path. Trust in the Lord, no matter the path set before you. Remember, it's okay to take little steps and little leaps. The giant steps, and giant leaps can best be achieved when holding His hand...

"Our hearts had not turned back;our feet had not strayed from your path." Psalm 44:18

As always, I pray God's Blessings on you, and also on your path... may it be be free of stumbles, tumbles, and falls.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

...and a Happy New Year!... MEAN IT!

Good morning, and a Happy New Year to you! No, I'm not just saying that... I mean it! Isn't it funny how some sayings lose their punch when they get repeated... repeated... repeated... without much thought!?! Now, this particular phrase is often put out there with MUCH enthusiasm, by well-meaning people, but how many really reflect on what a "Happy New Year" might look like? As good as last year? Better? Most people that I know make some attempt at a NEW YEARS' RESOLUTION... something to commit to, with much resolve. It often is something like "lose weight", and sometimes something like, "save money", or "be a more positive person". ...all good stuff.

I got up this morning and looked out the window. It wasn't snowing. It wasn't raining. It was sunny. I gave thought to the New Year, that it held hope! The future looked promising, even if it was only for today! It was not of my doing... it was an "Act of God". It got me reflecting on the year passed, and the years past, and all I was blessed with... all I was thankful and happy for.

Curious, I turned to the Bible, to see what I might glean for an example of a Happy New Year. I settled on Noah... you know, the guy that built a big boat, saved a bunch of animals, survived a pretty big flood. This is what one of his "New Years"
looked like...

"And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first [month], the first [day] of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry. Genesis 8:13"

Wow! I was happy it wasn't bad weather this morning... I can't imagine what Noah was thinking on THAT New Years Day! The Bible says Noah, who built the Ark, was 600 years old during the Great Flood, and he lived to be 950 years old. He had 600 years to reflect on, and 350 years after the flood to look forward to, with hope.

I am 54 years old, with quite a bit to reflect on. It would take me a long time to sort through all those years, but this last year is an easy one. I had my quadruple bypass performed on October 21st, a little over two months ago. That was my personal "Great Flood". It's a New Year, and I am still here. God brought me through it, and caused the sun to shine today. For me, that is enough to make me thankful for the past, hopeful for the future. I need no New Years' Resolution. I will just "be happy" in this "Happy New Year", trusting in God's Grace and Mercy. With His Blessings, we will have a moment to reflect again, at this time, next year!

May God Bless your Happy New Year!