Left As A Cruise Ship, Come Back As A…

Another in a series of stories from my recent travels on my first cruise ship adventure (see the previous post to understand this link).

I had no expectations as I boarded the Grand Princess which was docked at Pier 27 in the San Francisco Bay. After the rough start before checking in, all I was looking forward to was a week of fun and relaxation. As a recovering technologist, I was glad to know that once we embarked on the open ocean, we would not have any cellular coverage!

In fact, I vowed that even though we would dock at a few ports where I could obtain cellular coverage, I was determined to simply delete junk email messages and read the rest of the messages when I returned home. For those of you who truly know me, this was a hard thing to commit to but I knew that this had to be the right decision if I was going to sincerely enjoy this family cruise!

Before the cruise, I exercised regularly to achieve my desired weight because I was warned about the voluminous amounts of food that would tempt even the most disciplined of souls.

On the morning of the departure, I weighed myself to establish the baseline weight.

Why?

The answer should be obvious – I wanted to see how much weight I would gain even though I was determined to eat well.

As the maître de stated, “We leave as a cruise ship – we return as a

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Rough Start To Our Vacation

(this is the first of a series of stories from our recent cruise adventure)

Packing our suitcases, checking our list of necessary items for the trip, trying to stay healthy, and arranging for drop-off and pick-up transportation. All this for the start of our first cruise down the Pacific Coastline on the Grand Princess!

Excitement grew as each day drew closer to our embarkation date of April 1. Nothing was going to deter us from our wonderfully planned voyage. I was exceptionally excited as this would be my family’s first cruise ever! Finally, we could see what this cruising-lifestyle is all about.

Saturday morning arrived. We had to wait for my older son and his wife to arrive so that we can carpool together into San Francisco. Last-minute preparations and the loading of suitcases into the car with some extra room for their luggage.

My phone buzzed – it was my son calling probably to let me know they were almost here. Upon answering my phone, I heard the words that would deflate my enthusiasm.

Dad, we have a problem.

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The Most Important Job I Will Ever Have!

This weekend, there was a somber memorial service for a fallen California Highway Patrol (“CHP”) officer, Lucas Chellew, who was only 31 years old at the time of his death last week. He had served eight years in the CHP and his sister, also a CHP officer, delivered a moving testimony of her older brother’s legacy and life.

While we honored Officer Chellew’s sacrifice to protect and serve the citizens of California, a higher loss was recognized. He was a proud father of his young children. It is very sad that they will no longer have their daddy to protect them.

This made me think of my own status as a father. Continue reading

Overwhelmed By Cold, Temporary Problems

Have you ever felt buried by problems and circumstances in your life?

Just like this tree overwhelmed by the copious amounts of snow at Lake Tahoe last month, I can identify with this crown. Problems seem to pile up at times and just like this tree, I struggle to keep my head above water (so to speak).

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The good news is that when the snow melts in the spring or early summer, it will be standing tall to provide shade and a safe haven for nature as in past seasons.

Have you thought about how the base of the tree reacts to the freezing temperature of the packed snow? Do you ever feel that your problems seem to freeze you in a position that disables you from moving forward?

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A Very Special Christmas Gathering

 

The brisk sunny afternoon was the perfect welcome for the annual Christmas party that was about to begin. Relatives near and far converged upon this particular home which enjoyed the perfect backdrop of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Oakland hills greeted this extended family to a party expected to be filled with laughter, stories, and love that transcends four generations!

This much-anticipated family party was about to begin!

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Praying For A Miracle!

What an emotional weekend!

On Friday, we received word that a young man (from a family at our church) ran into the back of a parked tractor-trailer off the freeway. His injuries were life threatening as it caused much injury including a massive brain trauma.

The local churches have been praying all weekend for a miracle to happen. There is strength in prayer and God is always in control even though we often times try to take responsibility on our own. The situation is dire and although you may not know this person, your prayers are much appreciated.

There are two schools of thought here and this was inspired by a recent post by someone on Facebook that shared their frustration that we should not say, “If it is God’s will“. I have a different opinion…

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