Murph Notes

Murph is cool

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I am cool.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I'm Proud To Be An American Craft Man

Yesterday after work I bit the bullet and went to the VA Medical Center in Durham. I abhor going to the VA. VA visits always manage to send me in a mood spiral and I end up in a super nark. Yesterday was no exception. The VA is a lot like I remember the Navy and Army - hurry up and wait. It just takes forever to see a doctor and then when you do they have to go check on "things" which takes forever. The other thing that makes me nuts is the place is so dreary with the fluorescent lighting and old chairs carpet and paint. And here is something that puzzles me - why are all the magazines in the waiting room from 2005 and before? Someone should throw them all out. I wish I had.

If you ever get a chance (actually you need to be intentional and "make" a chance), take the magazines around your house or office (recent one's mind you) down to a VA Medical Center waiting room and put them around on the tables or in the magazine racks. I'm tempted to subscribe to some cool car magazines just to do so myself.

You would think magazine publisher, in a act of appreciation and patriotism, would just send a couple of subscriptions to some of the VA Medical Centers. Maybe they do and they just don't make it to the waiting rooms/lobbies. Maybe they do and people start reading them in the waiting room/lobbies and take them home with them. Then all that is left is the June 2005 Country Homes.

I did learn how to make an antique looking candle holder out of 2 old soup cans though...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Swimming with Tomatoes in Minnesota


Not too long ago I decided to go for an evening swim. The kids were tucked in, my wife was committed to a book for the night and I was restless. I got in the water, played around for awhile and floated on my back gazing at the stars. I was alone and it was peaceful. I decided to do laps. I started swimming and time warped into my younger years (at least mentally). I just kept swimming as long as I could stroke after stroke - flip after flip. I remembered why I loved swimming. It was mindless for me. I didn't have to think about it. I just did it and it left my mind free to reflect as my muscles and lungs screamed in old age angst. I was free to reflect or feel. I could swim-out hurt confusion anger. I don't always find resolution or clarity in swimming but I often find peace. I remember after I became a Christian swimming became prayer times for me. My body would go through the courses and my mind was free to focus on other things. After I finally listened to my body and stopped swimming I realized I swim now the same way I did all those many years ago in High School and College when I swam every day; I swim with the same pattern, style and habits (good and bad). I was never a good swimmer. In High School I always swam long distance because I could loose myself in the swim and not worry about the competition of it all. This made my coach nuts and he was hard on me. I never developed a pretty stroke. To this day when I get in the water and swim laps I still bring my head up to high for breath and I still don't pull all the way through my strokes. I find it interesting that there are so many things we do in life on automatic for better or worse. I am grateful that I love to swim. I wish I was a better, more efficient, swimmer but I wouldn't trade my, now ingrained, ugly stroke for my reflection and prayer for anything.

Salt of the earth

Recently I was at my desk working diligently when an email popped in my box from a co-worker announcing her garden had produced more-than-she-could-ever-need in tomatoes and there was a basket of them in the break room for anyone who wanted them; first come first serve. The dude who works across from me (cubicle land) said he might go get some. He likes fresh tomatoes. I told him the story of when I was a little boy I loved tomatoes and would often take the salt shaker off my Grandma's stove out to the garden with me and eat tomatoes like apples shaking salt on them with every bite. More often than not I would forget the shaker and Grandpa would give me a flashlight and make me go out and find the salt shaker at night before going to bed. After telling him the story, which he probably could have cared less about, I realized my wife was probably heard me tell that story and a couple others a million times. She never rolls her eyes or say "not again" though. She's a keeper that wife of mine.

Accents Rock

I have a job that pays the bills but it is not something I love doing; often I would tell you I don't even like doing it. I am grateful for it though. My boss knows about my lack of love for my job so he recently got me reassigned to a special project for a month. It has been a much better fit, so much so that I seldom drift into the "don't like it" side of the spectrum anymore. Part of my special project has required me to call engineers in Minnesota to schedule times for them to install cool features on equipment in hospitals. What is so funny to me is how, when I call them, I fall so easily into the Minnesota accent I had picked up when living there. I love it! It makes me smile don't ya know!

Yogurt Covered Chicken Lips For Me Please

Awhile back I took my family to lunch at Chick-Fil-A and K ripped off to play on their playground. A also went into the area but she just sat and watched. I sat and watched them while T was getting food. There was a little girl who was too little to climb up into the play thingy. A helped her climb area by area until she got up to the top and could explore and go down the slide. I was so proud of her I could have cried (I did actually). She has this wonderful heart. It's a Jesus thing.

My children somehow talked my wife into letting them have a very sugury cereal for their breakfasts recently. They discovered that they didn't like some of the pieces in it that were covered in yogurt though. K came up with the idea of taking them all out and putting them in a baggy. A helped her with this. There plan was to sneak the baggy into my lunch box one morning and surprise me for lunch. K kept forgetting though. Mom reminder her one morning and I had a wonderful bag of yogurt covered sugary cereal for a snack one day at lunch. They were yummy in my tummy and made me happy because my girls love their daddy. It's a Jesus thing.


So, 3 weeks from now we will move back to Tennessee. I can't tell you how excited we are. It is time. I am job hunting but nothing yet. I look forward to being among friends who we love so much and sharing life with them. I still want to run a way and be a pirate but wonder lust will have to wait for another season...