Tag Archives: Car

My Life: A Photo Abecedarius

Wendy and Regina

R is for Regina (a.k.a. Reggie). We are one of those quirky families who anthropomorphize our vehicles by giving each their own name. When Wendy and I purchased our 2012 Nissan Murano I had been driving a Lexus 350 RX for work. The RX was dubbed “Rex” which is Latin for “King.” So, Wendy’s Murano naturally became “Regina” which is Latin for “Queen.”

Do you name your vehicles? Feel free to share in a comment!

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Top Five Quiet Places


Speaking of quiet, this week’s Top Five Friday are my Top Five quiet places. The places where I like to steal away:

1. My home office. I grew up having a room of my own and, as a child, I retreated there to play, imagine, create, and rest. Some days my room became the bridge of Star Trek’s Enterprise. Other days it was a courtroom, or a battlefield, or a football stadium. Now that I am grown, I still retreat to my room which is my home office. While the primary focus on the space is work, it is also the place for my quiet morning conversations with God. I still find myself playing, creating, and letting my imagination run free.

2. The Playhouse. We intentionally have not hooked up a television signal here. There is a television and DVD play for movies, but we’ve chosen to hold back the intrusion and constancy of the noise. Here at the lake the house, the deck, and the dock are places for quiet.

3. My car. I spend a fair amount of time on the road. The trip to Des Moines for work meetings is an hour each way. A trip to the Twin Cities for client meetings is roughly four hours each way. While I don’t always love the long drives, I’ll admit that I sometimes look forward to some windshield time. Sometimes it’s nice to turn off the radio, let the white noise of the road rumble on, and let my mind go.

4. The Des Moines Art Center. It’s always quiet. It’s free. There’s amazing artwork to inspire me no matter what my mood or mindset. What’s not to love?

5. Coffee shops. I don’t have a favorite, though I’m particularly fond of unique, out-of-the-way coffee shops which offer a one-of-a-kind ambiance and a slower, quiet neighborhood type of pace. There’s something I like about sitting alone in one place with my coffee and my journal, newspaper, or book and letting the rest of the world buzz in and out past me.

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A Car, by Any Other Name….

Tabitha Transports Taylor & Clayton from Their Wedding

So, in our family the cars have names. I know we’re not alone this (please, tell me we’re not alone in this). It seems that our autos become personified members of the family. Wendy’s 2001 Honda Accord is Sally. Our old 1991 Dodge pick-up was lovingly dubbed Tabitha by Taylor, who drove her to school for several years (Tabitha drove Taylor and Clayton away from their wedding). Madison’s first car was a Geo Metro that received the appropriate moniker, Squirt.

After many years of faithful service, Wendy decided it was time for Sally to be replaced. Admittedly, it’s a somewhat more greivous experience when you personify your cars, as if you’re hurting their feelings. So, she got her new car this past week (a Nissan Murano), but we didn’t know what to name it. Is it male? Is it female? We opted to wait on it and let the name come to us. All week we’ve referred to the car as “her” and “she,” so we were sensing it was female. Still, we didn’t have a name.

My business car is an RX350 named, shockingly, Rex. So it was yesterday, we were at Wendy’s folks and somehow the conversation came around to the naming of cars. In the course of the conversation I mentioned the fact that Rex is latin for “King” while Regina is latin for “Queen.” Wendy looked at me and it suddenly hit us at the same time. So, this morning we’re announcing to the world that Wendy’s new car is Regina (though we’ve determined her majesty prefers Reggie).

Parenting, Like Good Friendships, Never End

A few days ago I called my friend, Scott, to wish him a Happy Birthday. Scott is my most tenured friend. We met when I was four or five years old; it was so long ago that it predates my conscious memory. He lived a few houses down the street from me and our friendship began with Big Jim and G.I. Joes. It carried on through Schwinn Spyder five-speeds with banana seats, through paper routes, games of freeze-tag and after school basketball games on the Johnson’s driveway. We went through high school together, got in trouble together in Dr. Kober’s Hermeneutics class in college, and were in each others weddings. While our adult years have come and gone with relatively little contact, we can always connect and immediately pick up where we left off.

So it was with our brief exchange on the phone the other night. When Scott asked how life was, I remarked that I feel as though parenting is requiring more of my time and energy now that my girls are grown and gone and out of the house – more time and energy than was required when they were in high school and living under my roof. Scott laughed.

It’s almost 2:00 a.m. and I’m writing this post from the lobby of my hotel in Denver, Colorado. Knowing that my daughter was planning to drive home from the Twin Cities tonight, and hearing about a big snow storm bearing down on the Midwest, I texted Madison to make sure she’d checked the weather.  I told her that I didn’t want her and the car she purchased this week in the ditch of I-35 in the wee hours of the morning.

The phone woke me and Wendy up at 1:25 a.m. The ditch from which she was calling me was just south of Albert Lea, MN.


And so, I sit here in the lobby praying and waiting for her call to tell me the Minnesota State Patrol has arrived, that the tow truck is not going to cost more than the low limit on her credit card, and that she is safely back on the road. That accomplished, I will sit here in the lobby and pray some more until I get the call that her car is running and she has found the nearest safe, warm place to ride the storm out.

So, I am finding that parenting never ends, though the responsibilities and demands ebb and flow through the changing stages of our children’s lives. With his knowing laugh, I’m guessing Scott has found the same to be true.