Well, That Didn’t Go As Planned

And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.”

James 4:13-15 MSG

At the airport hotel on May 23, 1976, about to depart on the big honeymoon, my wife and I awoke on our first day or marriage, played Bible roulette, and this is the verse that magically fell open. We glanced at each other a bit puzzled, but quickly hurried to finish the room service breakfast so we could make our flight. Bags checked, we rushed to the departure gate and learned, you guessed it, our scheduled departure was cancelled. Instantly, the words about being off to such and such city slammed into our present reality. That experience has stayed with us as we’ve navigated the many pathways of life over the past 46 years. And that’s exactly what happened since my last post here over a year ago.

Rather than a return to writing, finishing “Thin Places: Dallas” and launching into yet another novel, I never brought myself to the butt in chair, head in story, putting words on the page four hours a day reality as I had long planned to do. Instead, I took a year to thoroughly enjoy living in remote isolation in a log cabin at 9,400 feet altitude an hour-and-a-half west of Colorado Springs deep in the midst of the Rocky Mountains. Every time I thought about getting back into writing, I’d get distracted by the abundant wildlife up close and personal — bear, deer, bobcat, coyote, eagles, elk, and even a rare lynx. Becky would take long walks almost daily in the mountain meadow. Never did a month pass that various combinations of grandchildren would come to stay with us for a few days. Then such a wild thing called seasons happened — fall and winter — a phenomenon I didn’t grow up knowing much about in the Deep South. All in all, it was a glorious respite that oozed with opportunity for restoration and refreshing. And I did!

This past spring, Becky and I came down from the mountains and began settling into our new Colorado Springs digs. We traveled back to Dallas in May to deal with a storage unit we’d piled two decades of family treasures into. Finally, we’re beginning to find our new normal. And YES, I’m feeling the itch to get my butt in the chair, get my head into the story, and put words on the page again. My writing adventure continues…


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