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winter-hike1On Saturday I headed out to a friend’s parcel of land.  He has had it for years.  For him it is like keeping a little bit of wilderness in his grasp.  This past weekend it was shrouded in snow.

I checked the weather forecast and for one day we had a respite from the winter storms.  It was the break that I was hoping would come.  My 4×4 truck had no problem making the hour-long journey.

At the gate to his land, I donned my cold weather gear.  I slung my bag over my shoulder.  That bag carried my emergency equipment.  Then, I took a few steps into the virgin snow  fields to make a critical assessment.

My exploration was an adventure.  I stepped into the snow and didn’t hit firm ground until I had sunk down 10 inches.  After a few experimental forays, I had to make a decision.

In the back of my truck were a pair of high tech snow shoes.  They were made of aluminum and high resin polymers.  Incredibly light weight and strong, I was wondering if I should put them on for my hike in the woods.

I decided to head into the woods without them.  A half mile into the woods I was regreting my decision.  Now, the snow was up to my knees.

Each step was a work out.  I had to lift my legs up out of the snow and plop it down in front of me.  Each step forward was a progressive exertion of enormous energy.

Smiling I called myself a few motivational names.  Afterall, this was more than just a hike into the woods.  This would double-up as my cardio workout for the day, maybe the week.

My trek brought me to the edge of a large field.  No human footprints were any where to be seen.  There were deer tracks, rodent tracks, and some bird tracks but that was it.  

In the distance was a hut.  My friend told me that I could stop in there if I got cold.  This humble shelter was my next destination.

photo credit: Google image

Trudging through the snow drifts, I pushed my way into the hut and closed the door behind me.  It was a welcome moment to sit down and rest my weary legs.  I smiled and thanked the Lord for health, strength, and the blessing from the warmth from a catalytic heater.

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pad-thaiMy family and I went to see a movie yesterday.  It wasn’t so much that any of us were dying to watch a new flick on the silver screen.  Rather, we just enjoy any activity and the fun of doing it together.

While we are waiting for the movie to begin, there is that expected and anticipated sillyness of being in public together.  With the on screen urging all to silence cell phones, we tease each other of embarassing stories when someone’s cell phone went off.  Several of those moments were in church.

After the movie we walk back to my truck with everyone giving a commentary on what we just saw.  Those conversations are frequently as stimulating as the movie itself.  Everyone feels free to rate the movie based on four stars for the best and one being the worst.

Then, I ask everyone what they would like to have for dinner.  The suggestions are generous.  But, the ovation is strongest for Thai food.  In my mind I’m a bit concerned for my wife who has told me that she is not a fan.  But, since our visiting children love it so much I asked for clemency.  I received permission.

Off we went for Thai food.  It’s been a while since we have been there.  But, the hosts welcome us back. 

We ordered Pad Thai, Peanut Curry, Sweet and Sour Fish, and Crispy Duck.  While we waited for our order, we downed everyone of the Shrimp Chips.  Food is such a conversation enhancer.

Our conversation about the movie continued.  It spilled over into the history behind the movie.  There was a lot of discovery from our pooled recollections of history.

We had plentyof food to take home.  The waitress was fun to have for occasional banter.  It was especially fun NOT to have to do the dishes.

Thai food has such a remarkable flavor. Pad Thai is a favorite.  It brings good memories of past Thai meals.

As much as I love Thai food, I usually get the same look from the wait staff.  Often they ask, “How spicy?”  You can order your food according to a heat index from 1-4 or mild to very HOT! 

Not infrequently, I’ll respond and order my food “NOT HOT.”  Even with a mild order, I’m sweating buckets.  It gets a surprised look like, “So why are you eating Thai?  Maybe you should try a burger down the street?”

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