News for August 2012

Doublewide Heart mp3

My to do list today included: Write A Song.

I have been spending a lot of my time lately on the business side of things.  Once you start making music for a living you find yourself with less and less time to make music due to all that ‘living’ implies.

But I finally got some web stuff ironed out.  The cumbersome download process for the Stumbling Service has been streamlined.  My wife is on a retreat and the kids are out of the house.  It’s quiet.  Seems like a good time to write a song.

My ukulele was the closest instrument.  I started strumming.  And singing.  Writing.  Editing.  Editing.  Editing.  Googling ‘trailer park.’  And so on.

And now I get to check something off my to do list.

Next on the list?

Install railing on basement stairs for mother-in-law.

Now that’s living!

Posted: August 22nd, 2012
Categories: Uncategorized
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Tow Truck And All

My 5 year old and I took off for the weekend in “Our Lady of Disrepair.” “Our Lady of Disrepair” is our 86 VW Vanagon Weekender. We love her. (Her actual name is Gomer as in Hosea 1:2,3. Not the most faithful vehicle and I’m convinced plenty of others lust for her.)

Our first stop was Maplewood State Park. We’d camped here once before and it is one of our favorite MN parks. We biked around a bit. Pondered this sign:

Identity Issues


And did a little wading:


It was perfect camping weather. Nice and cool. In the morning we went for a swim in Lake Lida. Still cool. Down right cold. Carpe Diem.

Onward to Walhalla ND and the Rendezvous Arts and Heritage Festival where I was playing and MC’ing.

We were poking along just fine. Then about 20 miles south of Grand Forks the gas pedal went loose and dropped down to the floor. Zero acceleration. Hazards on, I coasted to the side of the road. There’s a reason we refer to Gomer as “Our Lady of Disrepair.” Stranded on the side of the I-29 in ND with a 5 year old is not my dream situation. Unless of course that dream is a nightmare. I was a little stressed. Thankfully she took it all in stride:

Dad: “Looks like we need to call a tow truck honey.”

Daughter: “Oh goodie, I’ve never ridden in a tow truck before!”

I went ahead and bought her a pony.

If you need to wait for a tow truck, I recommend doing so in a Vanagon. We popped up the table, played Farkel, ate bing cherries, and chatted with State Troopers. There are worse ways to spend a summer afternoon.

In about 1/2 an hour Jason and his tow truck arrived and the folks at the Cenex on 32nd took fine care of us.

Thankfully no parts were needed. The accelerator cable had simply come loose and they were able to get us in right away, fix it fast, and barely charge us. I love ND.

We spent the next 24 hours in Walhalla. Not nearly enough time, but a wonderful time all the same. I got to play cards with my favorite mother in law, eat the best corn of the summer so far at the firefighters’ fund raiser, and the Art and Heritage Festival was great. Tons of local artists displaying their work, offering demonstrations, and inviting artists of all ages into hands on lessons.

As it wrapped up Saturday evening Elsa and I headed back to Fargo to spend the night. Sunday morning we headed east on 10 and I led music at Glyndon Lutheran where my friend Jeni is the pastor. One of the highlights was an infant baptism where they sat the naked baby right in the fount a la bath time. Apparently it’s a 3rd century tradition. Who knew? Jeni for one. And now we all do. I am a little curious how this translates into adult baptisms.

Back in the Vanagon again Elsa and I made the final leg of the journey. Stopping at Dunn Bros in Alec (Or as non-locals call it: Alexandria) the barista asked if I needed anything with my coffee. I asked for someone to drive me to St. Paul. She said no. I tipped her anyway.

The whole parenting-camping-driving-working-weekend thing is a bit exhausting, but we made it home safe and sound and all in all it was a great trip. Tow truck and all.


Posted: August 13th, 2012
Categories: family, music, travel
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