Tag Archives: Magic moments

Can You Sense It?

Typically when I walk into a public restroom, my mind is focused on one thing. TOUCH AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. If you think too hard about all the potential creatures living on the floor of a truck stop bathroom on I-15, you get a little lump in your throat. If you stand and stare at the shiny, silver flush lever on the urinal and everything that it has seen in its lifetime, you might start to get a little dizzy. But when you approach the sink, covered in little pools of water, a small pile of soap under the dispenser and crumpled up paper towels that are overflowing the garbage can, you just get that nice anxious feeling inside. You know,  where you want to just leap out the door and get the hell out of there.

I am not a clean freak by any means. I am not a germaphobe. In fact most people consider me to be quite liberal in my hygienic practices. But I have spent a lot of time on the road this summer which means a lot of time away from the safety of my own private bathroom. I have noticed that there is an  increase of automatic sensors in public restrooms. You know the ones that flush for you, or turn on the water for you. I suspect it is to help remedy the anxiety described above. I can just imagine the sales pitch from the representative of the top bathroom sensor company.

“You see here bud, I can get you set up with the whole package. Urinal, soap, sink , towel and toilet sensors. To keep your bathroom cleaner, healthier and maintenance free.”

In theory, it sounds great, I can go to the bathroom where hundreds of other people go to the bathroom and not touch anything but myself.  But there is just one problem. I like to call it the “senseless sensor shuffle”.  You all know what I am talking about. It is like the sensors get a mind of their own. And they want to ensure you know that they are in charge of the general hygiene of the population.


Let me walk you through a scenario:

You are at the toilet, no where near being done with your business, the toilet flushes. You are a little scared, but composed. You walk to the sink to wash. Hold your hand under the faucet to get them wet. Water comes out. You slide your hand under the soap. Nothing. You do it again. Nothing. You wait for the person next to you to move so you can have access to their soap. Swipe your hand under the second soap. Success! Lather. Hopefully for 20 seconds or more but you are already getting anxious to get out of the bathroom because this is just taking too long. You put your hands back under the faucet. Nothing. You pull them back and repeat. Nothing. You move them side to side. Nothing. Now you are waiting for the person next to you to finish because you can clearly see that their faucet is working. Standing, staring at yourself in the mirror, with nice soapy hands thinking about how rich you would be if you could invent something that would make you never have to go to the bathroom again and save you the embarrassment these sneaky sensors have caused you. Finally your turn. You place your hands under the sink! Nothing! You pull your hands back, close your eyes and say a little prayer in your mind to the Deity of your choice. Slowly you slide them under the faucet and like a volcano that has been dormant for thousands of years, it erupts! Spraying hands clean of all soap as well as your forearms and the crotch area of your pants. You quickly move toward the paper towel dispenser next to the over flowing garbage can, wave your hand under it aaanndd? Nothing.  Forget it! You give your hands a shake, spreading water on the floor and wall next to the door and bust out into great wide open using your foot to kick open the door like a secret The Rock in any of his fantastic movies.

Of course the anxiety level is compounded when supervising a 2 year old during this entire process. I know people are worried about the future of this country right now. But as long as the people that invented those bathroom sensors don’t get put in charge, we will have hope for a brighter future.




Do you ever think you have it figured it out? You have your routines. You have your standard trips you go on every year. You know what to expect and what you are getting into. That maybe it is not as special because you have done it before. Well sometimes you need a reminder to show you how special every moment can be. Don’t take for granted the moments that seem routine just because you are in your comfort zone.

Each year my kayaking buddies and I make the pilgrimage to what we consider the promised land. You see living in Utah and being a kayaker has it’s challenges. It is kind of like being a skier and living in Wisconsin. Not ideal.  We have sparse water, not many large rivers and the creeks that do run during run off teach you to not flip over or you will lose your face!  Luckily Utah is situated just south of what is known as the whitewater state, the land of water and wilderness, the great state of Idaho.  If you live in Utah and you paddle, you either spend a lot of time in Idaho or you spend a lot of time staring at dry creek beds thinking about Idaho.  For this reason we have the annual trip to the Payette drainage. 4 days of endless whitewater, hot springs, great camping, and very minimal phone reception.  Paradise for paddlers if you ask me.
We always go in June when water levels are great and temperatures are high. This year I offered to give my sweet wife a break from taking on the kids alone while I run off on another adventure. I set it up so I would drop off my 4 year old at my sisters house in Boise on the way up. He would stay and play with his cousins for a few days and I would pick him up on the way home.  Amazingly enough, it all worked out.  So on Wednesday night we loaded the truck with all our gear to keep us entertained in paradise for 4 days and we left Salt Lake City. 4 kayaks, 2 surfboards, 4 grown men and one 4 year old named Emmett.
A couple of hours into the journey we made a pit stop. We loaded up on some snacks and drinks, made sure Emmett used the facilities and jumped right back on the road. Up to this point I had been pumping Emmett up and trying to get him stoked for the long late night drive.  Telling him how he is on a “dudes road trip”.  Or how we are so cool because he is on his first kayak trip. Every song that came on the radio with a good beat, Emmett would bounce his head or play a little air guitar. I could tell he felt pride in being on a legit road trip. It was at this moment that 4 grown men were blown away by the simplicity and stoke of a little dude having a brand new experience.  One of the passengers looked over at Emmett and asked “How awesome is this Emmett?” Emmett keeps jamming to the tunes and replies from his car seat “As awesome as it can be.”
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All four of us sat there slightly dumb founded by the simplicity of the statement. Emmett was completely right.  What seemed routine to me because I had made that drive a billion times was as awesome as it could be.  It didn’t matter where we were really going. We were getting after it and not letting the days go to waste. We were chasing passions and finding time in our busy lives to do something that we hold precious. It was as awesome as it can be at that moment.
The trip went off without a hitch. Emmett had a great time in Boise. We paddled as much as we could in 4 days and we all returned home to families, jobs and our busy lives. But one thing was different this time. We all appreciated the moments a little more.  Thanks Emmett for sharing your 4 years of wisdom. Every high five after a rapid or smile after a soak in a hot spring or greeting each other in the morning after sleeping through a rainstorm, the question was posed “how is it going?” The reply is now always the same.  “As awesome as it can be”.

Love Language – Part Dad

It is funny that in the world love is portrayed by little red hearts, flowers, and romantic images. Love is nothing like that for me. I try to express love on a daily basis. But to each person it is expressed differently and really hearts and roses are rarely involved in most expressions of love. That is probably because most of the love in our life is not the romantic type. Most of the love that I have to give is sucked up by family and friends. And though that is expressed differently with each person, it all comes down to one simple principle of why we love. It would take to many pages to give examples of all the different relationships in our lives, so today I am focusing on dads.


Earlier this week was an example of how my dad and I have interacted for the past 30 years. Becky, Emmett and I were driving home from a weekend in California. A little beach time to start the summer off right. About 2 hours from home our car decided it had enough and we found ourselves stranded on I-15 in central Utah.  Almost out of habit, the first person I called was my dad. Knowing that he was in Idaho and would not be able to do much from there, I knew that he would give me direction and let me  carry out what needs to be done. After listening to me babble about what happened for a few minutes he calmly gave me some suggestions and said good luck. That was all I needed and after a few more calls and some time hanging out it Fillmore Utah, we were on our way home. The next day he made his way to central Utah with me to retrieve the car. never once acting put off or unwilling to do anything to help.

My dad has always given me opportunities to grow and learn for myself, but he has always pointed me in the right direction to make sure my chances for success increased dramatically. Whether it was car problems, house projects, or career advice, he always strikes that perfect balance between telling me what to do and letting me figure it out on my own. This has led to amazing conversations that can last a long time as well as long periods of silence while sitting next to each other. There are not a lot of hugs exchanged or flowery messages or gifts. But laughter, insight and basic knowledge about life is always abundant.  Our language of love is based on the mutual respect we have for each other and knowledge that we are a good team and should take every opportunity to work and play together. Which we do.

I hope to be as good of a father to my son as my dad is for me. But right now our language of love is so much different.  If I want Emmett to know how much I love him I do it through grilled cheese, water guns and rescue stuff. Also by sharing my passions with him and teaching him the importance of adventure. Oh yeah there is also rough housing. Nothing says I love you like a body slam to the bed and getting beat with a pillow. Every night when Emmett goes to bed I say ” I love you buddy. You’re my best friend.”  He always repeats it right back to me. I don’t think he knows what it means. He just knows it as part of the bedtime routine.  He knows I love him because we have deep discussions about fire trucks and potato bugs. We have our secrets from mom and sneak each other candy from grandmas candy stash. But most important,  as with my father, our language of love is based on the mutual respect we have for each other and knowledge that we are a good team and should take every opportunity to work and play together. Which we do. At least the play part.


If you were to illustrate expressions of dad love in my life there would probably be a picture of an extra gooey grilled cheese sandwich, late nights driving someplace, early mornings in the mountains and home improvement projects. Try to paint that picture and pass it off as a classic love scene. Most people would think it was complete randomness. But if I saw something like that, it would bring a tear to my eye. It would be speaking my language.

Next week, Love Language Part Dudes.

Shiver Me Timbers

I feel like a pirate. Not one with a peg leg or an eye patch.  One that lives in a digital age full of  information flying at you like cannonballs. Between celebrity gossip, mommy blogs, adventure reports, and all the other swashbucklers out there trying to share information with the world, it seems like we are always under siege.  Sometimes it is better to just take over an existing ship instead of sinking it. I am officially commandeering this platform today. Preparetounload.com is my wife’s blog that she started while we spent a summer in Hawaii. It has had its highs and lows just like all of us but now it is turning over a new leaf. Setting out for the open seas. And I will be it’s captain. Don’t worry I kept Becky  on board to be the fair maiden and contribute. Together I hope we reach new locations and share them with all who want to join. Here is my creed.

All I live for is now
All I stand for is where and how
All I wish for are magic moments
As I sail through change
My resolve remains the same
What I chose are magic moments
Because ships are safe in the harbour
But that is not what ships are made for
The mind could stretch much further
But it seems that is not what our minds are trained for
We call for random order
You can’t control Mother nature’s daughter
Ships are safe in the harbour
But that is not what ships are built for
The witch hunter roams
The scary thing is that he’s not alone
He’s trying to down my magic moments
As we sail through change
Ride the wind of a silent rage
And sing laments of magic moments

– Author unknown

The poem has a different meaning for all of us. Our decisions and focus in life are governed by our current position.Regardless of where you are you should always ask yourself; Am I having magic moments? I love to share my thoughts and philosophies  because most of them come as shots of personal inspiration during the magic moments. Often while I am in a special place that is not a safe harbor.  They appear during the pursuit of a passion or at the realization of defeat. They appear when all the synapses are connecting or when you find yourself in over your head.  They happen all the time and the important thing is that we recognize them and act on them.

Moving forward from this point I am using this blog to unload my magic moments with the world. I want everyone to know what life is like outside of the harbor. Expect to see me spew something once a week for you to devour, reject or point and laugh at.

It will be driven by my priorities in this life

– Family

– Outdoor adventures

– Pursuing passions

– Helping those in need

– Becoming a better member of the international family that lives on this earth.

– General observations of what we call “modern day society”

Hopefully all will be entertaining and insightful.  Come follow me and take what you want. Laugh, ponder, enjoy. You will hopefully see my writing improve and join me in sharing what makes us all tick.

-Captain Pitt Grewe