Sunday, December 30, 2007


Some might disagree but guy dreams are different that girl dreams. I might be mistaken but girl dreams seem to rotate around sugar and spice and everthing nice whereas guy dreams seem to involve risking life and limb. At least mine do. For instance, I've always dreamed of going to Alaska; The Last Frontier, land of northern lights and hungry bears and all manner of man hunting wildlife. And as indicated in previous posts, I'm actually going to get to live my dream. Today was a small step toward that dream.

Travelling on the Alaska Marine Highway is unbelievable. The vistas, while mostly a million shades of overcast grey, are beautiful. We are seeing things we never thought we'd see before. Today we saw a couple of Bald Eagles. Later as we passed a small inlet we saw a pod of whales shooting plumes of water into the air about a half mile away. It looked like a chiminey smoking for a second or two. I have dreamed this day but never really thought I would be able to live it. I am. And it's magnificent.

Every second on this boat, while a common practice for some, is navigating new waters for me. It is exciting and kind of scary, but we are living in anticipation of what might be just around the next island or down the next passage. We pass small islands covered in trees and snow. Their beaches littered with massive boulders and drift wood. In my dreams I'm on those beaches exploring the woods and inlets. And obviously I'm cold. But the thought of seeing something new stirs my blood even if others have already seen it. That's my dream for my next assignment. I want to bring the blood of my soldiers to a fevered boil as I introduce them to the unexplored territory of their faith. I want to take them somewhere they may never have been and show them that it may seem cold and harsh at first, but it won't be dull. The life of faith never is!

It's a dream worth dreaming.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Visiting Ralph

Our trip from Savannah thus far has been exciting, to say the least. We spent time with my family in a couple of locations and spent Christmas with Tina's family for the first time since we were married 19 years ago. The kids and dogs had a good time, as did we. The day after Christmas we headed out and drove for two days to Bellingham, WA where we boarded the M/V Malaspina, a ferry from Bellingham to Haines, Alaska.

As I write, I am on the observation deck of the aforementioned vessel enjoying a rather rolly ride across the Queen Charlotte Sound. The day is overcast and grey and not a little drizzly. But in spite of the weather it is remarkably pretty. Islands are on our left (starboard I think) and open ocean is on our right. Waves crash high against the Canadian coastline. My family wants so badly to see wildlife that every rock in the distance is certainly a whale. And the driftwood passing by has got to be an otter or a seal or some other such sea going creature. Soon we'll be through this crossing and back in amongst the islands of the "Inner Passage".

And only one of my children has paid homage to Ralph, the god of porcelain. So far!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Up To Speed

For the past 6 months or so I have not been writing much (if at all) and I thought it would be a good idea to bring what readers I have left up to speed as to where I have been and what I have been doing. Iwould love to report that I have been actively engaged with some super secret agency working to thwart the schemes of our nations enemies or that I have been engaged in a prototype program for putting a chaplain on the moon. However, my absence has been far less exciting. I have for the past six months (begin drumroll here) been attending the US Army's Chaplain Captain Career Course (cymbal crash) affectionately known as C4. That means that I have been holed up with about 35 other chaplains studying chaplain stuff; preaching, mentoring, supervising, etc, etc. The idea bhind the course is to prepare senior captain chaplains to take on the added responsibilities inherent in serving as a brigade chaplain. The brigade chaplain, as opposed to the battalion chaplain, serves as the technical supervisor for 2 to 6 battalion chaplains. It's a challenge I look forward to taking on in the near future.

Early in the C4 process my classmates and I received word of our follow-on assignements. Some are going to Ft. Drum in New York; so to Ft. Bragg North Carolina, the center of the Airborne universe; Others to serve as recruiters for new chaplains. Me? My family? We are headed to (begin 2nd drumroll here) Anchorage Alaska (cymbal crash). I'm going to Ft. Richardson to serve in the 725 BSB which is part of the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division. And frankly, I know next to nothing else. We are moving into the great unknown. Our plans are to head west as soon as the packers and movers are done loading up our stuff, drive to visit family in the mid-west then more family in southern California and then still more family in northern California for Christmas before heading north. All that with 2 adults, 4 kids, 2 dogs, and a U-Haul trailer. (cymbal crash)