Mobile Minutes: Project Corn Part IV


*STRETCH*

We walked away from yesterdays match with 2:1 win. It was not easy. The final goal came from our Aussie in the 89th minute. The ladies were bruised and exhausted. A win hard fought.

The rest of the night was spent carb loading (pasta galore) and relaxing. Even I was out by 10:00 PM CST. There was some standard league drama, but for the most part nine hours of sleep never felt so good.

Thankfully while I was at Walmart last night I found the local Starbucks. Something I took advantage of today. Talked to my FIANCE this morning (so cool to say), and got lunch taken care of. The vans leave in two hours so they need refueled, and lunch will be ready in that time as well (yes, I visited Subway). Game is at 4:30 PM CST making the night being long. No major injuries last night, and the team is in high spirits.

Major props to Super 8 of Moline, Illinois. Their hospitality has been unreal, and I’ve been so, so impressed by them. Also, I got my own swag! Puma came through and I wound up with my own bag. Pretty sweet. You may think that’s a small deal, but since high school I dreamed of being able to rock some gear that represents a team, who would have thought?

image

Fact: I’m living in a dream and to God be the glory for it.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Boston Part IV


Made it.

By the way…did anyone else know that the Boston Marathon was taking place this weekend? I was surrounded by passengers of the running type all the way from St. Louis to Boston. I confess that I did sleep most of the way to Boston; minus the beginning of a new book I’m reading “Heaven: Part III of the Halo Series” (don’t judge). However, after the plane descended past the cloud bank into Boston…I…was…speechless.

1.2 million people is an understatement. Oceans, bays, towers, shorelines, swamps, trees, roads [none of which are in straight lines in Massachusetts it turns out...] there’s everything out here. After getting lost trying to find the rental bus shuttle I was once again [conned] into an upgrade with Avis [they're so good...for only $3 a day more...] and went speeding off into Boston with a Ford Fusion.

I first experienced the toll system…$3.50 at a time. I was fearful that the roads were going to be tolls…NOPE…just the tunnel.

Yes, the tunnel. The ‘big dig’ project from a few years back. I spent the first five to six miles of my drive under water in the tunnel system. It was amazing. I’d never been in a tunnel that long and when I finally came out…oh mama…they knew what they were doing with their designs; you wind up on a massive suspension bridge that would make the new one in KC blush, and it glows blue and you see a massive, breath taking shot of downtown Boston; skyscrapers and all. Then the highway (I-93) is raised above the city, so heading north to my hotel I was able to see everything at night; it was insane.

No getting lost getting to the hotel this time, no snow either. I eventually found a Chinese restaurant with Kenny, a very nice waiter. My hotel is crammed full of runners for the marathon, and my hotel room is massive. I’ve been greeted by the people I’m with tomorrow, and I’m very, very, very blessed to have this opportunity. I’m heading to the field around 2:00 PM EST; game is at 6:30 PM EST. I’m just pumped…that’s the best way to put it. Strangers all around me, a completely different city, and a passion that I love. It is the escape that I’ve been dreaming of…and now I’m living it.

See you tomorrow world!

-D-

X: Neodesha


Saving the best for last.

Yesterday morning [after waking up an hour late from Arby's induced food coma, seriously...5 for $5.55 is just too much...], I stumbled down the road into the small, quaint town of Neodesha [Knee-Oh-Da-Shay]. I stepped into my store [one of the few full on work stories you'll get to read about], and was a greeted by a manager that was slightly in a state of panic.

I grumbled.

Yesterday I had to cover three stores, over three hundred miles of road, and still be back in KC in time for my soccer match [which we lost horrifically]. This meant that I had to get up crazy early at a hotel without hard boiled eggs and hit the road.

I woke up to sunlight, meaning I was running late. Didn’t get to use my French Press, didn’t really get much of breakfast, in fact I didn’t even get my contacts in before I was out of the door. Not really the way I enjoy starting my day, especially day five of this business trip. So, without a radio and in a rather terrible, slightly panicked mood; I came to rest in Neodesha.

That was the back story.

I sat up my system, starting my profitability analysis and sales building for the business and was flying through my paperwork. Introduced myself [they already knew I was coming] and did my ‘evaluation’. While going through the business of this sleepy town at 9:00am I started to talk it up with the manager; the only person currently in the store. She was kind of behind schedule herself [blessing #1], and was frantically trying to catch up. Not to mention that she was new to the business, and had a solid heart. I was tempted to just let her be, learn the tricks of the trade and just let it be, besides; I was in a rush. However, something just kept twitching in me, pulling me towards the tea machine; she needed help. So, after finishing her evaluation, I threw some gloves on, started baking bread, brewed the tea, cleaned the lobby. Realistically, that is part of my job, that and I opened stores too many years in my life not to demonstrate some form of compassion.

While brewing some tea and scoring the bread, this lovely lady asked me about my job, how it came to be, what I’m doing; and most importantly, where on earth I was from.

Like most stores, I always get to talk to the managers about the musings of my life, my whereabouts, backgrounds, and life. They literally want to know if they can trust me. Currently it works out pretty well because I get to tell them about my past six months of life; which is rather eventful. In the early morning hours I’m explaining my life to this manager, and she is just eating it up. She can’t get enough, asking questions about being homeless, no money, wife leaving, everything.

My visit was quickly over, and I was packing up to walk out the door and head up the road along my busy day. On my way out, while saying goodbye and all the other formalities; she looked at me and said,

Your story gave me goosebumps. More importantly though, your life gives me hope.

If that doesn’t sum up the purpose of this life, this site, these experiences, and that trip as a whole.

I don’t know what does.

-D-

X: Kansas Kid


My favorite Civil War hero [because I'm a nerd] is Stonewall Jackson. Yes, one of the ‘rebels’, but for unique reasons. Something unique about Stonewall, like Robert E. Lee, was a die-hard fan of ‘his state’. Jackson always had a strong bond to the state of Virginia, that was his home. Whether he fought for the ‘right’ side, he died for his home.

I always admired this loyalty to an area that in many ways he had no control over. He loved Virginia, and now through history’s telling; Virginia loves him [as do many Civil War nerds]. The reason I enjoyed him so much was because of the ability to relate.

Brief overview: For the first five years of my life, I resided in northeast Kansas. In 1993, a very angry, full river forced us [MC, Jim, and myself] to move to higher ground elsewhere. However, there was something about those five years that were detrimental to my upbringing. The train that would roll by hour house several times a day [and night], the steel plant across the street from our home, and just the concept of sunflowers, wheat, and a place where the wind forever blows [literally]. It was my home, and even though the majority of my life was spent elsewhere; my heart got stuck in Kansas.

And never moved.

For the past several days, for work, I have found myself traversing the country side that is none other then southeast Kansas. Cities such as Parsons, Pittsburg, and Independence [the small one]. You’ll wind for miles along the country side, passing five different BBQ restaurants [and the very random Annie's Chicken], and then out of nowhere you’ll find a town of 12,000 people.

That’s Kansas.

MC always harassed me  because I had no reason to be such an advocate of Kansas, and never compliment the town I ended up graduating from [which I have, for the record], but like her small town she grew up in; Kansas is my first home, my first love.

When I was younger, every time we crossed over to Kansas I would confess that the air just tasted better over here [still never hear the end of that as well], but that’s how much my heart was here, in this Sunflower State. I mean good grief, I’ve had friends and family alike, both say that my eyes look like sunflowers [it's true]. I was born for this state.

Tomorrow is my last day out here [for at least a month], but I’ve learned much. Primarily about myself and my God. As I told K8 tonight, I’ve gone this entire trip, except for the first day, without the radio on. Why? Because you don’t need music to speak the volume of God’s love He demonstrates through the sun setting on the prairie. You don’t need loud noise to attempt to drown out the giant, vast sky screaming out, “Look at what your God made!”

I’ve met some random people in these past few days. An old man came up to me at Parsons, never met him in my life. He wanted to know if I could set the correct time for his digital camera. We chatted for a while, farming, crops, cattle, and life. He gloated about his ‘hen’ that he has been married to for 67 years [who was eating next to him], or his ’68’ year old son sitting across from them at the table. He encouraged me, said good luck, the standard rough, gruff good willed, God fearing farmer that sees a future generation. This man was the ideal image of being content. He had nothing at this point in his life that he labeled as ‘regret’.

I guess in conclusion, regardless of what MC may say, this is my home. Every time I reach out into this empty, but living land, I imagine what it would like to have my home out here, in one of these towns; just my ‘safe house’, while I travel the world.

I may be no Stonewall Jackson, but in many instances I do stand as of the last ‘cowboys’ of my time. I still find myself prideful of my roots, where I grew up, and where it started.

As for now; I’ve got a long day tomorrow involving Neodesha and Chanute, plus a trip back to KC, soccer, college graduation, and somewhere in there I need to purchase some new glasses.

My ‘vacation’ was perfect. However, it’s time to get back to work.

-D-

P.S. Defintely a shout out to Jo, L-Mac, K8, and Dur for helping me keep my sanity. Some nights alone in the hotel, your texts kept me from nodding off!

X: Taste


...taste and see...

Yes, that is a picture of sushi [and yes it was delicious], and there is a point to this post [picture]. Currently I’m typing this in a land far away from home [no, not Japan], but at the same time in my life it has frequently been my ‘second home’.

Tonight, after a long day of work and driving [seriously long], I found myself pulling into the town that I graduated college from, met my ex-wife from, and in all points serious; where this website came from.

I pulled into the Comfort Inn [amazing], walked into my room after speaking for about ten minutes with the lady at the front desk [crazy nice], and when I entered…my emotions just gave out. I crumbled in the chair near the desk and started to form tears. I’m not stressed, I’m not overwhelmed [back hurts from digging through possessions to find my french press], and I’m not lonely. I’m not really sad, but I was just overwhelmed with the notion of the blessings that I’ve arrived to in my life.

Throughout today, whether by the grace by rain, or the kind souls that I met along every corner; it just seemed that God was all around me. Even at one point I stopped along the side of this two lane road, just to snap a quick photo of two rivers forming together through the mist. It was just one of those days. I talked to K8 for a good chunk of it, explaining this concept of realizing how easy and beneficial it was to fall in love with God, compared to the rocky relationships so many of us build our lives from [while also gloating about my French Press, too bad she sent a photo of her bed, gloating about working from home]. Even though I spent a crazy long time at one of my stops today, it was beneficial. The crew was so kind, compassionate, and one even remembered me from my days of substitute teaching.

While racking my brain with thoughts of ways to describe the sensations that this heart is experience, it’s just plain and simple; my life has been blessed. Here I am, in the town I was nearly destroyed in, in a great hotel room, in business clothes [dreaming of my sweat pants], with a plate of sushi before me. Who am I to deserve this? I’m not! I struggle for about an hour to eat the food. I haven’t touched sushi since before I was divorced, it was the one meal that my ex-wife and I thoroughly enjoyed. It was ‘our’ meal [is there such a thing?], and we’d save up all week, so that we could enjoy this meal once a week. May was the last time I had sushi. Tonight, I saw it, ordered it, thought about it; and finally, I pushed my past, and in turn my pride, to the side and ate my meal.

Taste and see that the Lord is good…
-Psalm 34:8

Truly the only thought going through my mind. I’ve been reckless, ruthless, and all around a shameful being; and the One who created it all still takes the time to protect me, to bless me. He chose to love on the sniveling snot that complains about not being good enough, not being wanted. With each bite tonight, it was a savory, delicious reminder that my God is never going to leave me.

It’s amazing to be in a place where, for so many years, you felt in danger. You believed everyone was out to get you [and probably had good reason to], and now, in a very strange way; you’ve grown up.

I’ve grown up [maybe].

I’m just crazy blessed, and even though the road [both metaphorical and physical] may be long; I’ve got someone with me the entire way.

-D-