Entry One Hundred Ten: Adam Mahoney, You Just Won!

[This entry is the current story I am working on. This is forty of who knows how many will be posted. The last entry is here. Enjoy it while it lasts...]

Chapter Eighteen
The alarm starting beeping at 7 a.m. but Adam had been awake for nearly an hour, lying in bed, waiting for the alarm to sound and wondering why he had set it in the first place. It wasn’t like he had anyone to meet or a specific schedule to keep. Old habits die hard, at least that was what he was figuring out.

He lifted himself out of the bed and forced himself through the routines of the morning—shower, shave, cigarette or two. He was fighting the next step, hosting a mental war between the knowledge that he should leave, needed to leave, and the desire to stay put. But it was wasted energy; he knew he was leaving and he was leaving today.

He packed the car, slowly, which was not just a stall tactic but also a result of not knowing what he would find “out there.” Would supplies be easy to restock? He had developed a routine in Grayson and didn’t think twice about most of his needs but venturing past his comfortable borders was full of doubt. With the last bag stored away in the trunk, he slid behind the wheel into the front seat and turned the key to start the car. Then he pulled it back, killing the ignition process before it could fully kick in. He opened the car door and walked around to the rear and surveyed the houses lining his street. After a hesitation he began walking toward the house next door, on the right. He went inside and began searching. He knew it was here, in this house, but he couldn’t remember exactly where it was displayed. He finally found it on the second floor, under a lamp in the master bedroom. He grabbed the model and returned to his car. “The M113 Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle. I now dub you the Patron Saint of Tanks.” He placed the model on the dashboard, centered, it’s machine gun turret pointing the way. “Guide me, protect me and help me forge a path, wherever that may be.” Adam started the car and pulled out of the driveway, moving forward, into what he was not sure.

Since he had gassed up the day before there was nothing left for Adam to do but drive out of Grayson and make his way to Atlanta. His planned route was to take some back roads to Tifton and then get on Interstate 75, heading north. The roads were fairly clear which made sense. This was farming country and most people in these parts were not up and driving at four in the morning when the Squatters pulled the switch. There was an occasional truck in the road but that was not enough to slow him down so he made good time to Tifton. He maneuvered the curving tangle of an on ramp and cautiously made his way to the big road, I-75. It became immediately clear that his progress was in for some delays.

As sleepy and serene as his small town became at four a.m., the interstate was the opposite. Cars and trucks of every color and size formed a mechanical maze as far as he could see, north and south bound lanes equally congested. The 18-wheeled tractor-trailers added formidable height, towering above all else, intimidating and obnoxious. He stopped his car, shoved it into park, stepped out and then started to climb on the hood to get a better view. As his weight caused the metal to swag he backed off and decided to try a different tack. “No sense in screwing up my car. It’s not like anybody else is going to care if I dent their roof.” He glanced around and started walking toward a large four-wheeled drive pickup, climbed in the bed and made his way to the top of the cab. The view from his new perch was a little more encouraging; the “traffic” appeared to thin out further north. “But, damn, this is freaky.” Adam took a deep, cleansing breath, lit a cigarette and sat on the roof, feet dangling over the bed of the truck. “What the hell am I doing…” The thought trailed off but it hung in the air around Adam’s head, hovering, daring him to answer. But there was no response, from him or anyone else because Adam Mahoney was the last man standing on the face of the earth. And he had yet to feel it as deeply as he did sitting on a non-existent strangers’ truck on an empty freeway in the silence of nothing.

All words and images ©2009/J. Colle


Prom, 2009

Tonight my youngest child attended his senior prom. It is the first of two for him; next week he will attend the prom at another high school in town. But this week he is dining and dancing with friends from his high school, the one he is supposed to graduate from in late May (continue to pray...). His date for prom (well, one of them) is Taylor Brafford, a young lady he first met in kindergarten. They became fast friends, attended each others birthdays and, until we had to put a halt to it in fifth grade, Jordan was a frequent "spend the night" guest at Taylor's house on weekends. They stayed good friends and tonight, they end their twelve year educational journey and say goodbye to high school. We think it is appropriate they say goodbye together.

Below is the two of them at the beginning and then, again, tonight. (More pictures are at our Flikr site, here.


Random Ramblings

Coach Eric Taylor and his wife Tami (from the television show Friday Night Lights) are the best married couple on T.V. Maybe ever (sorry, Huxtables!). Their conversation using only their eyes in the season finale last week (at the wedding, after the booster meeting) was absolutely spot on. If you are not watching that show I encourage you to catch up online. The show just got picked up for two more seasons. It is quality entertainment and a worthy investment of your time.

In the midst of all the new technology and the latest social media wave it is so easy to be seduced by “big.” To reach a wider audience, to impact a large group of people with a pithy quote or a link to a Web site that will change someone’s life. The tools are out there and all it takes is determination and time. But are we losing site of “small” when we concentrate on “big?” The people I pass in the hall at work deserve a smile and a greeting. The person in the cubicle next to me deserves a genuine expression (verbal or otherwise) that shows I care. The clerk at the store deserves my patience when things are not going smoothly. The waitress deserves my attention and pleasantness even if it isn’t returned. There are so many areas in my life that I can influence that do not require a smart phone, computer or high speed internet access. When the “big” replaces the “small” I have a problem and we all suffer.

Why does it always rain on my bike riding days? Maybe I need to get tougher and ride in the elements. It just seems so much more dangerous...

Life is pretty interesting these days—and I refer to the big picture. I can only guess where all of the economic turbulence will land us (and I would probably be wrong). I sense a restlessness in a lot of folks, especially those that are being hit personally during this financial storm. I have to remind myself that victory in situations like this can take on many different forms. If we do not lose faith, do not get lost under the circumstances and, most importantly, do not lose our joy during these times, then we have won. Regardless of the cold, calculated outcome, we can overcome every option by digging in deeper to what we believe and know is true—God is in control. Our victory can be a full heart and unexplained joy that drives us to accept and rest in Him. "I do believe, Lord; help my unbelief."


Faith, Hope and Jay

The first time I saw her was, appropriately enough, when she was singing as the entertainment at a Sunday morning breakfast for our college class at church. I leaned over to the guy next to me and asked who the brunette was on the left. I had never seen her before. He told me her name was Hope Davis. I made sure that I finagled a way to meet her before the morning was over and, after that introduction, I did not see her for another year.

We met again during another church event. She was performing with a small group for a church fundraiser and I was waiting tables. I rode in her car with some others to meet a larger group at a restaurant for a post event dinner. I was unaware that she was trying to hook me up with a mutual friend but that didn’t happen. Instead, by the end of the evening, Hope Davis and I were in our own world, dancing, laughing and ignoring the rest of our group.

One week later we had our first date.

Three months later we were engaged.

Eleven months after our first date we were married.

27 years ago today.

I could say that I never would have imagined after that first night out with friends that this day would be here—celebrating an anniversary, three kids, house, cars, approaching 50 with her next to me—but that would not be telling the truth. I imagined all of that and more during that first night because I fell in love with her right after the enchiladas but right before “Celebrate” by Kool and the Gang. And I thank her for eventually returning the favor. It’s been incredible and will continue to be so. Sometimes you just know...


My Daughter's Journey

Below is a picture of my daughter's new tattoo. I find it really strange that she is the one who made the first ink move, but I would bet the boys sense an opening. Her tattoo is in Hebrew and it is Isaiah 52:7:

How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, {And} says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

So it's a concept tattoo. I love me a good concept. I have taught her well...

Random Thoughts

Every day is a challenge.
Every situation is unique.
Every conversation is fragile.
Every opportunity can be missed.

This is neither positive nor negative.
Just truth. Our approach tilts it to either extreme.