The Happening

Don't let the title fool you, the trees have not staged a full-scale revolt in the Rochester area by releasing harmful toxins into the air and overriding man's natural survival instinct. Sorry for the spoiler. The trees actually have been changing, however in a more benign fashion.

A little over a week ago, Lisa and I voyaged through the beautiful, bucolic setting of western New York and eastern Pennsylvania on our way to the big city. The leaves were pretty, like this one, except that there were lots of them.

While we were in the city, we were able to engage in two of our favorite activities. Lisa got to shop and I got to eat. We are quite the team. We also met up for the day with Paige Hobby, Kimball's wife, who was visiting her family in western Canada (I'm a little vague on exactly where, so I'll say Calgary) and some cousins in NYC. We laughed a lot. Made fun of Kimball a lot, and wished that he was there to hear us making fun of him.

I'm the big bald one in the middle.

I've reached the tipping point of more hair on my face than on my head. I wonder if there's a support group for that? I like this group's motto, "If you can see skin, you're in!" I digress. I think we walked about 30 miles in one day, and it was on Dan speed (that was Kimball's cousin's husband, who was gracious enough to act as tour guide all over the city, wearing his hardcore Vibram shoes, that propelled him at slightly less than race car speed down the sidewalks) but that was good, because it helped burn off the 10,000 calories that I consumed during the day. Fun times were had by all, as we cruised through central park, Washington Square Park and too many stores to name. Thanks Paige for traveling more than 10,000 miles to see us. Wow. I used 10,000 twice (now three times) in a couple of lines. One was hyperbole, the other was me being a dork to look up how far it was from Sydney to Calgary to NYC. I make my wife proud.

In other news, Wyoming is 4-3. I think they'll knock off either Utah, BYU, or TCU. Here's to hoping it's BYU. That is all.


A Packer Conference Weekend

Lisa and I had been looking forward to this past weekend for quite a while. I used to love conference weekend just for conference, but now I love it because it also means a weekend off from our typical Sunday duties. It's like a vacation from church, but without missing church. We should have conference more often. That's what I say.

On Saturday we were driving around in the pastoral (that one is for you Kimball) Finger Lakes area of western New York enjoying the brilliant blue sky and the beginning of changing leaves. The very definition of relaxation. It wasn't until we got home that Lisa put the weekend (at least up until that point) in perspective.

You see, we had gone dancing the night before at a country western bar with some friends, because we knew one of the members of the band and wanted to go and support. On Saturday as we traveled along the scenic Seneca Lake, one of my motives was to visit a few of the many wineries on the lake. This one is our favorite. We've gone there the last couple of years to get some of the best grape juice (and yes I do mean grape juice and not "grape juice") that I've ever had. While on this scenic tour, we also got some pumpkins, homemade candies, cheese curds, fabric for some quilting projects and some wine.

After our adventurous day, Lisa made the comment that I had treated her to a first-rate conference weekend so far. On Friday we went dancing at a bar and Saturday we spent part of the day at wineries and bought some wine. What a great way to prepare for spiritual feasting. When put that way, I think it paints a not so flattering picture of me and what I put my wife through, although to be honest she was a willing participant. Truth be told, if given the chance to redeem myself, I'd probably do it all over again.

And just so you don't think too many bad thoughts about me, I did buy the wine solely for cooking.

I promise.