All the Difference

May 1, 2017

During my run yesterday afternoon, I was reminded of “The Road Not Taken.” Frost wasn’t writing about trail running, but it fits.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

It’s beyond me why anyone would choose to run on asphalt instead of a trail.


Beauty Everywhere

September 7, 2016

Much-needed beauty encountered on my lunchtime walk.

“If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” ~Vincent Van Gogh

So how was your evening?

January 28, 2016

After a trying day at work, I stopped by a neighborhood bar/grill that I had been to a few times for a burger and a beer. I had found it to be a mellow place on past visits, but tonight I found that it was full of raucous 20-somethings. Oh well.

With no tables available, I took a stool at one end of the bar, placed my order, and started scanning Facebook on my phone, trying to ignore the noise around me. I quickly realized that the otherwise attractive young woman a few stools down was determined to make her presence known, however, with a foul mouth that rivaled anything I had heard in the locker room or fraternity house. Knowing that she was somebody’s daughter, and resisting the temptation to ask her if she ate with that mouth, I focused on my burger and ordered another beer.

I soon wished that I hadn’t, as she was drowned out by the drunk Trump supporter sitting next to me. After a few random Hillary zingers directed at no one in particular, he asked me who I supported. Realizing that he was not to be denied, as he was on one side of me and the wall was on the other, I knew that I had to engage. What the heck, here goes….

“Well, I like Biden, but since he’s not running, I’ll vote for Hillary.”

Incredulous, he bashed Biden, then Hillary, then Democrats in general. Foolishly, realizing that I couldn’t get rid of him and wanting to finish my meal, I tried to have a rational debate with him. He’d have none of it, but it seemed to tire him a bit. He then changed course and conspiratorially leaned over and asked “do you want to hear something funny?”

“Sure,” I said.

(Insert racist joke here).

Recognizing that I didn’t guffaw along with him and probably noticing my clenching jaw, he went back to politics.

“Seriously, though, what about gay marriage? Where will it end? What if I wanted to marry my sister? Or my German Shepherd?”

Coming up with the only response I could think of that might shut him up, I smiled, looked him in the eye, and said “I hope the two of you will be very happy together.”

His jaw dropped, I paid my tab, and left.

So how was your evening?

Improving Themselves and Their World

October 12, 2015

This past weekend, a group of 15 boys from Charlottesville’s Boy Scout Troop 1028 devoted a day to hiking every inch of the Rivanna Trail loop – a 20 mile jaunt that circles the City of Charlottesville – while picking up trash along the way.  1028 20 miler

The boys ranged in age and experience from fresh-faced 11-year-old Scouts out for their first long hike to seasoned teenagers preparing for an upcoming expedition at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. All were challenged (including their adult leaders!) and went to sleep that night with a feeling of accomplishment that few of their non-Scouting friends could have shared.

Perhaps eager for some good news to deliver to their viewers, two local news outlets covered the hike.  John and Will each did a fine job representing Scouting, the troop, and themselves.

It’s my continuing privilege to be involved with a program that, at its best, takes an otherwise disparate group of boys – some in Troop 1028 are in public school, some are in private school, and some are home-schooled – and focuses on their commonalities, delivering positive experiences that they will carry for a lifetime. All of the boys face the pressures of adolescence, all enjoy meeting – and beating – a challenge, and all want to be the best versions of themselves that they can be. Scouting helps the boys improve themselves while they improve their world. For that, I am grateful.