March 17, 2007

There must be fifty ways to lose your lover...

"Come quick Obi Wan, my wife has grown as big as a Death Star!"

Dirk's top ten list of things never to say to your pregnant spouse.

10. Uh, every outfit you wear makes you look fat right now.

9. I've still got my old combat boots in the basement, do you want to see if they'll fit?

8. Is this going to happen every time you sneeze or did your water just break?

7. Who are you calling lard ass?

6. Honey, of course I still love you. Just not in a physical way right now.

5. Oh my god, I think your navel has grown a penis!

4. So, just how many hours after the baby is delivered does the belly swelling go down?

3. Great, this is the last time I ever let our Net-Flix membership expire.

2. Are you sure I'm the baby's father? These ultrasound pictures don't look anything like me at all.

1. Responsibilities as a father, what responsibilities as a father?

March 16, 2007

Important reader poll.

Red hot firecracker vs. Red hot pepper

Who is the hottest; the red hot firecracker or the red hot chili pepper? I believe the answer to be self evident, but I'm willing to entertain all opinions.

I just thought the ladies would enjoy a non basketball related competition.

March 15, 2007

Call me when you get this...

There is a mystery to finding truth and the enlightenment that often accompanies it. It is a magical paradox that continually fills my soul with wonder at the secret workings of the world around me. Here is a great truth about truth; you may search for it with all of your might and struggle through all manner of devices to learn the secrets to wisdom and never find a single grain of truth. The miracle that continually amazes me is that when you are ready for the truth it comes to you so easily.

Truth is never absolute or concrete. It is not perfect. Truth is a living entity and like all living things it is fluid and continually changing. Only when the inflexible structures of my intellect crumble and fall at my feet like piles of leftover parade confetti does the truth serenely enter the humbled home of my mind to sit and visit with me. Truth comes only when it is ready and never when it is forced.

Yesterday morning I began the day with a goal in mind. I knew what I wanted from the afternoon and I set out to accomplish a plan; I was going to capture a picture of the first spring flower. I thought I knew the perfect place to go to fulfill my hearts desire, Glen Helen Nature Reserve. Little did I know that what I wanted to do was not what I truly needed to do. Truth had other things in store for me.

I never did find a flower to photograph yesterday, as it turned out the woods had other secrets to share with me during our time together. The peace and serenity that continues to fill my heart to this very moment has more than compensated me for the goal I did not accomplish at the Nature reserve. (Sometimes the truth you discover is better than the truth you set out to find.)

This afternoon I decided to take a thirty minute walk. It is something I try to make a habit of doing because I am a diabetic and the exercise is good for my circulation and heart. The day was partly cloudy and fairly breezy, but the temperature was in the middle sixties and quite comfortable. My mind was at peace and I didn’t have a care in the world. It was being a pleasant stroll and as I turned the corner at the halfway point of my normal route the truth jumped out from the most unexpected place as if to say, “I’m not quite done with you yet.”

So surprised was I at what I saw, I finished my walk home, gathered up my camera and returned to take a photograph of the truth in action. In the very last place I’d have thought to look for it was a flower. Nestled against the base of a tree in the front lawn of a dilapidated old house was a cluster of small purple flowers.

Sometimes the irony of truth is a funny thing. Yesterday I had so purposely traveled a long distance only to not find what I was searching for. Today, I had only to step out of my front door to find the very thing I was no longer looking for. How often does this happen in our lives? We travel great distances to search for things we never bother to look and see if they are already available in our immediate surroundings. How often do we ignore the truth at hand believing it can only be found somewhere else?

The flower of truth; in my own backyard.

Now for a sad truth...

It is three fifteen in the morning and just several blocks down the street from my home someone is engaged with the Dayton police department in a gun battle the likes of which I’ve never seen before. Megaphones are blaring with a demand for surrender but whoever is inside the house is laying down some serious lead. It has gone on unabated for at least twenty minutes or more.

The truth is that life is indeed bittersweet at best. Yes it is beautiful, but at times it can also be so very ugly.

March 13, 2007

Country roads take me home, to the place I belong

Today’s weather forecast called for clear skies, gentle breezes and temperatures in the low seventies. It seemed impossible after the soggy and often snowy weather we’ve endured in Dayton, Ohio this spring, but I believed with a faith born of desperation that the weatherman knew with a certainty what he was talking about.

I woke early in the morning and worked to get my household chores finished as quickly as possible. By eleven o clock the beds were made, the dishes were done and drying in the sink and the sweeper had been run through the downstairs living quarters. The digital camera and tripod I’d received for Christmas were packed into my rucksack and waiting on the table by the front door. I was bound and determined to get out and capture the woodland wilds of my community just as the Wizened Wizard has always shared the natural beauty of her own private reserve with the rest of us.

By eleven-thirty I was on the road and headed towards one of my favorite parks in the entire state of Ohio; Glen Helen. Whenever my soul is in need of revival this is the place that always seems to provide me succor and solace. It is about a thirty minute drive through beautiful farmland and when you drive as I did today with the windows down you can smell the good earth and it is a heady perfume to the soul.

Blue skies and country roads.

The last few months have been rough on the Bauman household. Pregnancy has not been kind to my wife, Felicia and I have not enjoyed watching her go through so many days of pain. When her normally gregarious countenance has not been hidden behind a mask of stoic endurance it has been covered in tears of suffering. Mentally I feel like the marathon runner in the last few miles of the race. There is nothing left in the tank and the only thought remaining in my mind is surviving the ordeal until the finish line.

By the time I pulled into the gravel parking lot of the Glen Helen Reserve I was beginning to feel a state of relaxation I’d not felt in far too many months. I was ready to begin my photographic safari and capture the perfect photo of spring flowers. This was going to be the perfect day.

It wasn’t long before the realization dawned upon me that the woods were still sleeping. Aside from a little moss upon the occasional moist rock or fallen tree the forest was still blanketed in a uniform brown of slumber.

The only flora I saw all day.

Still, the day was beautiful and it felt good to be out in the woods with the sun shining down upon my face and the smell of spring filling my nostrils. As I continued my walk I could feel the stress melting away from my heart and spirit. I felt like something was trying to communicate with me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but it was as if something was whispering in my ear.

There wasn’t another living soul in the woods or so I thought. The only footsteps I heard were my own as I walked along the path of my own spirit quest. When I came upon the bridge I knew that it was something for me to cross alone. Somewhere on the other side understanding waited for me.

The bridge.

The whispering continued and even though I still couldn’t put a name to its source I listened attentively. Now I walked with a purpose. There was something I needed to learn this day. It was then the rock spoke to me. It told me there is a path to a better place through the burdens that sit upon my mind like the weight of the world.

The weight of the world.

The tension in my shoulders began to melt away and I followed the path through the rock. Somehow I knew things were going to be alright and that events were proceeding according to a plan beyond my understanding. My spirit was refreshed and renewed. When I walked around the bend in the path I came face to face with the source of the voice who’d been speaking to me the whole day.

The living waters.

It was the sound of the water that had been whispering to me during my journey through the woods. It was the one thing I could not capture with my camera; the sound of the healing waters washing across the landscape of my soul just as they brought nourishment to the land around me. It was not the image I’d set out to capture, but it was a moment I was glad to have experienced live and in person. I surrendered my worries to the living waters and felt as if I’d placed them into far more competent hands than my own.

Still there was one more truth the day had to share with me. When I came to my journey’s end it was the stone steps that spoke the final words to my spirit and sent me home with a smile upon my face and a song in my heart. The steps told me no matter how daunting the path up the mountain appears there is always one perfect thing waiting for me at the summit.

The hard climb.

It has been too long since I’ve seen you smile without the grimace of pain attached to it. The tears you have shed have been like nails pounded into the fabric of my heart. Watching you suffer through these past few months has been the most difficult task I’ve ever had to endure. Yes, the path to the mountain top has been arduous and difficult at times but the son waiting to join our family will be worth every moment of suffering. I am so grateful for the joy you are about to bring into our lives. You are the most perfect thing I’ve ever known in my life. Thank you and hang in there, angel, the end is in sight.

The one perfect thing.


I apologize for having been away for so long. It has been difficult for me to feel creative during a time when my wife has been going through the travails she has endured to have this baby. Today was a break I desperately needed. Unfortunately, Felicia still has seven weeks to go before she gets a respite. You women are a tough lot. How do you do it?

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