Sunday, January 31, 2010

Seven Days in a Row

Nashville, TN

2.01 on the treadmill.

10,188 steps total. That is seven days in a row. The opportunity to do that led me to walk around and reach the goal.

Tomorrow back to Louisville.

Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarves are being rescued from the wargs and goblins by the eagles.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The most steps

Nashville, TN


That's the number of steps today. The most steps on this current adventure. They came from 2.32 miles on the treadmill, a walk around the snowy downtown Nashville streets, several trips from the room to APCE Marketplace, and some walking around the parking garage as the load in began. By that point it had become clear that a new record could be set!

Listening to The Hobbit continues. Bilbo, Gandalf, and the dwarves have made it to Rivendell.

By the way, the step total for January is over 260,000!


Nashville, TN

I am not attending the meeting of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators. I am hanging out with Tricia - doing some minimal work around the edges - but actually kind of vacating to some extent.

I slept in until 10:30 or so. Then went to the fitness center at the Renaissance Hotel. I did 2.39 miles on the treadmill.

The afternoon saw the continuation of the quest to visit National Parks. I drove to Murfreesboro to visit Stones River National Battlefield. On December 31, 1862 and January 2, 1863, forces under the command of Gen. Bragg (CSA) and Gen. Rosecrans (USA) clashed along Stones River. The battle was fought on cotton fields and among cedar timbers and in places remembered after as The Slaughter Pen and Hell's Half Acre. 3,000 men died; killed, wounded, and missing totaled over 23,000.

I go to and come away from such places with mixed emotions: horror, sorrow, pain, pride and more intermingle. The place seems hallowed in ways I can never describe. Walking alone on the boundary trail, every rustling leaf and every squirrel moving on the ground made me feel surrounded by ghosts.

Some particularly poignant moments:

The area has been struck by tornadoes in the not too distant past. Trees are torn apart, knocked over, strewn across the parts of the park. I wondered what it looked like when the trees were torn apart, knocked over, and strewn across the ground by cannon and rifle fire.

The park contains the nation's oldest intact Civil War monument. A square column, erected by the survivors of Colonel William B. Hazen's brigade, stands surrounded by a stone block fence. The dead lie with the comrades of their respective regiments.

Outside the fence is the grave are two additional graves - those of Sgt. William Holland and William Harlan. Sgt. Holland served in the U.S. Colored Infantry, not in Hazen's brigade during the Civil War. He lived until 1909. At that time, the U.S. military was segregated. He was not buried with the others, either around Hazen's monument or in the National Cemetery across the road. This apparently was by his choice, not a continuation of segregation. The story told by the National Park Service and in an article in the Murfreesboro Post, is that Holland picked his own burial plot - on a small farm he owned next to Hazen's Monument. William Harlan was his grandson.

The Stone River National Cemetery is directly across the road from the battlefield. Looking at the rows of white crosses and recalling the number of charges made by Confederates and Federals alike, I imagined the cemetery as the place where the last charge at Stones River took place. It was also striking how many stones bore only initials.

Lots to mull. That's part of the appeal of national parks.

Step count: 16, 284.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

No Dinosaur World

Got up and hit the gym. 2.19 miles on the treadmill while listening to The Hobbit. Three trolls have been turned into stone.

Step count - 10,028.

Drove to Nashville to hang out with Tricia at APCE. Watching Duke with her and a friend. It has been something of a struggle. Duke started well; FSU came back; now Duke is opening a lead again.

Once again on the drive, as on the travel to and from the Big Tent, I missed Dinosaur World which is located outside of Cave City, KY and which features over 150 life-size dinosaurs and a new herd of mammoths in Mammoth Gardens.

Tomorrow - depending on the weather - Stones River National Battlefield.

Bad dreams

Weighed in this morning - not as part of the Biggest Loser but simply to see what the last week or more had done. Was pleasantly surprised to find a gain of only 2 pounds. Ate too many pistachios and protein bars.

But did get to the gym for 2.08 miles on the treadmill and made 10,906 steps.

The movie today at the cardio-theater was The Incredibles. Not a bad movie, but I misread the sign and had anticipated Casino Royale. So I used my iPod and started listening to The Hobbit. Bilbo has now gone to bed after listening to the dwarves talk about their adventure. Bad dreams plague his sleep.

This evening I watched Shake Hands with the Devil. It is the story of General Romeo Dallaire who commanded the United Nations forces in Rwanda at the time of the genocide. The forces were badly understaffed and inadequately supplied. They also had a mandate that did not fit the situation.

Dallaire was not perfect as a commander. But he did more than virtually anyone else. In a situation where the entire world failed the people of Rwanda - ignored the people of Rwanda - turned away from the people of Rwanda - Dallaire tried. He saved thousands, yet remains forever haunted by the hundreds of thousands he could not save. His command failed. But it was set up for failure. Dallaire continues to wrestle with guilt over the nightmare - guilt that nearly consumed him - guilt that is not shared by those who bear far more responsibility, those who created the conditions for the failure, who carried out the killings, who stood by, who looked away - by the genocidaires, Belgium, the Catholic Church, the UN, the United States, France.

Ten years after the genocide, the attitude of the Rwandans is summed up in these words: "We've come to expect nothing from the world and the world never disappoints us in that way."

Will the world do better in Haiti? I pray so.

I also watched Richard III with Laurence Olivier. He too was plagued by bad dreams.

Tomorrow (or today since it is well after midnight) I drive to Nashville.

May you sleep well. May I sleep well.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


The down side of using the fitness center at a motel is that when there is only one treadmill one has to share. As a result, I only was able to do 1.5 miles on the treadmill today, then had to hop off to allow someone else to use it.

An upside of travel is that there is lots of walking between gates. I hit 10,081 steps. That puts me over 200,000 steps so far for the month. Is 300,000 doable by January 31? Stay tuned.

I returned to the Shire today, leaving New Mexico behind. I left reluctantly - in fact I walked away from my boarding passes after they printed out. There is something about NM that truly appeals to me.

Tomorrow I will weigh in and see if all the walking that I did managed to compensate for all the eating that I did.

I definitely prefer snow on the Sandias to snow on the MDW tarmac.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A day for Saints

And the Saints win. Two weeks of waiting until they play the Colts. Looking forward to it. Note that the Saints do wear shades of black and gold.

The final day of this New Mexico trip saw me hanging out in Albuquerque. I overate again. That stops tomorrow. But I could not pass on the food here.

I got a hotel that has a fitness center. So I did 2.25 miles on the treadmill. I also went to the Coronado State Monument - not sure what I make of that name. It apparently is near the place where Coronado and his party of invaders wintered in 1540-42.

An ancient pueblo there - Kuaua is there. The pueblo was settled about 1300 CE and abandoned toward the end of the 1500s CE. It sits right along the Rio Grande. Despite the cold weather (which the wind that picked up during the early morning did not help), I did the trail along the river and the trail around the pueblo. Then I went to the Pueblo Cultural Center. Interestingly enough, it has an exhibit on the saints of the pueblos.

All that walking led to a step count of 12,807 - the highest so far!

Tomorrow - the return to the Shire.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The wins one gets

What has not gone well:
I have overeaten the last couple of days. It is easy to blame that on being in New Mexico and being overly tempted by the food that I love. There is truth to that. But the reality is that I need to be able to face food that I love and eat reasonably.

I have not walked 10,000 steps either of the last two days. I did not make 10,000 steps the last two days combined. 6740 today. I helped to lead an all day workshop each day and that just made it too easy not to get out and do the walking. Again the reality is that I need to learn to cope with that.

I did not do concentrated walking yesterday.

What has gone better:
A friend's comment on yesterday's blog inspired me to head back to the track today between the end of the workshop and dinner. I went 1.5 miles - not as long as I should have - but all the time allowed. And it is better to have missed only one day.

While the overeating included starches (chips and sopapillas), it did not include sugar based products. No flan. No fried ice cream. No chocolate chip cookies served on the breaks.

One takes the wins one gets.

Football tomorrow. And walking. Travel on Monday - but late enough in the day that I should be able to walk.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Not perfect

I helped lead a dialogue session on being a diverse, including community for representatives at Menaul School. Eric Law was the main trainer and I had the privilege of helping out. It was a good experience. Tomorrow we work with all the faculty, staff, administration, and volunteers. Saturday is an event for the larger Albuquerque community.

Eating has not gone well although it has not been high calorie foods that I have been overeating.

Stats: 2.25 miles on Menaul track; 10,084 steps

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dinner at the Range

Today's exercise time involved walking 2 miles around the track at Menaul School with the iPod going. It was good fun.

Then came the opportunity to preach at chapel. That takes place every day and lasts about 15 minutes. There were a couple of announcements. Then the brief worship service. One of the students read the scripture. Chaplain Buddy Monahan did the introduction and off we went. I think it went a bit long - but even those students who were going to lunch after the chapel hung in and listened well. A fun experience.

Eric Law got in a bit before 7:00. We had dinner at the Range Cafe - a local chain. It was pretty good. The one where we went is actually located next to a Days' Inn where I have stayed on a number of occasions when I have been in Albuquerque. But I never tried the restaurant before. We did some planning for tomorrow and agreed to meet for breakfast to continue.

11,736 steps.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hoops, New Mexico high school style

Today was a travel day. I flew from Louisville to Albuquerque where I will be for the six days. I will be located at Menaul School where I will assist Eric Law in some training events.

This meant that I did not achieve my goal of a concentrated exercise for 30-45 minutes. And that meant that I did not achieve my stepping goal. I ended the day at 7,657 steps. I did however eat well. And that is pretty big given how I usually overeat excessively on travel days.

This evening I went to the basketball games of the Menaul Panthers. I believe the last time I was at a high school basketball game was 1984.

The Panthers came away with two wins. The women's team won handily. It was 28-4 at the end of the first quarter. The team continued to pull away and substituted frequently and slowed down the game to keep from running up score even more.

The men's team pulled out an overtime win in a game that both teams tried to give away. The officials did not have their best game either.

It was fun to watch young people play for the joy of playing and being part of the team and representing their school. The middle school pep band added to the enjoyment.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Today I used an elliptical for the first time ever. It was for one minute, but that represents one more minute than all the time I have previously spend on an elliptical combined.

10,050 steps.

No overeating.

Hit the road tomorrow for Albuquerque. I will be gone a week. Not sure about posting during this time.


On December 24, 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. entered the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church. Though no one realized it at the time, it would be the last Christmas Eve sermon he would preach. Just over three months later, he would be dead—another prophet murdered by those who believed that killing the dreamer would kill the dream. His sermon that night echoed the famous words he spoke during the March on Washington. “I still have a dream.” Martin identified the “giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism” as the interlocking realities that violate God’s intention and deny the image of God within the human family. His dream pointed to the day when the triplets are overcome and transformed. It contained a vision of racial justice and equality, expressed a vision of poverty overcome and people working and fed, and looked toward the day when peace would reign around the world. The dream had been tempered since 1963. Indeed, Martin had seen it turn into a nightmare on various occasions and various ways. The bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham claimed the lives of four little girls and scared souls and psyches across the country. The poverty of the African-American community in the midst of America’s prosperity haunted Martin. The inability of the country to address effectively that poverty further tested the dream, as did the riots to which people resorted in response to the poverty. The escalating war in Vietnam—a war that consumed lives and resources and placed America on the “wrong side of a world revolution”—was yet another nightmare that challenged Martin. But after all of that, in spite of all of that, Martin affirmed again and again, “I still have a dream.” These are not the words of the false prophets who proclaim peace when it is clear peace is lacking. They are the words of a man who has faced hate and horror, violence and injustice and who refuses to allow them to have the final word. They are the words of a man who sees beyond what is to another reality. He knows the worst, and still he says, “I have a dream.” How can he say that? Because in the end, it is not his dream. It is not Martin’s dream. The dream belongs to God. Martin is the prophet who has been grasped by God’s vision and who can do no other than to articulate that vision and live that vision. Listen to how he expresses the dream: “I still have a dream today that one day war will come to an end, that men will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, that nations will no longer rise up against nations, neither will they study war any more. I still have a dream today that one day the lamb and the lion will lie down together and [all] will sit under [their] own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid. I still have a dream today that one day every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill will be made low, the rough places will be made smooth and the crooked places straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” Grasped by God’s vision, Martin persevered. He stands in that long line of God’s servants who faced the worst life could bring with a full awareness of how bad that worst could be and who continued to follow Jesus Christ, proclaim good news, live for peace, and work for justice. We can join that number. We too live in troubled, troubling times. We have come a significant way on the journey to racial justice. A long way remains ahead of us. Racism remains embedded in the structures and systems of our society as revealed in much of the rhetoric, and in some cases the behavior, related to the debate over immigration policy. Economic disparities persist. The gap between rich and poor is growing. The economic divide between whites and people of color, particularly when measured in terms of wealth, remains wide. Some thirty armed conflicts are taking place around the world. The United States has troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and is involved in many of the other conflicts. Resources that could provide health care, support schools, rebuild infrastructure, and more are spent on war and making weapons for war. And still with Martin, we can dream. For the dream was not Martin’s. It is not ours. The dream is God’s. And God’s dream is more real than all the reality we daily experience. God’s dream sustains us. God’s dream challenges us. God’s dream invites us out of ourselves, out of cynicism, out of pain, out of systemic injustice. God’s dream asks us to believe, to follow, and to live toward that “day when there will be peace on earth and good will toward [all]. It will be a glorious day, the morning stars will sing together, and the [children] of God will shout for joy.” Dream on!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Today is another day

The movie in the Cardio Theater today was Silverado. I came in at the very end. They then restarted it. I realized that I had never seen the beginning of the movie. Fascinating. Apparently I had only seen bits and pieces from the middle and end of the movie. I did not see it in the theater and I had never rented it. Must have caught it on the tube. Seeing it from the beginning a whole lot of things that I remembered made a whole lot more sense.

I did the walking at the gym. Made 10553 steps. But this evening I ate too many pistachios and a couple of protein bars. At least if I had to overeat it was with reasonably healthy food - better than Doritos or Twinkies.

Tomorrow will be another day - or I guess today will since this is after midnight.

Checked out the football this weekend - even though the Steelers are no longer playing. I guess I will become a Saints fan at this point. Why? Tricia organized a trip to New Orleans for her family at Christmas. It was a great time. Sean and cousin Adam did some heavy-duty bonding during the Saints overtime loss to Tampa Bay. I watched it while listening to the Steelers beat the Ravens.It's not a permanent thing - but at least during the playoffs.


This was another day when the goal of 10,000 steps made me walk more in order to meet it. I finished with 10,061.That makes 4 out of 5 days when I have met the goal. I did pretty well eating today, too.

The movie at Louisville Athletic Club was GoldenEye. They appear to be in a James Bond phase.

I was surprised to see Judi Dench playing the role of M. I had not realized that she moved into the role that early. She was M in four films before the series reboot with Casino Royale.

Pierce Brosnan was Bond. James Bond. He never really worked for me in that role although I thought he was great in Evelyn and a number of other films.

Tomorrow's movie is Silverado. Football again in the afternoon.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Weigh In - January 15, 2010

Posting a day late here.

Yesterday was the second weigh-in for the Noble Road Biggest Loser event. The base weigh-in was on January 8. The result - a 3 pound loss. A good week.

Since this journey along the Graybeard Trail began, the total loss is closer to 13 pounds. The effort began about December 17 when I stopped (more or less) eating "sweets" - items that are predominantly sugar. While I did not restrict the eating of other items, I did try to do some walking at that point. Our trip to New Orleans involved a great deal of walking as well - and eating, lots and lots of eating. That did enough to prevent any gain and actually drop a pound or two. Since returning to Louisville on December 31, I have made a more focused effort that includes a period of exercise, eating somewhere between 1,600 and 2,000 calories and walking 10,000 steps or more a day. It is a good start.

Yesterday the step count was 12,729 - the most steps yet. That came because as well as getting to the gym, I participated in the Presbyterian Center's Justice Walk to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We walked to the Ohio River where Dr. Blaine Hudson from the University of Louisville reflected on the Louisville's role in the underground railroad. We then turned back and went to the offices of the Presbytery of Mid-Kentucky where Edgardo Mansilla of the Americana Community Center addressed immigration issues and how we can live as neighbors to those who come to this country.

The movie at the gym was Deja Vu. I am discovering that the movie makes a big difference. Gripping movies are much easier to walk to - the time seems to pass almost unnoticed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

With a heavy heart

My heart hangs heavy for the people of Haiti as they struggle to come to terms with the earthquake. Words fail.

Today: made it to the gym, 8,841 steps, ate reasonably well.

Tomorrow weigh in.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

An evening without a computer

Computers had to be left at the Presbyterian Center today to receive new security patches. That allowed some extra time at the gym which coincided with the second half of the Duke-Boston College basketball game. Duke won handily.

Time on a couple weight machines followed time on the treadmill.

The step count for the day totaled 10, 795 steps. A few too many nuts were eaten afterward.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Late last night, I learned of the death of Tom Niccolls. Tom had served at Hiram College. He was a gentle, patient, passionate, dedicated peacemaker and justice seeker. He was in Eastminster Presbytery - in the Youngstown area. We often ended up at events together - sometimes unintentionally.

I remember walking across the Ninth Street Bridge in Cleveland. The march was for nuclear disarmament. And there, on the bridge, I met Tom and Betty. Again and again that happened.

Tom was a writer - a number of his skits will appear among the resources offered by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program for the 30th anniversary of Peacemaking: The Believers' Calling.

He was also a fool. For Christ. In profound ways. Tom engaged in clown ministry - a ministry that he shared around God's world. A ministry rooted in the gospel which proclaims, in the face of the weary, worn wisdom of the world, that love is stronger than hate; goodness is stronger than evil; resurrection will follow death; and God will have the final word and that will be a word of grace.

I give thanks that God shared Tom Niccolls with us for a time and that I had the privilege of knowing Tom. I give thanks that God who Tom followed in this life has welcomed him home. I give thanks for Tom's foolishness. May I be such a fool.

Got back to the gym today. Did a little over two miles on the treadmill and several weight machines. I made it to 10,093 steps. The goal worked as I did some extra walking to make it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sneeze, sniffle, cough

Yesterday's picture would be of a red nose so I will pass. The allergy or the cold or the allergy/cold or the cold/allergy continues to plague me.

This s
lowed me down somewhat. I passed on the gym - which is the first time I missed since I have been back in Louisville. That might not be a bad thing.

Eating went well. Step total was 6671.

More to follow.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pumping iron

Prime goals for today were to keep active and to protect my foot where a blister is developing. Both were achieved. This did mean that the goal of 10,000 steps fell way short - the total was 3779.

However, I did do 30+ minutes in the gym (another goal). Nancy Eng MacNeill went with me and helped me figure out some of the weight machines.

That was pretty cool. I can feel my muscle mass increasing even as I type. Plans to run for governor of California dance through my head. I will be adding some weight work in the days ahead.

Eating also went pretty well. May have overeaten at a dinner hosted by Sara and John. But if I did, it was on higher protein, lower carb foods.

I spent most of my time inhaling steam off a concoction of ginger, lemon, and honey. I am either having massive allergy issues or I have developed a cold. Or I may have both going on at the same time in an effort to have it all. We will see what tomorrow brings.

The hummingbird picture has nothing to do with the day as far as I know. It is just a cool picture from this summer at Ghost Ranch.

A lot of steps left on the dresser

This morning began a bit later than recent days, sleeping in until about 9:30. I headed over to the gym not too much later. This time, I knew I would pass on the movie (Wedding Singer). I listened to the new cds from New Orleans. Great stuff!

On our Christmas trip to New Orleans, there was music everywhere - at least in the French Quarter. Music blared out of bars and various other institutions of entertainment. But there were also street musicians. It was like having a soundtrack for the trip.

Since it was a weekend, I stayed a bit longer on the treadmill than usual and did 2.6 miles. A blister seems to be developing on one of my feet so tomorrow's trip may be a bit shorter.

In the afternoon, a friend and I went to Costco. I have discovered a need for new blue jeans (the one pair I own is too big - I have enough pairs of what pass for dress pants in my life) and a belt. There are issues keeping my pants up. An intriguing problem to have on this journey.

Blue jeans and a belt were not found, but a number of other items were ranging from salmon burgers to pistachios to drain opener. Lots of walking took place - but the pedometer - and all those steps - had been left on my dresser. Sigh. I totaled 7,148 without them and would have probably exceeded the 10,000 goal had I worn it.

This evening I went to watch the Cowboys with friends - who are Cowboy fans. A good time for them!

Eating went pretty well. Chili in the bar.

Friday, January 8, 2010

007 - The New One

"Does that mean Casino Royale?" I asked, gesturing to the sign behind the reception desk of the Louisville Athletic Cub.

"No, the other one," replied the attendant.

"Quantum of Solace?"

"That's it," she said.

I headed off toward the Cardio Theater.

The club usually posts the movies they will show a few days in advance. There must have been a change, as "007 - The New One" had not been posted on Thursday. I had gone to the gym planning to listen to some new CDs that we had purchased in New Orleans. But Quantum of Solace was too good to pass up. The iPod went into my pocket but it came back out when I returned to the Shire. Great music with memories of a great time.

Sean Connery will always be James Bond for me. Daniel Craig is a very, very close second.

However, I find that it is Dame Judi Dench who makes the new Bond films. As in almost every one of her films, she is incredible. Can you even name the actor or actress who played M in the earlier movies? I can't. But Dame Judi establishes an unforgettable presence through her amazing performance. "If you could avoid killing every possible lead, it would be deeply appreciated."

Stats for the day: 2.02 miles on the treadmill; 10,324 steps overall; eating within the guidelines.

Today was the weigh-in for a biggest loser type program with friends in Cleveland. The total numbers will not appear, but I will post the pounds lost or the pounds gained each week.

And someday, we will be able to say "Mark - The New One"

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Catch Me if You Can

Mixed results on a snowy Louisville day. I made it to the gym before the snow started. Now, bear in mind that this is Louisville snow so we are talking around 3 inches max but as always even that amount snarls roads.

My plan had been to listen to music again, but I managed to leave my headphones at home. So I headed into the Cardio Theater and caught Catch Me if You Can - 1.82 miles worth (this is about 35-38 minutes of walking at the moment). Amazing how calm and normal Christopher Walken's character is in this movie as compared to a number of his other films.

Eating went well. I discovered that the chili and salad combo at a local restaurant fits the calorie guidelines I am using.

However the general walking did not go so well. I only made it to 7,806 steps - my lowest total since I have started this endeavor. Lots of meetings today. Good meetings - but lots of sitting.

Tomorrow - the weigh in.

Big News

No movies were viewed. No national parks were visited. But there is big news from today.

My step count was 11,178! I exceeded my goal of 10,000 for the first time.

I went to the gym this morning and listened to Christmas music on my iPod. The movie in the Cardio Theater was Blow. That simply seemed a tad intense. I did 1.84 miles on the treadmill.

But I moved around the building a lot and spent some time at the grocery store and the numbers added up.

I also managed to eat well. The goal there is 3 meals of about 400 calories and 2 or 3 snacks of about 200 calories. Met that one again today too!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Beginning

I have considered the idea of creating a blog for some time now. Three factors converged to make this the moment to take the plunge.

Several weeks ago, Tricia and I watched
Julie & Julia. It is a delightful film based on Julie Powell's effort to cook every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child in a year and to blog about her experiences.

The movie further whetted my desire to create a blog. But what would be the topic? I like to eat, but I don't cook much.

The new year arrived, bringing yet another resolution to take care of myself - to exercise and to eat well. Having made such resolutions time after time, with new years not necessarily being needed to make them, and having sometimes kept them well but always falling short, I nonetheless made them again in the spirit that past efforts have not been failures but have been practices and learning experiences.

Then on January 2, I attended the wedding of a daughter of friends. As the cake was cut (I ate none), one of my friends made a toast in which she thanked those of us who were present for our role in nurturing her daughter and supporting her family in such a way that this moment had arrived. It took a community to bring her daughter and the man she married to this point in their lives. It will take a community to sustain them in their life together.

And the tumblers clicked - through a blog I can lean into my community for support as I seek to work on my self-care. It is an opportunity to let others know how I am doing and what I am doing and to support me in prayer and thoughts and other ways.

A tad narcissistic? Of course. But that seems to be the definition of a blog.

So what will you find here in future posts?

Reflections on my effort to exercise and eat well and musings on that process. I went to the gym tonight and used the treadmill - walking 1.75 miles. Step count for the day is 8,487 (goal is 10,000).

But there may also be observations on film (the movie at the gym was Finding Nemo) and sports and music and current events and my travels and national parks and issues of peace and justice and maybe even a touch of theology from time to time. It remains to be seen what all ends up here . . . that's part of the beauty and wonder of being on the road . . . you are never quite sure where it will lead.

So come along and see what we discover along the Graybeard Trail.