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The thermometer outside near the kitchen window this morning said ‘9 degrees.’ The weather app on my iPhone said it felt like 5 below. When I opened the door to let Ranger out, the wind cut to the bone, and Ranger took one look outside and headed back in the living room to his warm bed.

It’s the first day of 2018 and Indy and I woke up to frozen water pipes. I had left the cabinet doors open and the cold water dripping last night, but had forgotten about the hot. As I turned the faucet to do last night’s dishes, and nothing came out... I thought to myself, ‘what a way to start the New Year.’ And it is. The best way probably. It makes it a year to remember, and it’s only just begun.

As I boiled water on the stove, and Indy opened a “Frozen" gift that someone had dropped off for her yesterday at cowboy church... I couldn’t help but remember the first blog post I ever made here on this blog. It was four years, and a lifetime ago. Literally. Unfortunately.

The pipes had frozen then too and Joey and I were putting space heaters all around trying to get them to unthaw. But that wasn’t what the blog was about. It was actually about me getting older and that my mother had cancer. And that in spite of the cold weather that week, my family had all come together in support of my mother for the first time in a long time.

So many things have happened since that first blog post, it almost doesn’t seem real. Some were amazing things that I couldn’t wait to write about. And others were heartbreaking moments, when a river of tears fell on my fingers as I typed. And in the blog, we, and I, somehow captured it all. Or at least a good bit of it.

That post in early January of 2014 was the first time I set down to write in this blog. My first time to think about what I might say, and why. My goal was to capture life and share it. Period. The big moments and the little ones, as they came along. In the first six months of that year, I wrote nearly 30 posts/stories and I kept that pace up for the next year or two. But in time, I started posting less and less. In the last six months, I think I’ve only shared three blog posts, and the six months before wasn’t many more than that. Part of the reason is because I’m busy. Because there’s a three-year-old at my feet who needs and deserves her Papa’s full attention. But honestly, a bigger part of why I haven’t been writing is because I lost my way. Sometime around the time I lost Joey, I started losing perspective of what the blog was. What it is. And my writing ground to a halt. Not because I haven’t wanted to write more... I have. But it stopped because being part of a such a special story about living and dying for so long... somehow has made the story we’re telling now seem less important. Less profound, or have less value. And so I’ve shared very little. And I am disappointed in that.

The truth is that this blog was always meant to be for me. For Joey. And my girls. And for anyone else who might want to read or follow along on our journey. It’s meant to be a diary. Filled with scenes from an extraordinary, ordinary life. Mostly ordinary, honestly. And that’s the part that I’ve missed most. The writing about life. About nothing. About everything.

And so as we set out space heaters and try to unthaw the hot water pipes in the farmhouse, I’m going to attempt to unfreeze my writing also. One of my goals in this new year is to share more, about less. To get back to writing about the small moments in our journey, as well as the bigger ones. And so this post is the first of many to follow. I have a backlog of have-started, half-written blog posts that I will be revisiting and sharing in the coming days and weeks, along with other new stories to tell, as they unfold.

And in the spirit of the first blog post I wrote on this site, I’ll add a new “things I’ve learned” at the end of this one.

…I’ve learned that I’m not as old as I used to be.

In years, I am older than I was when I started this blog... but physically, for some reason, I feel like I’m actually younger. I’m sure it’s because of the baby. Children have a way of keeping us young, if we let them. I’m a fifty-two-year-old father of a toddler. I sometimes joke and say that I had my own grandbaby. Mostly because my older girls are 29 and 31, and to have a three-year-old to love and take care of at this age, is something I really never dreamed of. A ‘grand’ gift I never thought I’d see.

As we loaded up in the truck this morning and drove next door to my sister Marcy’s house for showers, Indy was ‘reading’ her Adventures with Grandpa book. And much like the Frozen gift that she opened in her high chair, the timing seemed perfect. Because I am old enough to be her grandpa and this life we are living is a great adventure.



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