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"Thanks For Being Real"

As many of you know, I love being outside and, whenever I find opportunity or an excuse (whatever comes first), I love to spend my time outdoors. The natural setting allows me the time and space to gather my thoughts, reflect on things that need reflection, share my heart with God, and time to just be silent. When I'm with a friend, the environment helps me focus solely on that individual, to listen, to share, to laugh, and overall, give my entire attention to him/her. There are no distractions such as phones, cars, e-mails, or other distracting stimuli to divert my attention. It's ironic that I've chosen a career in web development which keeps me indoors and behind a flat-panel screen. And the fact that I work alone makes it challenging at times since I love being with people.

Recently, I went mountain biking with my brother and a few friends. It was great to be outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. We went through various trails and stopped at times to talk and catch our breathes. The topic of my father came up as we were enjoying our time. One of our friends shared how my dad impacted her, even when he was ill in the hospital. I'm always astounded at how my dad's name seems to surface, even when we don't initially bring him up in a conversation. The topic often shifts to how the person was changed in some fashion by my dad's unique influence. It's at those moments that I want to turn around in hopes of seeing my father so I can tell him, "Thanks for being you!"

The photo you see above wasn't too far from the place we went mountain biking. The ambience I felt as I looked at this was one of awe. I loved the house sitting right off the shore and the dock which extended directly into the bay. The water was tranquil. The sky was a hazy blue. The air was silent and no one could be seen. I wish I could afford such a place, not so much for how large it is but just it's setting - away from the main roads and far from the noise of life. Personally, I would prefer a simple home, even a cottage would suffice, something that needs some fixing-up and repairs, but something I could stamp my own personality on. But my greater desire would be to establish a home with that special loved one, just as my dad did with my mother a few years before I was born.