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Stories from the journey of fatherhood & brotherhood
A Husband's Trip to Magnolia hospitaity intention travel Sep 25, 2020

“Why would you go to Waco?”

That’s what everyone asked. The inference was clear – the flatlands of Central Texas had nothing to offer. People leave Waco to visit Colorado, not the other way around. Why would I sign up for three days of wandering a sprawling gift shop in a massive tourist trap? Because my wife was dying to go.  The trip was for her – or at least that’s what I thought.

We went there to visit Magnolia Market at the Silos. I kept calling it...

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Driving Permits & Regret Sep 20, 2020

A few months back I heard five words that were simultaneously both pride and fear inducing. My 15-year-old man/child said,

“Hey dad, can I drive?”

We had just walked out of the DMV and the ink on his permit was barely dry, but I said, “Absolutely.”

In many ways, I had been preparing for this day since the day I was running beside his new bike with no training wheels as he squealed with delight. Then there was the mini dirt bike his grandfather bought him for...

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When Popsicles Fly fatherhood forgiveness regret Sep 13, 2020

 

 There’s a split rail fence surrounding my backyard.  It separates our small stamp of grass from the trees and bushes that someone planted to decorate the main street in our neighborhood. Several years ago, a flying popsicle cleared said fence and got hung up in the bramble of a burning bush hedge. These things happen. 

It was an early summer weekend, with yard work on the to-do list. One of the top items was to give the lawn a once-over raking. Aeration plugs and a...

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Nostalgia or Regret? fatherhood nostalgia regret Sep 02, 2020
Every day for 7 years I walked the block and a half from our house to the "kiss corner." I haven't been back in 4 years. 
 
The "kiss corner" is a small patch of grass just on the edge of our elementary school's parking lot. It's an oasis of calm and connection in the midst of the chaos and hubbub of morning drop off, and it is where we said goodbye, gave each other "bubble kisses" and parted for the day. This daily ritual grounded us. All three of my children attended this...
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Apprenticeship in Hard Work apprenticeship rest work Aug 30, 2020

I sorted seven Angus cows from the pen and quickly pushed them towards the alley. If my timing and positioning were right they’d hit the curve in the fence and funnel single file into the 40 foot alley where they’d receive their shots. I was in a hurry and in my eagerness to get them quickly loaded I got too close to the lead cow. Instead of turning gently into the alley she balked, spun on her hocks and ran back towards me. I hollered and jumped up and down frantically hoping to...

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Knife Wielding & Deuteronomy Reading Sons fatherhood knives sons teaching Aug 21, 2020

Working from home so much this past spring and summer has given me a fun glimpse into my kids' lives that I often miss when I am at work. One morning this past spring I was struggling to open a package and started looking around for a pair of scissors. My oldest Samuel (7) said, "I’ve got one!" and took off into his bedroom. He emerged with a 4-inch fillet knife. He was followed out of his room by his younger brothers Jacob (5) and Joseph (3), each holding a gnarly-looking knife of...

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Slow Medicine brotherhood curiosity fishing Aug 16, 2020

This question has always bothered me to some degree. I usually have no idea what the answer is, so that doesn’t help either. “What do you think God has for you in this?”

The next question came only a breath later, and it wasn’t any easier. In fact, it hit home in an odd mix of grace, glory, and gall. “What is the gift you are receiving by NOT catching any fish?” 

It was my birthday. It was one of my closest friends. He knows me. He knows I like to fish....

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Fence Built Right fence speed work Aug 09, 2020

The 50 yard stretch of fence has irked me since we moved in. In a perfect world, I would have replaced it long ago. But fresh paint, a bathroom vanity, and various other projects in our new home were more important than the inconspicuous collection of posts and chain link masquerading as a legitimate fence. 

But soon our horses realized the fence was a complete disaster and began leaning over the fence to steal a few delicious bites of our neighbor’s green grass. The chain...

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Deflated brotherhood Jul 29, 2020

A few choice words escaped my lips when I saw it. 
 
To escape the COVID doldrums, this summer our family fled to the mountains in pursuit of a change of scenery. The outdoors is our holy sanctuary, where we meet God, ourselves, and one another in profoundly deep ways. Seeing the wonder of our daughter's growing photography skill (she beautifully captured the comet and the night sky!), our other daughter's reverie in writing into existence fictional worlds yet unknown,...
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Feed Your Soul, Not Your Ego brotherhood fishing shared experience Jul 16, 2020

I’m convinced that a “lucky gene” exists that predisposes certain people to fortunate experiences. I’m equally convinced that said gene exists nowhere in my genetic profile. My brother on the other hand routinely wins radio call-in contests for concert tickets and won a drawing for a brand new car. 

That said, you can imagine my surprise when I found out the Restoration Project Canoe Trip I was leading was on the Green River. The Green is a world...

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Boys In The Meadow Jul 07, 2020

The Mulloy ranch has a way of captivating you. Located in the Western Panhandle of Nebraska, 10,000 acres of vast rolling Sandhills, herds of Black Angus, bands of horses, cow dogs, hayfields - it’s the real-deal. 

Last October my wife and I asked our son Ritter what he was hoping for his birthday. He promptly replied: “I want to have my birthday on the ranch” He has second cousins there he loves as well as friends from nearby ranches and towns. All-in-all it...

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Special Forces In Action creativity fireworks Jul 02, 2020

It was my first mission leading a special forces team. I was out front, because I knew the territory. Our unit needed to move over open fields, bouncing around overgrown bushes and taking cover behind trees. Mixing caution and speed, my heart rate was up slightly, but under control.

Our objective was to disable a supply shipment that would be heading west in the valley stretching wide in front of us. Using laser-guided rockets, we would have one shot. There would be an unknown number of...

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