Jeep modifications….

So the folks that know me in the real world know that I’m a bit of car guy and a new and somewhat passionate Jeep owner.  I can regale you with details ad nauseum about every car I have owned since I was a teenager driving a 1969 Chevelle up to my current ride. Every one of these vehicles has a special place in my heart, with one or two exceptions, and they all have special stories and memories attached to them. Almost every vehicle has had a name or a theme that defined it and my relationship to it. Yeah, I’m a car guy. That’s what car guys do. They are always my baby and they get tweaked and groomed and accessorized in some way to be personal and particular to me. The Jeep is no exception though the theme for this vehicle did not come easy. I’ve had the Jeep almost a year now and I spent a solid eight months just looking and thinking and sketching and wadding up and throwing away a multitude of ideas. Many had been done so many times that there didn’t seem to be anything original about what I was putting together. Some were just plain weak sauce and not worthy of my sweet Jeep.

Ultimately I decided on a theme. One Bad Apple. It’s obviously a Red Jeep but the thinking really goes a lot deeper than that. To the regular world the term One Bad Apple will relate to the red color of the Jeep much like a big red apple and the double entendre of the word bad meaning bad attitude or bad as in bad a$$, etc.  However the meaning is still much deeper than that. It’s a thought as old as Adam and Eve.

Think back to Genesis with me and that moment in the garden where the snake is talking to Eve and Adam and putting a thought in their head that God isn’t really who He says He is. Well the Bible tells us that the garden had, “every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”, Genesis 2:9.  They were told not to eat one thing out of thousands of options to eat. Now there is no scriptural basis for the thought that the fruit eaten was an apple. This is a western invention let’s say but the thought can apply none the less that one bad apple got us into an eternal mess.  The old phrase that one bad apple will spoil the bunch is true in my own heart and life. One area where I don’t surrender to God’s will or His direction can ruin every other area of my life by its relative disobedience and rebellion. For me, it’s a reminder that things are things and they are nice and nice to have but God is the creator of all things and I am fortunate to be blessed by them and to use them as a blessing among God’s creation and His created beings. It’s a reminder that everything is about choice and I need to choose wisely and with a thought to what God would have me do. I surely enjoy my Jeep and what I can do with it. A friend sent me a meme the other day that said, “Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy a Jeep and I’ve never seen anyone sad driving a Jeep.”  True. The Celtic tree design is a nod to my Scots-Irish lineage and another representation of the tree in the garden and how life is a cycle. I have to be certain to put the right and good and holy things into my life because what comes out is what I allow to be put in. Simple as that.

So there we are with a Jeep themed as “One Bad Apple”.  Here’s a few photos. Hope you enjoy them…..

bad-apple-decalangry-apple-decalhow-ya-like-decaltree-decallaser-one-bad-applelaser-tree-ventlaser-celtic-tree 

That particular age…..the boy

Today is the day my son turns that particular age of 15.

As I hugged him this morning, as I do every morning before I embark on a days toil, I remarked to him, “You weren’t this big when we brought you home”. He was a big boy, no doubt, hitting the scales well over ten pounds. A fact made all the more ghastly given the diminutive nature of his mother. I carried him around many times with legs straddling my bicep and his head cradled in my hand like so much Spalding pig skin.

He fit so easily into my heart, my head and my life then. His life is so much more complicated these days. Then it was all nap times, poopie diapers, dad outings, bath nights and baby food. On my mid-week days off we would make a routine of running errands in the morning followed by the stop at Chic-fil-A to impress the moms there with what a well behaved and cute baby he was and what power dad I was. In truth, we were both full of something better left unmentioned.

These days there is the normal school drama but also band and its multitude of practices, friends, girls and the associated drama there of and a schedule that requires a White House debriefing a couple times a day between his mother and me. Life is moving a little fast some days.

To be sure, he is at that particular age of 15. Where his mother and I have grown a little more senile and he a complete Mensa candidate. Where his sister can, ever so unintentionally or completely intentionally, press his buttons in .025 hundredths of a second while he possesses the patience of Job, or job whichever version you are reading at the time. Where friends rule and family drools.

I take some comfort in knowing, this too shall pass. The day will come when family will once again, at least share an even podium position with friends. His sister will be viewed as a trusted ally, and mom and dad will once again have miraculously regained a wealth of cognitive function and life experience to be gleaned from readily and free of charge.

I miss the little football he was in his infancy. The toddler that seemed to be running for mayor speaking to every living soul in Wal-Mart. The grade school kid that thought I was King Kong and everyone worked for his daddy. I even miss the young man I hiked with just a few months ago on the AT. He is growing up, and away, and out of our lives an inch at a time, and while that is to be expected and is part of the nature of living… (snif)  Well, I don’t have to be THAT happy about.

I’m still gonna get my hug every morning. I’m still gonna wax poetic about him on a semi-regular basis and tell him that I love him every single time I walk away, drive away or end a conversation with him.  Even as he changes and grows, that will never change. Even if he is THAT particular age of 15

Appalachian Section Hike 2016 – Part 4

Part 4 see us finishing up the trip with footage from Saturday going from Clear Spring Shelter to Wesser Bald Shelter. Then the short half day on Sunday down to the Nantahala River.  This one is a bit longer than I like but there really wasn’t much use in cutting up Saturday to make two shorter videos. There’s still some good content here. Hope you’ve enjoyed the series. We have a couple hikes scheduled in October and November that I’ll be posting on when the time arrives.

Appalachian Section Hike 2016 – Part 1

My son and I did a section hike on the AT at the end of May 2016. Part 1 is a breakdown of the planning and the first day’s travel and initial half day on the trail starting at Deep Gap and ending at Carter Gap Shelter.

Food Choices and Packaging for Multi-day Hikes

This is a break down of the food choices we have made and how we package that food for the last multi-day hike my son and I did on the AT at the end of May 2016. Hope this gives you some ideas on how to successfully set up your food for your next hike.