Wild Gray Goose

Celtic tradition identifies the Holy Spirit as a Wild Goose. He is the wings of a Wild God best followed by the wildest of men. I'm gray. I'm wild. Like He, I am not always predictable, rational, or safe. I believe my full life and my still maturing years of Walking With God offer both heart and substance for younger lads to consider. Now with 4th stage prostate cancer, following the Wild Goose has a different pace and perspective worth reflecting on...and sharing.

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Location: Full Time RV, mostly near Temecula, California, United States

I'm a young fella not far from 73 who's made it to the far and frayed edges of the adventures I‘ve been hankering for since boyhood. The age thing and my pursuits are relevant since I now have advanced 4th stage cancer, moved from unsuccessful chemo treatment to oral med...and they seem to be working. Now, after selling the ranch, my beautiful life-mate of 48 years and I live and travel in an fifth wheel RV we call our "covered wagon". The new and rich development of 2012 is our purchase of ranch in the marvelous plateau above GRAND JUNCTION at the head of the Colorado National Monument where my young family with six children run a whole-family therapy ranch, DEEP RIVERS FAMILY RANCH.

Friday, January 22, 2010

"My Grandfather" And Pancho Villa

          I subbed for 3rd grade yesterday. My favorite grade; cowboys are still heroes. Short of a full day's lesson plan, I reverted to the standby, an essay. "My Grandfather"; "Write anything you want. If you don't have one, tell us your dream grandpa."  Then they read them. Touching. And I learned about all sorts of grand fathers. All but one, including two fictional ones, were cool and loved. Because most of their families still speak Spanish, we heard of a lot of old world (Mexico) cowboys.
          I learned as much from their faces as I did from their stories. As they read, it showed me again that grandpa, popi, grand dad and papa are names held precious to them. One lad talked with clear pride about his "grandfather" Pancho Villa. A few questions affirmed the lineage but we upgraded Pancho to G,G,G,grand father.  Do we, do they, care about our roots?  We revere those mysterious heroes from our history that offer us strength.  To some a bandit, to others a hero; it doesn't matter much to Pancho Villa's GGGgs.  What does matter is he has a history.  And Pancho Villa has generations that honor his name.
          How better to be reminded of the significance of grandfathers? ..."From the mouths of babes."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Norte Vista, A Future View Across the Desert

Norte Vista. Sounds like a bluff overlooking the rugged wilds of Utah. Rugged, yes, but I'm pecking this out from the library at lunch from Norte Vista high school in Riverside, California.

What does that have to do with life in the slow lane to significant fathering, generational style? A lot, because I am subbing as a teacher up close to the Millennial generation and not sure I like what I see. Sure, it's a special ed track. And they liked me and were well behaved (what a relief to the norm, these days). But they didn't know nuthin. Really. And almost half of three classes declared (with hands feebly raised) they were chosing college for their future.

I asked about family settings, including diner with the entire family at least four days a week. Half raise hands. Half had grandfathers living somewhat nearby. "Has that been a help in your life?" Half of those, or about 1/3 of three classes, said yes.

During a break, I caught a Parade Magazine article from 2002 by Joyce Brothers (remember, in CA we are saving money everywhere, but Parade '02?!). Through studies and experience, she affirmed what we all guessed. Families with grandparents in the picture had deeper roots and healthier lives. She ended by saying, "...and with family roots that grow deep, the branches reach further to the Sun." Thanks, Joyce.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Lord, Can I Have a Re-do ?!

So, I sit along side my webby podna, the Internet wrangler who's going to help me put my Generational Fathering blog.  (Wait for it.  It'll be cool and link in here.) 

We're at Stardollar or whatever that big city coffee place is.  [Note: y'all wanting campfire java, best you ask them pretty Baptists girls, or whatever they call them for a "triple shot".  I learned they import hard beans whats been cooking all night on a cattle drive.  They got plenty of hair on 'em.  The beans, I mean].  But I digress...

Denny said on my explaining a center concept of two or more generations partnering for the upbringing of a newer generation, maybe two, "Isn't this like giving old guys like me a repreive when they didn't do all that well the first time around"  Matt added, "Yeah, I get a lot of dads halfway in to family therapy wishing they could have another shot at it.  They want to hit the rewind button as if they were recording something really worthwhile for posterity;  they want a 're-do'"

Dad, need a re-do?  Me, too!  Matt gives it to me.  Let's me in on the nurturing, coaching, modeling, and I get to take each or all grandwonderkids out on treks when dad is tied up...like all working dads.  And, that's why I couldn't wait to send Taylor (now 11) my almost-monthly letter of encouragement with a wee bit of admonition thrown in, of course.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Blue Moon snow ride...at midnight.

So, we are here again. So soon? Yep, with the first venture of soninlaw (and Best Friend Forever), Matt. We're saddle mates in several dimensions.

Last night, toward the end of 2010's first day, we did one of our Saddlemate cigar rides, full (“Blue”) moon, on a snow cover at 9000 feet. Organized the book a bit, but mostly we awed at the incredible beauty the Creator sets aside for those who take the time to take it in. Until both horses got stuck in a drift and, lurching to survive, threw me, cigar sparks flying as I rolled along the crusty snow, it was a lovely sortie. Another story to add to the dozen similar rides. Somehow, they’ll fit in the book. The Traditional Gen co-nurturing with the Next Gen over the Millennial Gen. There’s something to bringing heritage down from the family tree and applying all those “old” generations have to offer in order to leave a legacy that will cycle in each future generation. If I were rich, I could leave a hospital wing. Better, even if so, I leave living monument of goodness and godliness

This is the tone of the blog; personal stories relating to the Cowboy Way of walking with God. They'll spill from and in to Matt's and my book, Generational Fathering, now in the research and composition phase.

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Friday, January 01, 2010

OK, OOOOKAY! It's the new year.

Time to try this again. Returning to active blogging again. It's been a year since made the same effort. Failed. BUT, my son in law, Matt, and I (the "social work cowboy" as a Marriage and Family Therapist and Equine Director at a residential adolescent ranch in Utah) are leaning hard in to the book we've had on our hearts and our minds for six years or so. Generational Fathering is the topic, perhaps the title, and extracts years of "co-fathering" the five grandwonderchildren we loaned our daughter, Cari.

For my New Year resolution, probably the only one I'll keep, is to keep this personal blog active as relates to family, personal stories, life and spiritual insights. Another blog will be (probably) under GenerationalFathering.com as a platform to discover stories, create active and possibly testy exchanges on the role of fathers, the value of deliberately overlapping generations to balance out the fathering equation and to better prepare our children for the tumultuous world they face that we seem unable to change through politics and complaints. So-doing will take our heritage, apply it to the parenting challenge today, and lay a path to future generations to be watermark legacies who will Walk With God and touch the world and grow the Kingdom of God.

This serious-sounding commitment is now out there. I intend to launch the new blog in the third week of January.