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Joy in Gray

Today is my favorite kind of day. It's about 60 degrees outside. The sky is bright but gray. There is a misty breeze that has left a translucent veil of glittering water on all it touches, magnifying color and texture. I love the feel of cool air on my skin and in my lungs. I am exhilarated. I am energized. I am happy.

I had the chance to meet the artist, Thomas Kinkade once. It was on a similar day in the Napa Valley. He was on his way to a gallery featuring his work but the artist in him couldn't help but to stop and paint what he was seeing. The colors of the grape leaves, the light on the wild mustard, all of it was too much for him to pass by. The intensity of the colors, the vibrancy of life. He was so animated and excited as he tried to describe what he saw and how it called to him like deep calls to deep. I can't write my name legibly, but I knew exactly what he was talking about. I wanted to be jump up and down with him and exclaim, YES!! I know!! When I see his work I think of that day, which if I remember correctly, was his birthday. He touched my heart with his unbridled joy. That and he was very kind to my kids. They were so young, I don't know if they remember meeting him. I'll have to ask.

I enjoy people who are excited about what they do or what life holds at any particular moment. It's infectious to me. My brother-in-law loves music. His tastes are very eclectic. My sister got him an iPod and he is like a kid on Christmas morning with it. He loves to search for the songs of his youth. He has all the gadgetry he needs to play it for himself while he is mowing their property or to play it for me and my neighbors while he's working in my yard. Mike is a great brother-in-law. He's the kind of man who enjoys meeting people and doing new things. He has no hesitancy in joining in whatever he happens upon. He was in Toronto once and ended up at an Amish auction and a Portuguese bull run. On a different trip he and my sister were at a Lexington hotel and one of the other hotel guests, a former jockey, missed a ride to Keeneland racetrack. The man was going to be late for an event and Keeneland being a local destination, Mike told him to get in and they would drive him. My sister took it all in stride. It's just the way her husband is. When she told me the story she said, "The jockey rode a famous horse once... Aly something." That would have to be either Alydar, who ran second to Affirmed in all three legs of the Triple Crown- which Affirmed won and was the last horse to do so. Or it was Alysheba, a Kentucky Derby winner. Mike has all the fun. He saw my neighbor's children digging a hole in the field between my house and theirs. He walked over to investigate and the kids thought for a moment that they might be in trouble. They sheepishly told him they were looking for fossils. Little do they know Mike's the kind of man who will put some fossils in his truck and look for the kids outside the next time he comes to my house.

I used to go fossil hunting when I was a kid. There was a rumor that the local community college would pay for fish fossils. They paid $1 per inch. I think it was started by a professor who wanted to give kids a reason to be outside. However the rumor started, I was on my quest to find fossilized fish. My room was full of the fossils I found. I couldn't bear to part with them. I wanted to be an archaeologist but didn't know how to get there from my family from hell. It seems that God had other plans for my life. I went to college the first time thinking that I would build a foundation of studies that might lead to anthropology or archaeology, but got sidetracked with public-safety. I still like fossils, though, almost as much as I like today's weather.

As I sit here at my computer, all the windows and doors of my house open, enjoying the breeze and the smell of clean air, I am deeply appreciative of the moment and thank God for it. He knows how happy I am and how stirred my soul is on days like today. I am hoping that I can find something to do with this part of my life that will give me a sense joy and wonder. I want to find my passion. Please, Lord. Help me find my passion and may it be pleasing to you.

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