a new start

I’ve been through a lot of major life changes over the past few months. Mistakes have caught up with me. Life has caught up with me. But this is a new year, a new chance to do things right.

So I will start with this. I’m sure no one will really care. But I plan to make this my place to share what happens. Here are some things that I am planning that I want to write about:

>I’m planning to train for a 5-k.
>I’m planning to buy some chickens and raise and slaughter them.
>I’m still working on a masters degree.
>my wife and I are planning to play more music… and to play more gigs.

Anyway, if you are interested at all, check this blog out. I’m going to write it even if you don’t read it, so you might as well.

have you ever heard the wolf cry…

If you’ve never seen the Northern Lights, you’re missing out.  Seriously.

Leah and I left a friend’s house at about 11:30 tonight.  I looked up and realized that the northern lights were the brightest that we’ve seen in a long time.  So we drove outside of town where there is less light, and we realized that the Aurora Borealis was filling up the entire sky.  So I took Leah home and grabbed my camera, and left again.

I drove about 6 or 7 kilometers north of town to a small parking area next to a causeway over a small lake/swamp.  The weather has been unseasonably warm, but there is still 3 or 4 feet of ice on the water.

If you don’t know anything about where I live, its in the Canadian subarctic, and once you leave the city limits, there is literally nothing for hundreds of miles.  I’m not exaggerating.  So when I left town, I was in the middle of the Canadian wilderness.

So I pulled into this small parking area, and there was a cop sitting in his truck, presumably taking a nap.  So I pulled into one of the short driveways into the area where I had a good view of the lights.  I took a few blurry, but pleasing pictures.

A car full of teenagers pulled into the parking lot and drove down the boat ramp out onto the water (the frozen water, obviously).  I guess they woke the cop up, because he left.  They made some noise for a while.  I overheard something about UFO’s, and there was lots of coughing–the kind of coughing that one does the first time they smoke cigarettes.  But they probably started cigarettes when they were 7 or 8.  So I assumed they were smoking pot.

After a few minutes they left, and I was alone in the wilderness.  I looked up and there was a strip of red Aurora Borealis.

About this time, I heard a wolf howl quietly, probably a quarter to a half a mile away.  If you’ve never heard a wolf howl in the wild, it is one of the most incredible experiences you will ever have.  I imagine many of you have heard coyotes howl.  Coyote howls are an odd mix of whiny and malicious sounding–maybe even a little pretentious.  A wolf howl, however, feels like someone is speaking to you, in a familiar language yet you don’t quite understand.

So I had incredible northern lights above me and a wolf a few hundred yards away, enjoying the lights too.  So I realized that in response to this wolf howling, the lights had gotten brighter.  So I pointed my camera toward the spot where the color transitioned from green to red, put it on a 30 second shutter.

And this is the picture I came out with.

Right after the shutter opened, that wolf howled again–which was cool.  But then another one howled about fifty yards away from me.  So before the shutter would close, I got into the car.

No, of course I didn’t leave, I turned around and drove toward where I heard that wolf.

Unfortunately, I did not see the wolf.  But here are some wolf tracks in that same place from November.

I couldn’t help but think this whole time about how freaking huge our God is.

peeling potatoes

DSC_8508, originally uploaded by brandontheguy.

We went to Winnipeg for a retreat. We peeled potatoes at the Siloam Mission after we finished serving breakfast.

On Sunday morning we went to a big mega-Baptist Church. The kind where the pastor makes six figures, and the youth pastor isn’t too far behind.

We ended up going to their youth service because, well, it was a group of teenagers, plus Leah and me.

The youth pastor gave a message that basically encouraged us to all be nice to our friends.

After we left, a few of the teenagers thanked me for not watering down the God stuff as much as that guy did.

I’m not going to lie, I felt like I had just won the lottery.