Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Are You a Scaredy Cat?

I have been wanting to write about fear for a long time. I am regularly reminded of what a scaredy cat I am. I rarely take a physical risk (which isn't altogether bad), such as crossing a street without a walk sign. More problematic is when I fail to take a "God risk." Being a follower of Christ is risky ... in the best way possible. When fear controls us, we miss out on what God has for us. I attempt to explore this in my most recent Boundless article: "Fight Fear with Fear."

For any other scaredy cats out there, remember Who controls the wind and the waves. Put your faith in Him and don't be afraid.

"Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters." —Psalm 144:7

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

At the Broadmoor

A group of us went down to the Broadmoor on Saturday to take some pictures. Here are a few pics my friend Becky took.

Someone asked Josh and me if we were important people. Mike said: "You should have said, 'Yeah, we're Brett and Stephanie Nerf of the Nerf football empire.'"

Now that's attractive.

The photographer emerges from behind her camera.

The greeting card shot.

Giving a Leg Up

From Dr. Friesen's blog:

Tarver was in my Pentateuch Bible class, participated in several Bible marathons and has remained a friend. His awkward walk reminded me that he had been in a horrible accident. The driver hit a telephone pole and the wire cable fell on him. It sent electric shock through his body — don´t ask to see the scars.

Doctors recommended he amputate his leg, but he chose the pain for ten years. He prayed and decided to amputate (5/31). His stump will take 4 to 6 weeks to heal, but then it gets tougher. Those who manufacture the "legs" want $40,000 fully paid up front before they hand over the limb. Many amputees get a mortgage and later fail on the payments.

Tarver is fighting back with one leg, a crutch and a website. He has started a business to help him get a leg and then go on to help future amputees. If you donate $25, you get a tee shirt that says, "This Shirt Bought Tarver a Leg." The Oregonian and the Williamette Weekly newspapers picked up his story and local KATU-TV interviewed him. So far $5,100 has come in. Want to see Tarver without a stump? Use this address to donate.

I think I'm going to.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Ben and Josh

This is what happens when best friends get hopped up on birthday cake. Ben turned two on Sunday.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Swing Kids

Sarah struts her stuff with my friend Mike.

Sunday evening we took part in one of Sarah's favorite pastimes — swing dancing. Sarah is an instructor in Portland, and I love to watch her dance (you can see her in action on the You Tube video below). I had not been swing dancing in Colorado Springs for about three years, but to my delight several friends whom I hadn't seen in a while were there.

Josh was trying to overcome an inauspicious first experience with swing dancing (that involved his sister and an ill-fated flip), but he and I did alright after Sarah gave us a few pointers.

When Sarah had danced a couple, word got out about her skill and the partners poured in. One guy, a swing DJ from Denver, approached her and said: "I was told in no uncertain terms that I must dance with you."

The evening was a clear reminder that "we have different gifts," and yet even a couple of novices can cut a rug and have some fun.

Family Adventure

On Sunday, we visited my grandparents, uncle and aunt in Parker, Colo. This is a rare family photo. Grandpa told us stories (legends) about climbing Longs Peak with only sewn-together blankets for sleeping bags and swimming eight miles across a lake. I particularly enjoyed his tale about when his female cousin came to visit, and he provided her with a different young man to date each evening. Then, as she was taking off, he raced her plane (as it taxied down the runway) in his Model A. It sounds a little fantastic, I know, but it had the ring of truth.

We had an interesting conversation with my uncle John about appropriate footwear. In his opinion, boots are the ONLY footwear. He was suspicious of Josh because he wore sandals...and crocs were completely out. What is your opinion on crocs? Speak out.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Sister, a National Park and a Hot Tub

This weekend my sister Sarah visited me from Washington. On Friday, we headed up to Estes Park, Colorado, one of the most beautiful places on Earth. We stayed at the Alpine Trail Ridge Inn, located near the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. Friday afternoon we went shopping in Estes and then met some friends for dinner. When we returned to our hotel, we were psyched to go hot tubbing, so we put on our suits and headed out for a soak. Unfortunately the hot tub was closed, so we came up with a creative alternative.

Sarah creates a heart at the spot where our parents met.

On Saturday we drove up into Rocky Mountain National Park and stopped at Trail Ridge Gift Store where our parents met. We saw elk and marmots and breathtaking mountain scenery. The weather was beautiful for most of the day, although it started to rain as we were heading out of the park.

Sarah strikes a pose on the Estes Park river walk.

Me at the top of Trail Ridge.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Lovely Surprise

I already mentioned that when I was in D.C. this past weekend, I stayed with the illustrious Carolyn McCulley. I enjoyed every moment with Carolyn, a friend and fellow writer. Thursday night after I braved the traffic on the Beltway, I met Carolyn for dinner at a Lebanese Restaurant called Bacchus. (The lamb was fantastic!) She listened with enthusiasm as I shared all my news.

Now I should tell you that from interviewing Carolyn, I know that she has a huge heart for hospitality. And indeed, she made my stay completely lovely in every way (even helping me plan my navigation downtown). So when I arrived at her house, and she led me to my accomodations downstairs, I thought nothing of the vase of white roses occupying the end table — except, a passing — Wow! She wasn't kidding when she said she was into hospitality!

After explaining where I could find a hairdryer and how to work the shower, Carolyn stood by the end table and kind of looked down at the flowers in a knowing way. It was then that I noticed there was also a package.

Turns out she and Josh had been in cahoots for several weeks. The flowers (and the package containing The Bible Experience) were from Josh (Thank you, Josh!), not my wonderful hostess. Still, Carolyn's role added to the fun of the surprise.

I laughed when she described the last phone conversation she'd had with Josh, which had occurred that afternoon. "Alright, I'll talk to you later," she'd said. "Oh wait, actually I may never talk to you again. Have a nice life!"

Monday, June 11, 2007

I'm an SCC Fan

My closest friends know that I am a longtime SCC fan.

Some of my favorite high school memories include the Steven Curtis concerts I attended. And many of his songs — "For the Sake of the Call," "Hiding Place" and "What Kind of Joy" — shaped my spiritual life and personal calling as a teen. Now Steven's sons are teens! Here's a picture I found of them on his myspace page.

When I first got into journalism my goal was not to win a Pulizer but to meet SCC (which I've had the honor of doing on several occasions). His warmth and sincerity in person only increased my good opinion of him. I just can't believe little Will Franklin — who was 4 the first time I attended an SCC concert — is 17!

Me and Steve at his 2005 Christmas concert.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Day in D.C.: I Saw the Sign

Evidently, the pedestrians in Washington, D.C., are very important people (who traveled back in time from the 1950s).

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A Day in D.C.: Museum Sampling

As you have probably guessed (if you read my last post), I did not have a huge amount of time downtown. But my choices were many. I was delighted to learn all the museums were free. "Your tax dollars at work," Carolyn said. I decided to start with the National Gallery of Art. Because I am far from an art aficionado, I asked the information desk what pieces I should not miss. They handed me a sort of "Art for Dummies" sheet that contained 12 don't-miss paintings, including Leonardo da Vinci's Ginevra de' Benci, Raphael's The Alba Madonna and Rembrant's Titus (or Boy in Fancy Dress). I do not know the name of the fountain in the picture above. Everyone else was taking a picture of it, so I thought I should, too.

Next, I visited the National Museum of the American Indian. Carolyn's sister helped design the interior of this museum. It was awesome! I took a picture of the ceiling.

The room of handmade Indian dresses reminded me of being a little girl, when my favorite thing to dress up as was an Indian Princess. When I was in third grade, my mom sewed me an Indian costume with fringe; I wore it as much as possible for the next three years.

Oh, a picture of the Capitol might be nice....

A Day in D.C.: the Metro

I spent yesterday afternoon in our nation's Capital. The last time I visited D.C., I was 10. I appreciated it a lot more this time around. Carolyn (I'll blog more about my fun times with her in a future post) dropped me off at the Metro station in Gaithersburg, Maryland, around 11:30, and I made the trek down the red and orange lines to the Smithsonian station, near the National Mall.

I was enamored with the inside of the Metro station (Doesn't take much to impress me).

Me. Very happy to be experiencing public transportation.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

You're a Great Guy, but...

Ever heard those words? Ever delivered them? I wrote an article about it for Boundless.

I have to admit that I'm slightly disappointed with the art. Mainly because the guys I had in mind when writing the article are not of the video-game-playing, loser variety. Nor are the women glamourous. These are godly men with good qualities, who have at some point run up against a wall, and young ladies with kind intentions.

My encouragement: Fight the good fight, men. Just because it didn't work out with one young lady doesn't mean it won't with the next. And girls, say what you mean and mean what you say. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

When a Writer Plans Your Itinerary

Tomorrow I will be taking a weekend trip to Washington D.C. I'm representing my magazines at a Go Fish! concert (remember these guys?). One of the highlights will be spending some time with friend and fellow Boundless writer Carolyn McCulley.

Carolyn has been super gracious in helping me plan a lot of the details of my trip. I think my favorite e-mail from her showcased some possibilities for dinner tomorrow night:

"As for dinner, I can think of a ton of places to go. Some ideas to consider — Indian, Spanish tapas, Vietnamese, Afghan, Lebanese, vegetarian. Any sound good? If you want to sit outside, I might recommend Bacchus, a Lebanese restaurant with a nice outdoor patio. If you want chef-driven nouvelle cuisine, there's David-Craig. If you want want luxurious Indian, there's lots to choose from."

I smiled at how a writer can make a simple dinner meeting sound like an exotic experience. How am I supposed to choose between "chef-driven nouvelle" and "luxurious Indian"? That's why I decided on Lebanese with a nice outdoor patio. Sounds inviting, doesn't it? I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

They're Getting So Big!

A recent photo of my nephews Ben and Aaron.