Thursday, August 31, 2006

Goodbye For Now

Well, people, I've gotta sign off for awhile. If I haven't responded to your email (and there are quite a few like that), please be patient with me for at least the next week. Also, make sure that you're not sending things to, because that's now gone forever. Use

Since my internet connection is going away in a minute, I thought I'd give you the final update.

The U-Haul is half-full and getting fuller by the minute. Cleaning is almost completely done, and things are all working out well.

I've got final family time scheduled tonight from 6pm 'til late, so please - if you're planning on seeing me before I move, make it before then.

And if I don't get a chance to see you, please allow me to say to you for the last time in Cheyenne:

"The Lord bless you, and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace."

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Two Cleanings

This morning, Dakota is going to the doggie dentist. He needs a cleaning, badly. Smelling his breath is reminiscent of working at a fishing wharf on a hot summer day. It's always scary though, 'cause they have to put him under general anesthesia to do it. The trade-off is that he'll be much more pleasant to be with in the U-Haul cab after this.

So he'll be gone for most of packing day, which will consist largely of piling my possessions into boxes for transport. Hopefully it won't be that much work, 'cause I don't really have a lot of possessions. I have even less after a great garage sale on Saturday. Not being a fan of price tags and haggling and making change, I just kept piling a ton of stuff on a table in the driveway and put big "FREE" signs up. It was awesome.

Then, Thursday is truck packing and house cleaning day. I expect the truck packing to take all of 45 minutes, even if there's just a few of us moving stuff. As for cleaning, I'm asking that if you've wanted (or volunteered) to help, this is a great (and your last) opportunity to do so. Just gather your cleaning supplies (mop & bucket, sponges, etc.) and give me a call (630-5951) to make sure we're here. Many hands make light work, after all.

How am I feeling about all this, you might wonder? It's getting harder by the hour. The encouragements and the insults both abound, with the insults wounding me more deeply than I've ever been cut. But the agony of playing peek-a-boo with my granddaughter last night for probably the last time easily overshadowed any of the other intense emotions I'm feeling.

Leaving behind someone that you love so completely has to be among the worst feelings to be had in this world.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Love Me Do

My home improvement to do list is nearly empty! I can hardly believe so much got done in such a short period of time. What an amazing blessing people who love you can be!

There really haven't been a lot of them, but I guess I'm coming to grips with the fact that people will love you for different things and in different ways. Some will love you actively, and others will love you passively. There will be love that is spoken, and love that is demonstrated.

But none of that love is invalid.

What is finally dawning on me is that love is more than what we're expecting or even think we're needing at the moment.

Because of my dire straits these last few weeks, I've had my focus on "real" love being demonstrated in action. A few people have blessed me with gifts and labor and active encouragment. And that's been phenomenal - a literal lifeline in the hardest season of my life. But I finally understand that they are not the complete list of people who love me.

There's no greater love than when a sacrifice is made (John 15:13), like God demonstrating His love for us when Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8). But that's not the only way love is shown. Love can also be demonstrated with words alone. John said it's not ideal (1John 3:18), but it is love nevertheless.

One song that has never failed to make me cry is "Cats in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin. The father and son in the song loved each other, but life and choices always kept them apart. That's what makes the song so sad - looking at two lives where love always goes undemonstrated.

As I spend these last four days in Cheyenne, my emotions swelling more with every hour, I have to believe that the many people who have simply said they love me - demonstrating it with nothing more than their words - actually do.


PS: A big shout-out to daily readers Ron and Patrice - thanks for lunch yesterday guys! Hey Ron - you finally got mentioned in a blog!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Idiots And Locusts

I'm really tired of censoring my blog down to "what I'm doing today" kind of stuff. Originally, this was a place for me to say what was going on in my mind. But some people got their undies in a bunch and accused me of trying to "take back the stage" and other nonsense.

I no longer care. This blog isn't for idiots like that. It's for me and those who are my friends, near and far. Yes, I said "idiots." How very freeing to say! Morons. Oxygen-wasters. Lying, gossiping cockroaches. One week from today at this time, I'll be driving across Nebraska, with Cheyenne in my rear-view mirror. And I have every intention of shaking the dust from my feet as a sign against the idiots.

In the meantime, I continue to press on.

I got an awesome note of encouragement from someone this morning, reminding me of God's promise: "I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten." - Joel 2:25

That is exactly what I needed today. I've been feeling lately like a lot of the last 16 years was a total waste of time. What I built in Cheyenne has become just one of many. The reputation I earned was destroyed in a matter of weeks. The equity I gathered went into someone else's bank account. Some of the people I led to Christ - and many of those I loved on for years - turned on me like cannibalistic animals.

And now, I am 39 years old, starting over in a new state where I know nobody, having almost nothing. Pretty much right back where I was 16 years ago, before making the biggest mistake of my life. Can God restore 16 wasted years? I sure hope so. He says He can.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tired Of My Boring Updates Yet?

Today, if I can do it all, I'm supposed to finish the texturing, sand, paint, install the shower enclosure, and put in the flooring. Like the Little Engine That Could said, "I think I can, I think I can..."

Just a week from today I gotta be packing. Yikes. "So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Scratch that. Reverse it..." - Willy Wonka, 1971

In the meantime, I've been trying to figure out every company's different procedures for changing my address. So far, Verizon takes the cake for complexity. Interestingly enough, they call it "EZMove."

Speaking of address changes, you might as well write mine down. After all, I wouldn't want you to be mailing items from my wishlist to the wrong address! :)

Ron Daniel
4680 Craftsbury Circle Apt B
Fort Wayne, IN 46818

Yes, that says "apartment." I haven't lived in an apartment since I was in fifth grade. And the idea of going from a four bedroom, three bathroom, three living room, two car garage house with two storage sheds down to a one-bedroom apartment makes me just a leetle beet nervous, no?

And speaking of this place I'm still in, please pray for the sale of my house. I had really hoped to be under contract before I drove away, but it's only shown twice since it went on the market. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that there are TWELVE HUNDRED houses on the market in Cheyenne right now...

And while you're praying, please join me in fervently lifting up a friend who's been suffering from a horrible migrane for weeks. Today would be a wonderful day for her healing.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Mud, Messes, and Messages

Golly, the more I post, the more people want me to post!

Today is mud day. "Mud" refers to drywall joint compound. You put it on, wait for it to dry, sand it flat (making a huge dusty mess), and then do it again a time or two. Once it's all perfectly smooth and beautiful, you splatter more mud on it for texture (yeah, it seems silly to me too, but if you don't make it smooth first, it looks really bad when you make it messy). There are different ways to texture, and I haven't figured out which method I'm gonna use yet. But regardless, it should be done today, even if it's a late night (every night is a late night now).

In the meantime, it's also garage-clearing day. I've already filled a dumpster to overflowing, and have at least 1 1/2 more loads to go. Here's a life lesson for ya: throw away, sell, or give away anything you haven't used or looked at for three years. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

Also, this recent discussion about friendships has provoked a large number of "you never called or e-mailed me" messages. Please understand that I have been incredibly swamped and have not been able to respond to messages the way I was able to when I was in ministry. Though I have read and listened to every one of them, I just can't respond to most of them. I've even had to be short with people who just drop by, because I just don't have the time to visit.

So don't feel ignorned or insulted, okay? I've gotta be ready to pack by next Wednesday, and the to-do list is very, very long.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Yesterday's blog entry inspired a slew of emails commenting on the concept of friendship.

There were lots of insights, a couple of insults, and many who despaired because of the state of their own friendships (or lack thereof). Some had elements of truth in them, others were just sour grapes.

But here's a reminder: the Bible gets the final say on what a true friend is.

While many people scoff (Job 16:20), forget (Job 19:14), abandon (Proverbs 19:7), and even betray (Psalm 41:9; Luke 21:16) friends during difficult times, Jesus was a friend to sinners (Luke 7:34).

A true friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17), and the greatest demonstration of that is self-sacrifice (John 15:13). A real friend will always tell you the truth even if it hurts (Proverbs 27:6), but he will also always stand by you no matter what (Proverbs 18:24).

I am thankful for the friends who have slugged me with the truth, then put their arms around me to keep me from falling down. I always tried to do that in ministry, and am grateful that a few got it.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Some More Random Thoughts

- Okay, I give in... I'll take the weights to Indiana. That should be good for the ol' U-Haul's gas mileage.

- It hit me at church this morning (don't ask me where I'm going, 'cause I ain't tellin') that I've got just one more Sunday in Cheyenne.

- The house is much lonelier without The Nut (Nutmeg). I keep thinking I see her out of the corner of my eye.

- I need to rent a dumpster. The trash pile on the side of the house is getting a bit extreme, and I haven't even started on the garage yet.

- Chips and salsa are no fun to eat alone.

- I found a button in the washing machine a few days ago, and today found its companion shirt. I'd like to reunite the two. I wonder if there are online tutorials for learning to sew?

- Even when I buy lowfat cottage cheese because it's good for me, I can't make myself eat it.

- Lots of people say they miss my teaching, but very few actually miss ME. It astounds me that I've spent 11 years here, yet have less than ten genuine friends. Since I have only myself to blame, I plan on investing in real relationships in this next season of my life.

- My new apartment complex has a stocked fishing pond with bluegill, bass, catfish, and turtles. What kind of bait do you use to catch turtles?

- I'm really gonna miss Cheyenne's summer afternoon thunderstorms and gorgeous cloud formations. Speaking of which, I gotta go roll up my windows!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

And Away They Go

Nutmeg has left the building. She found a great home which I'm sure she'll enjoy for years to come. The motorcycle also found a place to live. But my poor weight set... sitting here alone, waiting for just the right person to come and show some loving disassembly and relocation...

How is it that the more items I scratch off my to do list, the longer it becomes?

I'm driving away from Cheyenne in just 13 days. Tick, tick, tick...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Employed And Leaving

To all who are interested:

I found out this morning that I DID get a job!

That means I will be leaving Cheyenne early Friday morning, September 1st, and heading for Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In the meantime, I've got just 16 days to do all kinds of home improvement and sell lots of stuff, and give lots of other stuff away. I've got a plethora of shop tools, my motorcycle, and my weight set (see previous entry) to get rid of AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

The hardest thing to part with is my cat, Nutmeg. She's the queen of the house. Although she is very affectionate, she doesn't like to have too much attention paid to her - she will scratch young children who try to pet her too much. She's an indoor cat who loves to go outside several times a day to roam the neighborhood and kill birds or bunnies (she's tiny, but a scrapper). Here's her pic:

She does need a home right away, but I'm gonna be pretty picky about where she goes.

So, whether you want to help me or simply capitalize on my need to lighten the load, please give me a call (630-5951) or e-mail me.

Also, feel free to buy my house!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Help Me - It's Free (or) Buy Stuff To Get Buff

Here's an update on the "I Have, I Need" thing: the countertop is still available.

Give me a call (630-5951) if you want it - it's free. If you have a truck, I'll help you move it.

The biggest thing I need is skilled labor help. There is still some home improvement to do before the house goes on the market, the clock is ticking, and at this point I'm doing it all by myself. So if you're able to hang drywall, I would welcome your help.

I've got to sell my motorcycle, too. It's a 1974 Honda 750. If you want pics or a test drive, give me a call. Price is very negotiable (Blue Book value is in the $800-$900 range).

I also have a very large weightlifting setup that hurts to part with, but I'd rather not move it. I'll sell it all for just $300 IF you disassemble and move it. This includes everything in the pictures: all the olympic weights, fully adjustable/tiltable utility bench with leg curl/extension and preacher bench, TSA-2000 smith machine with upper and lower pulleys and pec deck, tri-level dumbbell rack, olympic dumbbell handles, 11 pairs of dumbbells, olympic weight bar, olympic curl bar, 3 pulley grips including triceps rope, and a manta ray. Even the pads for your floor and the mirror for your wall!

Rarely does one find such a bargain, but I need this out of the house as soon as possible. If you don't need it, please mention it to your friends.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Indiana Interview

Enough people have asked about my interview trip to post the answer here.

First of all, my luggage did make it to me about 1:00am (but not before I'd spent a hundred bucks on clothes, shoes, and toiletries).

As far as the interview went, it was nearly 5 1/2 hours long. (Unicover's nine-hour interview is still my record, though.) There were parts that went really well, and other parts during which I performed abysmally. And because of some scheduling things, I won't find out if I got the job for 2-3 weeks. (And for reference, this company hires only about a third of the people they fly out to interview.)

So, now it's just a waiting game. In the meantime, I'll still be doing Creative Services Studio stuff as if nothing was changing.

By the way, I'm writing this while sitting in the Kansas City, Missouri airport, and I'll be back in Cheyenne soon enough.