Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Greatest Thanksgiving Movie

After the Thanksgiving festivities, Karen, Seth, the dog, and I travelled back to Louisville Saturday afternoon. When I say "Thanksgiving festivities," I truly mean we had great excitement and celebration like never before.

Our family began the tradition of watching movies on Thanksgiving over a decade ago. You can appreciate being thankful for ten plus people simply agreeing on one movie. That aspect of Thanksgiving is a gem in itself. Let me state for the record, in recent years we have been helped in the movie selection by Princeton's Capital Cinema. This historical theatre presents Princeton's entertainment seekers with not fifteen, twelve, or even ten, simply four movie selections.

Yes, we have had some poor picks through the years; The Mirror has Two Faces tops the list of all-time worst movies, not to mention the harrassment we still give our mother for this selection. Two years ago, my uncle, Hershael York, called a quick audible from Master and Commander starring Russell Crowe to The Missing featuring Cate Blanchet and Tommy Lee Jones. Let it be known that the only two who enjoyed the movie were my uncle and his wife Tanya - hmm. The rest of the family knew this was a close second to Barbara Streisand's two-faced mirror. Last year's movie can be summed up by my wife. At that time we weren't married but I had told my parents I met the woman I was going to marry. As we watched the previews, Karen laments with relief, "I'm glad we're not seeing that movie," but to her suprise, National Treasure was beginning.

Harry Potter was our film of the year, and I must say it was better than its predecessor and really the best yet to come. Although, the movie was not the highlight of the night. My sister Cindy and her husband Ivan stole the show with their humorous yet serious card passed first to our parents then to everyone else for their enjoyement and celebration. The punch line of the card read, "Seeing your mother's expression in a movie theatre - priceless." The card led the reader to believe Cindy was pregnant. Once my parents read the card, we heard mumbles of disbelieve and questions to Cindy for certainty. We read the card and all sat in Capital Cinema thinking about Cindy and Ivan's blessing. Mom and Dad's face were quite the sight as the reality of a grandchild soaked into their heart.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving List

In my Dad's weekly column "Chip off the Old Block" in the Times Leader, he always has a Thanksgiving list. I try to emulate my dad in many, many ways because as my sister concedes he is the world's perfect dad. Thus, what I am thankful for

being married to the most wonderful woman in the world

waking up with my best friend everyday :)

spending time with my wife

snuggling on the couch with my wife

yes, the dog too :)

parents that love me

a dad who traveled everywhere to my wrestling matches

a mother who always prays for me

finishing the ironman

my wife taking care of me after the ironman

my dad running ahead of me during the run of the ironman telling everyone I was coming (WOW! He's awesome)

Cindy's initiative to start new traditions in our family

a sister that reaches out to me

a grandfather that has preached the Gospel & been faithful for life

the last remaining days of vanilla coke (as of '06, Coke is ceasing to make vanilla coke)

my sister that always has the cousins over at holidays

My MSJ jogging pants

friends that travel to support me in the ironman

family that provides money to earn a college & masters degree

My Morning Jacket

a pastor who supports & loves me

the ping pong table at church (even if I've been dethroned)

the picture @ Mitchell's of us wrestling

when my wife leaves me notes in misc. places

meeting with John Mark at Starbucks

the desire for knowledge & the ability to read

a crazy dog that fights with his own feet

godly women like Bea Cundiff who desire so deeply that teenagers will commit their lives to God
a mother that hates dogs but will allow Bozzy into her house

friends that still make fun of my 5-head

being married

Michael & Charlie Frost

when Karen makes her famous peanut butter bars

feasting on Karen's peanut butter bars

living with Karen

being a youth minister

hearing Karen say, "I love you"

hugs & support from Gerald Cannon

hubcaps on the grand am

chipotle sauce from Subway

when friends ask me to officiate their wedding

going to my wife's hometown for Christmas

listening to the preaching of God's Word

which necissitates a thanksgiving for Russ Moore

in-laws (Ivan, you are #1, seriously, I am thankful for you)

a wife that wants to do the half-Ironman in May

nag champa - one of the greatest aromas, even though I'm one of the few that thinks so

a house that is HUGE

playing uno with my wife

having a wife that is a conference champ @ a division 1 school (she really is good @ everything!!!)

Nathan Hardeman who mentors me in the ministry & also opened the door to triathlons

the funniest man on the planet - Chris Mills

an amazing uncle, whom I can't say enough about

my wife's faith & ministry

the love I know because of God

Monday, November 21, 2005

Hillbilly or not?

For a short time of my life I was branded as a hillbilly, when I moved from Princeton, Kentucky to Cincinnati. I certainly thought it was strange considering I never even heard my own accent much less think I was from "the hills." Nonetheless, Bill Cunningham sheds some light on one of the historical uses of hillbilly right at the turn of the 20th century in his book On Bended Knee.
Caldwell County played a central part in the war against the giant American Tobacco Company or simply known to the tobacco farmers as the Duke Trust. James Duke had made a monopoloy in the tobacco industry. Thus, the tobacco farmers in Western Kentucky and Tennessee formed the Dark Tobacco District Planter's Protection Association of Kentucky and Tennessee. The Association banded together under the leadership of Felix Ewing, Charles Fort, and Caldwell County's own, David Amoss. Tobacco farmers joined the association to loosen the stranghold the trust had on tobacco prices that had plummeted from 8-12 cents a pound to 3 cents and less. The Association rallied support throughout the black patch in order to hold out for better prices and not accept any offer until ALL farmers were compensated for their hard year of work. Beginning in 1904, the Association began and turned to dark mearsures in this war with a group known as the Night Riders beating, threatening, and destroying crops of those outside of the Association.
The farmers that did not join the Association were termed hillbillies. Cunningham states,
"The only known explanation for this term was given by a farmer from Trigg County, Kentucky: 'It's this way you see. Most people that live on hills has got goats. Most of those goats is billy goats. And you know what a goat is? No matter how much grub he gets at home he is always wandering around for stuff belonging to other people than his owner. He is forever taking for his own good things he never did nothing for. For that's the way with those here men. They don't do nothing to help the Association if they takes the benefits of the prices the Association makes.'"
Enjoy your lesson on the historical usage of hillbilly. I'm sure you'll think twice the next time someone calls you a hillbilly. Rather than being considered someone from "the sticks", maybe, just maybe, they might be calling you one of those goats that are forever taking things you never did nothing for.

What to eat for the holidays?

The new Johnny Cash film has just opened. Although I am not a big fan of biographical movies because of the known rise-to-fame heights & pitfalls that accompanies this genre, I have high expectations for this movie and will watch it.
The reason I bring that up is because of the fun ad I just watched with star Joaquin Phoenix. The commercial featured him shopping with a cart full of fruits & vegetables but when the turkeys were in view the ad turned sad and gloomy. His clutch line was, "Holidays can be murder for turkeys. Let's do this one for the birds."
If that doesn't inspire me, I don't know what will.
The ad was displayed on a Peta email I receive. That's right I receive Peta literature. I enjoy the propaganda combined with the serious plea to treat animals with the same dignity as a person. It is the responsibility of Christians to be a good steward of God's earth. However, the bottom line that stacks Peta's philosophy is that we are all one big family of the same biological pattern but different process.
I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey in these next two months, but I hope you don't lose any sleep like the turkeys do over there soon to be demise.

Winds of Change

I just recently joined the blogosphere only to jump ship to another site. Oh well, I'm glad you're here. More to come . . .