Much like your parents attic, treasured memories lay within. So, wipe the dust off my ruminations and remembrances, sit back and enjoy!

I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, toto...

My wife TOTALLY out did herself...not only did she out do herself, she also completely surprised me as well! This past Sunday night, we had a planned date. We were going to go to Rochester to one of our favorite Italian restaurants (Victoria's) and then to a movie. We were both looking forward to this as we rarely take (or have) the time to do a full fledged date night...but Lisa was down right giddy about it. When we got down to Rochester, Lisa couldn't stand it any longer and finally said...'Hon, we're NOT going to a movie...' I looked at her and just said, '...OK...what are we going to do?' She asked, 'You don't know do you...? You really don't know?' to which I answered, '...I have no idea what you're talking about...' After a few more minutes of barely contained giddiness, she finally let the cat out of the bag...'We're going to a concert! We're going to Kansas!' I was confused and needless to say, a little stunned.

Kansas has always been one of my favorite bands, but I had never seen them in concert...I actually had the opportunity quite awhile ago, but I had heard they were really bad in concert...so, not wanting to ruin the image of my favorite band, I never pursued seeing them in concert. I must admit that I thought back to what I had heard and was a little trepidatious about what I might hear. This was a concert in the park thingy, so it was outside and just so you know...THEY ROCKED! Kansas celebrated their 35th anniversary this year and I am here to say they haven't lost their edge. They did all of their songs in the original key and it sounded spot on! Yes, Kerry Livgren wasn't there, but the band sounded great!

Here's a little bit of Kansas history that I found quite amazing: After 3 albums in 2 years failed to provide them with a hit single, Kansas in 1974 was under pressure from CBS records to write a hit. Livgren and the band realized it was their last chance. Due to Steve Walsh experiencing writer's block, most of the writing duties fell to Livgren and he rose to the challenge to write or co-write all the songs for their fourth album, Leftoverture. On the last day of rehearsal for the new album, Livgren brought the band one last song which they performed once before heading to the studio...That song was, Carry On Wayward Son which became Kansas' first hit.

Thank you babe, for making a memory that will last forever...thank you!

I love you!

~ V

A wedding...and memories

Today, after 27 years of single living, Lisa’s mother got married. It was a beautiful day and they got married in the park with flowers and a water fountain behind them. Lisa and I were honored to be their witnesses and the kids were there as well. We pray God’s blessing on their union and wish for them many, many years of happiness and love!

Tonight on the way to pick up Trevor from work, we drove past the lakes. As we drove past, I looked out over the darkened lake at the yellow and white lights reflecting off the water and it brought back a myriad of childhood memories. I remember family vacations that we spent in northern Minnesota or Wisconsin, staying in cabins that overlooked a lake and I loved sitting outside watching the lights across the lake at night. It was quiet and peaceful…sometimes you could hear laughter and talking from several cabins down…sometimes you could see someone light off fireworks across the lake.

I loved those times…times spent with my family away from the normal track of life. Times that were uninterupted by a phone or TV...Times that were spent playing games, fishing and just re-connecting as a family. It's times like those that I long to have with my kids and memories I hope they will have.

~ V

Rollin' Along

Our town is just a little spit of a town of around 650 people. When I moved here last year I knew Lisa and the lady who bought Lisa's old house (...what's her name again??) and that was just about it. Since then, I've met some of the parents of the kids our kids hang out with and coaching baseball introduced me to a whole new group of people that serve on the baseball board as well as more kids and their parents.

This weekend is Our Town Days, just a small town festival that includes softball and volleyball tournaments, Karaoke, fireworks, a street dance and a lot of other activities. So, last night we wandered down to city park with the kids and this is what I saw...I saw our neighbor, Mrs. D talking with Hope and standing in line to do karaoke. I saw Bev and her husband Paul working in the concession stand, serving people and talking with them. I saw Sally, Nadine and Jackie...three of the ladies that Lisa used to work with. Sally was brought up in this little town and honestly knows just about everyone. I saw Jaden, Issac, Cody and Gabe...some of the boys that I coached this year. I saw Bob and his little girl sing karaoke together...I saw my own little girl sing 'It's my party and I'll cry if I want to'. I saw Bridgette and her son Cody walk through and wave at us. I watched 4 little girls sing a song SO badly that I couldn't figure out what they were singing...and I heard the crowd applaud all the same. I saw families coming together and laughing...I saw the amazement reflected in the eyes of the children as showers of light flickered down from the fireworks. I saw friends...families, an entire community come together. And as I was sitting there...I realized that I knew a lot of these people and knowing that really made me feel part of the community. And I also realized that not only do I live here...this really is my home...

This is a peaceful little town and I love it.

~ V