Archive for January, 2012

Warrior Dad Part 1

The yellow light from the flickering lanterns and candles danced across the gray stone walls and combined with the glow from a large, round-stone fireplace at the end of the long room. The three-foot cedar logs sung a low rhythmic chorus of snaps as the fire slowly consumed them. Roughhewn timbers, blackened in the middle by soot, encased the hearth. The cool dampness from the dark hall faded as I entered, slowly replaced by the heat of the ample fire as I crossed the room. On my left spaced evenly along the wall, hung three vibrant colored satin banners from ceiling to floor, a full three times my height. I paused and took in the first banner of rich royal purple, the hue of a king’s robe. The second banner was a dark green. Darker than any emerald I had seen. The third banner sent a shiver down my spine, crimson, blood red. I thought myself brave but that banner froze me in my track. A color so somber, it conveyed not merely the color of blood but the feeling of pain, of sacrificed and fear. As a man, I had seen my fair share of wounds and no picture, no drawing, no words could capture that intensity of red. To call it a color did not do it justice. Entranced by the emotions that flooded over me brought on by that banner, I stood motionless.

“So, you have come.” His aged voice snapped me from my abstraction, jerking my head back to the fire and the high back of the chair sitting in front of it. I could see the gray hair on the crown of his head over the top of the chair back. “Come pull a chair next to me and warm yourself by my fire for we must talk.” Not the voice I had anticipated. It did not boom through the room like a clap of thunder, instead came soft and warm, yet still carried authority. Not frail, yet the aged voice demanded the respect due it.

Without a word, I moved around from behind him as he motioned me to a chair with his right hand. When I took my seat, I came in full view of the man who had summoned me. Strength show through the wrinkled ashen skin of his face. Strength not measured in how much he could lift or throw, although I think even at his age he could still hold his own, but strength of heart. A strength that came from knowing what he believed was true and right. His bulky frame filled the enormous chair. My eyes drifted down to see his breastplate, embossed with his coat of arms. The same three colors as the banners placed in three diagonal stripes, the purple stripe on the top followed by the green with the red on the bottom. His armor fit him well. It was clean and well cared for, but showed every mark inflicted in battle giving me the feeling he could tell me the story behind each one.

His elbows rested on the arms of the great chair with his fingers knitted together above his lap. My gaze traveled back up to meet his steel blue eyes. They say a man’s eyes are a window to his soul but this man’s eyes seemed a window into my own soul. They pierced me, cutting me open for all the world to see. No pretense, no hiding, just exposed. I squirmed in my chair suddenly uncomfortable. I wanted to lie; I wanted to try covering up things I had done wrong years before, to make excuses for the failures of my past. Without a word, his eyes condemned me. The guilt of my life twisted my stomach in knots till I began to wonder if I might throw up right here, right in front of him but then I saw it in his eyes. I saw mercy.

He took in a deep, slow breath and let it out with a slight sigh. “Do you know why I have called you?”

Loss of a Fortune!

Posted: January 14, 2012 in Life in General

There are those who have amassed a great deal of wealth, through their own hard work, shrewdness and wisdom they have built fortunes and empires.  Many of those wealthy few are generous with their fortunes.  They give to charities, churches and other benevolent organizations a small portion of their wealth and for that we give them praise and honor, as we should.   Now, there are others who have a treasure of a different sort and these souls don’t give simply a portion of their treasure away, rather they give it all, to every person they meet and yet their treasure never diminishes.  Actually it increases.

I met a man twelve years ago who had been collecting such treasure all of his life from a variety of sources, holding each piece and locking it away in a very safe place.  Knowing the most intricate details of each piece, he would keep them close for comfort, changing one out for another, never letting any of them out of his reach.  Now, you might imagine this man a Scrooge or miser with his treasure.  But I found the opposite to be the case from the moment I met him, he gave me a piece of that treasure and I can not remember a time that I saw him that he didn’t give me at least one more.  Some times two, or three but every time, with a smile, a grin or a chuckle.

I know what you are thinking, “If he gave you some of his, he must now have less!”  Right?  No, in fact as he gave those bits of treasure to me I noticed a magical thing happen.  I would take those bits and put them in my own safe place and watch as he tucked them safely back into where he had removed them.  We both had the exact same treasure.  His generosity didn’t begin with me,  I soon found out that he was well known for giving the same blessing to everyone he met and I can tell you it did not end with me either.  My children have been blessed with his gifts many times.

That mans name was Herb Anderson and the treasure he had gathered all his life were the stories he had lived.   Not nonsensical fictional stories like I am prone to spin, but life stories sharing history, emotion and imparting wisdom.  I have heard stories of pride and joy when telling of his sons, stories of knowledge when he told of his families history and the thing he learned growing up.  I heard stories of success and a few of failure when he spoke of the things he had made and how those failures taught him the right way to do it the next time.  I heard many stories and learned many things from Herb all of which are now held tightly in my own treasure chest, but the story that has meant the most to me is not one Herb told me, rather the one he lived out in front of me.

Herb Anderson passed away January 9th 2012, He will be missed.  Thank you herb for sharing your treasure with my family.

Hello world!

Posted: January 12, 2012 in Life in General

Welcome to my blog!

Life is full of surprises and twists.  I never would have imagined, just a few years ago, that I would be writing novels or blogging  but life twisted and here I am.  My first novel Rock Bottom released on  September 14th 2011 and I am now working on two more books.