It’s been a few weeks since my last post so a figured I would get my act together and recap some of the happenings in our life. We took Jesse’s truck over to the mechanic to get a water leak fixed and the electrical on a couple of turn signals checked out.We left it with him through mid-week and he fixed the leak and turn signals along with a dozen other things while he was at it. Jesse’s truck is looking and running great and now we have just a few more tweaks to go and he should be set until he starts making some money to invest in it himself. That same weekend, Jesse got his hair cut, bleached and dyed blue. No mohawk this year as he decided his hair was too short for it. Instead, he has it spiked on top and even has blue sideburns.
This past weekend, Jesse went with his youth group to Huntington Beach for the day. I had the truck washed and the 100,000 mile lube/oil change/etc. done on my truck. When I returned, Renee and I went to lunch and then did a little shopping. Yesterday, the family insisted on taking me to lunch for Father’s day. I relented and let them take me to Red Lobster to enjoy some shrimp. Afterward, we went to the mall and wandered around a little. We returned home and I read in my novel while watching the Angels-Dodgers rubber match. The summer is upon us and we will see how things go. The weather has been surprisingly mild so far, but I expect that the heat will not hold off much longer.
Renee greeted me at the door yesterday afternoon stating, “We have a situation!” I wondered if my son had done something wrong or if we needed something repaired. She took me into Jesse’s room and pointed out the window at a clump of bees that were hanging on the fence outside his window. I promptly put my hoody on grabbed a broom. I wanted to find out if they were the dreaded africanized/killer bees or not. Fortunately, I didn’t have to test my sprinting abilities as they stayed relatively close to the swarm. I then shook the fence hoping they would decide to fly away. Instead, they fell to the ground and just gathered into another clump. Before I left for work this morning, I checked on them and they were still there, but not moving as much due to the cooler weather. Hopefully they will move on. If not, I will try and reach someone to come get them.
Twenty-five years ago, the Barstow High School Class of 1984 marched across the stage to receive their high school diplomas and launch out into life. We were full of dreams and hopes not knowing what lie ahead, but ready to leave BHS behind. I remember thinking how, like almost every student, I looked forward to leaving the campus behind and enjoying what I would do with my life. I wrote in my senior plans, “I plan to stick around Barstow for a year and then go down to San Diego State.” I was going to study Broadcast Journalism and become a television news reporter. Things didn’t exactly work out that way.
Two weeks after graduation, I was on a Greyhound bus bound for San Jose, CA. My best friend was living in a transient hotel and had a job lined up for me. I went to work for Bentz Tool in Campbell, CA as a Grinder’s apprentice. I was laid off after two weeks and eventually landed a job at a plating company in Santa Clara, CA doing shipping/receiving. I eventually moved back home to live rent free and worked mowing lawns/trimming trees around Barstow. I got tired of that, visited the recruiter and signed up for the Army to get out of Barstow.
I would eventually be stationed in Alaska where I came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Reassigned to a post in Texas, I left the Army and married my wife. Our journey took us to Bible school in Dallas, youth pastors outside Ft. Worth, back to school in Tulsa, on to more school in Kentucky, before returning back to California.
I never figured, 25 years after graduation, I would be working back in Barstow and living in the desert again. I am not complaining as I have a great job and actually enjoy being in the desert. The town I desperately wanted to leave at graduation is now the place I provide for my family. I go to restaurants I loved growing up and see people I have known since grade school. I enjoy the smell of rain and work helping people understand the desert. Who knows what the next 25 years will bring? I have enjoyed the last 25 and trust the Lord to direct my steps in the next 25.
Friday night, I was excited to see the Lakers return to the NBA Finals yet again. Renee and Jesse went to see his old classmates choir recital at AVCS allowing me to yell and scream at the Lakers until they won the game. Now they need to finish the return and beat the Orlando Magic to win the championship. Saturday morning, I had everyone up early and loaded in the truck on our way to Barstow to repair a downed section of fence at my brother/mother’s house. We made a brief stop at Plata’s for breakfast burritos before getting to work on the fence. I felt bad for the neighbors as we pounded nails from 9:30 to 10 am, but it was already approaching 90 by the time we were done.
Once we returned home, we showered and we headed to the theater to see Up by Pixar in 3D. Jesse stayed home so Renee and I went to see it. Previously, we had seen extended clips of the movie presented by the Pixar design team at NAB in Vegas so we had some idea of what to expect. Renee even made some custom lenses in advance to fit over her glasses so she didn’t have to wear glasses over her glasses. The story is about a widower named Carl who is having to leave his home to enter a nursing home, but opts to escape with his home into the sky and head to South America to fulfill a wish of his wife. He inadvertantly takes a young Wilderness Explorer named Russell along for the journey. It is a touching story of regret and renewal. In trying to fulfill his wife’s wish, he discovers a new life to enjoy. The imagery is great and the story even better. Though Pixar is known for it’s “kid’s movies”, this will tug at the heart of anyone.
Sunday morning, I helped Jesse work on his truck by adjusting the alternator so that it lined up with the flywheel better to eliminate wear on the fan belt.Then along with Renee, I began the scraping of the acousitc ceiling in our bathroom. It was in bad shape and was looking awful. So it was scraped clean. The mess was confined to the bathroom and was cleaned up with some effort. We ran to Lowes and purchased some semi-gloss paint and applied the first coat to the ceiling. A few hours later, we applied the second coat and moved everything back into the bathroom. I don’t think I want to attempt the reast of the house just yet, but I am sure it will get done one way or another. I vote for another, meaning I would like to hire somone instead of doing it myself.