Saturday, October 22, 2011

Grandpa's Farm

Today we went to the pumpkin patch known locally as "Grandpa's Farm". There were animals, and slides and kettle corn. We managed to get some cute pictures in spite of everyone being hungry when the camera came out. It's amazing to look at last year's pictures and see how much Maddie has changed. They really do grow up too fast.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cross One Off the Bucket List

Yesterday I had the privilege of realizing a life-long dream by flying on a piece of history. I got to fly from Helena to Provo in the Boss' P 51 mustang. I've always loved the mustang, It's a beautiful airplane that looks fast just sitting on the ramp and it oozes horsepower and history. It could be argued that the Mustang is what brought about the defeat of Germany in WWII as it was the first fighter capable of escorting our bombers all the way to Berlin and back. Chuck Yeager, Bob Hoover and the Tuskegee Airmen flew mustangs. The V12 Merlin Engine produces 1490 horsepower and the most glorious roar you will ever hear. Everything about the airplane is awesome.

Our flight was awesome too. As we wove a course around snow capped peaks supported by the red, yellow and orange foliage below them, we could see elk running through the trees and the hunters that pursued them. We did loops and rolls and "strafing" runs down canyons. The only thing that could have made the flight any more fun is if there were still six .50 cal machine guns in the wings with which we could do some real strafing runs (perhaps in Heaven?). Thanks Gene, I had a blast and count it an honor to be one of the few privileged enough to fly in a piece of history. Here are some pics, be sure to turn up your volume for the video, that my friends is the sound of freedom.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Perhaps it's the fact that I'm nearing the end of my weekend and the beginning of yet another work week that has caused me to spend the better part of the day pondering the question, do we really need all this stuff? How much time do we spend at jobs we don't particularly enjoy so that we can make enough money to maintain our stuff? The house that is too big, the car that is too new, the iPods, iPads and iMacs, the smart phones and HDTVs, all this stuff that we bought to "enrich" our lives. But when we are honest with ourselves, far from enriching our lives, these things take over our lives and distract us from what is really important.

A quick perusal or our home will reveal 3200 square feet, we use the basement for laundry, storage and nothing else, the attic will be a master suite some day but we don't use it yet. The four of us live on the main floor in about 1000 square feet which means we have 2200 square feet of wasted house that we heat and cool for nothing. You will also find in my dresser twenty pairs of socks, eight pairs of underwear, nine t-shirts, and five pairs of pants. The worst part is that it's laundry day so most of my clothes are not in my dresser, they are on the laundry room floor. I have 9 pairs of shoes! In the basement you will find an inflatable kayak that I just had to have and have used once in the 3+ years that I've owned it. Three tents, four backpacks, six sleeping bags, I guess you could say we are well prepared for the one camping trip we do each summer. I could go on and on.

In light of all that waste I've become fascinated with the idea of simplifying. It's exhilarating and horrifying all at the same time. I love my toys, I love buying them, thinking about buying them and hunting for the best deal on them. But, how freeing it would be to walk away from all that stuff. Live in a tiny house with no mortgage to worry about each month, drive a really cool old car that doesn't require a payment or comprehensive insurance, just buy what you need and not much else. Just think what you could afford to give to worthy causes in time and treasure.

We are thinking about, I guess I should say we are in the primal stages of beginning to think about, doing something like this . A small house we could build with our own hands, on our own land and pay cash for. The size necessarily requires a reduction in the amount of stuff you have, but that shifts your priorities to what is important.