Out of the Wilderness

Stories from an unmarried guy navigating through dates, owning a couple of dogs, being a brother, son, and friend, and looking for adventures along the way.

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Squirrel- it’s what’s for dinner!

Rocks fly. Dust rises like an early morning prayer. The chase is on. Squirrels on high alert rest easy realizing it’s just a frisbee Asia’s chasing. Clutching it with surprising strength, she clasps the toy in her mouth and returns for either 1. an epic tug-o-war or, 2. another toss.

Of course, if squirrels do have the courage to tread where dogs may roam, it could be to their own peril. Then it won’t just be dust rising like an early morning prayer, it’ll be cute little squirrel prayers. “Dear God, I know you brought me into this world, but please don’t let these dogs take me out!” Do they remember what happened to old man Charlie squirrel when he went out for some acorns? Details are a bit fuzzy but the facts are this: Homeowner came home to find a mutilated squirrel in the yard, and neither Asia or her sister Piper had a good alibi. An educated guess is that Blue Eyes Rising (Asia’s Native American name) chased it down and Little Big Ear (Piper) did the dirty work.

Piper: Uhhh, Asia you look like a donkey.

Perhaps they heard the legend of the rabbit babies that had to escape their rabbit home before they became Piper’s afternoon snack? That’s not folklore, folks. The dogs’ owner found one remaining baby bunny huddled against the brick of the house. Typically what happens inside the gates stays inside the gates, but you know the neighborhood… talk is cheap when the story is good. So these little animals take it on the run when these four-legged freaks are out. “Get to the speedwagon! The ladies are runnin’ wild!” is what they probably say. But it’s actually just Asia chasing that frisbee mentioned earlier, and Piper trotting to the fence for a pat on the head from neighbor Joyce.

So squirrels and rabbits of East Ridge, if you’re reading this, Piper and Asia want to be your friends. So come by and be their dinn– errr, friend– some time!

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A controversial play at the plate, you decide!

The summer season of softball has me taking the mound for the CMT Swingers. I usually play outfield but I’ve really enjoyed pitching, and didn’t know I would like it so much. I’ve even worked on a knuckle ball. Whether the knuckle helps at all is up for debate because a few batters had solid hits off of it. But I’ve also struck out a few that surprised me. Another “trick” I like to do is pitch the ball quickly when the batter gets in the box. My philosophy as a pitcher and a batter is when you’re in the batter’s box, you’re in the game. But a lot of times the batter will stand in the box, get their feet set, look down as they wave the bat around a bit. Then the moment they look towards the mound for the first pitch, it’s falling over the plate for a strike. Boom, got ‘em! I like it when I can get a strike called. So in the game I played recently, one of the batters commented to the plate umpire about the pitch coming before he was ready. I overheard the umpire say that it’s legal, but it’s dirty. His reply stuck with me the rest of the game because there are a few things I know about myself when it comes to sports: 1. I love competing. 2. I want the ball and 3. I hate cheating.

So when the umpire said the quick pitch was “dirty,” I was immediately affected. Whether it was called a strike or not, it felt like a strike against my character, and directly opposed to the aforementioned thing I hate (cheating). I didn’t do it again the rest of the game.

We lost.

I’m not saying the two are related, but looking back, I think after the umpires comment I loosened my grip and lost the mental control I had over the batters. It proved true in the last inning when we were winning 9-7 and I walked 2 of their worst batters. The next guy up to bat became the winning run.

Could the controversy for me be playing to win vs. playing so people like me?

Is it no holds barred vs. having class?

Kind vs. competition?

These things I will wrestle with for the next few days because this coming Wednesday? It’s playoffs. My spirit and body will give 110% on the field, but it’s my mind that needs to be made up by then.

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Wild manta rays off Florida coast

The “Salt Life” stickers I often see are a good reminder of how much I love the ocean. We all need a little salt water therapy now and again, right? I recently spent time on the coast and I’m always amazed by what I see there. This particualar trip, it was this:

I can’t think of anything better than paddleboarding in the bay and seeing wild manta rays cruising by. I’ve been going to this beach since I was zero days old and now, 35 years later, I still get to experience a first. Awesome. I hope when I die and go to Heaven my room has an ocean view… or better yet, it’s at St. Teresa Beach, Florida.

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Dam to Downtown: A Kayaking Adventure

Nashville from the Cumberland

Nashville from the Cumberland

It felt like Christmas morning yesterday as my friend and I met up to kayak starting at the Percy Priest Lake dam, down the Stones River to the Cumberland River, and finishing downtown. It was pretty amazing. With sun-burned arms, sore backs, and sore legs, we stepped on shore and practically kissed the dry land, 8 hours and 21 miles later (tracked through the awesome MapMyRun app)! Here’s where we started and finished (plus a gallery of pictures below)…Kayak Adventure MapThe highlights:
1. Watching a deer by the river bank. We floated upon it as it was eating, wagging it’s tail, and slowly making it’s way through the woods. Amazing to see it in it’s natural environment, virtually unaffected by any human disturbance.
2. Seeing a couple of bright yellow birds fly over the river.
3. Horses drinking water from the river.

horses drinking water.

horses drinking water.

4. 50-year-old women on a pontoon boat twerking as they motored past us. Actually, the visual that’s burned into my mind is a lowlight, but the odd experience is a highlight.
5. Finding a little spillway that looked like a place you’d find in Ireland (in the gallery below).
6. a view of downtown Nashville I’ve never seen before.

Anyone interested in another unforgettable adventure in kayaks, I’m up for it!
-Out of the Wilderness

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I Used to Wet the Bed

I distinctly remember as a child thinking to myself, “I will always wake up early on Saturdays to watch cartoons,” and wondering how anyone could do anything different… ever. I also remember wetting the bed, a lot. It was cold. It was not good. My point is, things change. Even personal absolutes (like watching cartoons) that I thought would never, ever, ever change.

queen“…get on your bikes and ride!”
Queen (from Fat Bottomed Girls)

Afternoons cruising Natchez Trace. Picking up my babe. Nodding at bicyclers. Not falling over. The fantasy of owning a hog became reality in 2007. This was after years and years of wanting one. It was everything I dreamed, except the part about picking up my babe. And nodding at bicyclers. And not losing my key in a corn maze. But still, it was awesome.suzuki2It took all of a day for my mom and sister to tell me on the phone, “You should sell it.”  There wasn’t a chance of that happening. I was the brand new owner of a mean machine and thought to myself, “I will always have this bike.” But things change. Even personal absolutes.

I sold the bike almost a year ago now and haven’t missed it for a second. All this begs the question, though, what’s next? Are there things in my life that I’m sure will never change? I love living in Nashville and don’t foresee leaving. I recently had a major overhaul on the food I eat. I have a job that I really enjoy. Are changes in any of these areas on the horizon? Not sure, but I can tell you one thing…

I don’t wet the bed anymore and that’s all you need to know about that!

-Out of the Wilderness


post about loving the motorcycle, never planning to sell it

then one day, selling it… by choice

right now it’s Nashville, I can’t imagine living somewhere else

what will it be 5 years from now, 10 years?


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