Monday, August 20, 2007

How Merriwether Got His Groove Back...

Walked out this morning, don't believe what I saw
Hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore

-Sting/The Police



I'm back!

Spent a lot of the last few weeks exploring a really scary place, my brain as it confronts it's own mortality. Again.

I'm 10 months away from turning forty (but still damn sexy!) which, for someone who always felt he was destined greatness, has been a bit of a reality check.

I've come to the conclusion I won't be great. I'm just a guy, though somewhat twisted, and it's time to cut away some dreams.

I'll never learn Chinese.
I'll never become a martial arts expert.
I'll never learn to weld.
I'll never quit my job and open a wilderness survival school.
I'll never learn Kendo.
I'll never bench 300 pounds.
I'll never be wrote about in National Geographic (or the letters column of a certian magazine).
I'll never build and master playing a copy of the Blue Man Group backpack PVC plosive aerophone.

Just like everyone else.

But it's all good, because I get other stuff instead.

A life filled with small, wonderful adventures.
Two stunningly beautiful, wonderful daughters.
A gorgous, brillant wife who is nuts about me.
A body covered in scars, each with a great story behind it.
A chance to help others (note to Ig: you made my day).
A job that sends me around the world and pays great (one word to young people out there: metallurgy)

And now a few more details:
I've mentioned a few times about my job being tough. I'm basically a chemist who has become an expert oilwell plumber. The job pays great but it's very high stress. Along with my normal job responsibilities I also work in the training department teaching new employees about oilfield chemicals. I've been voted best teacher in our company of 16,000 employees. Apparently I can make a complex subjects entertaining and simple to understand (though sometimes I meander a bit. It seems every talk I give on corrosion gets sidetracked into how to forge a Samurai sword...but the students love it). But a side result of all this is they are giving me more and more classes to revamp, though I get to teach them in places like Norway, Russia, China, etc... On a sidenote, I got promoted today. Bigger paychecks, more responsibilities, and they want me to write several books. More cuts into family time.

Ah, family time, what a change Mambowether has made. Miniwether was to the point where she and I could have a great time in the woods. She's four but knows edible plants, safe vs. "owie" bugs and other wilderness skills most scouts don't have. When we first got her she could barely move even though she was 10 months old, but she loved to ride in my backpack carrier as I wandered through the woods. I'd hand her sticks and tell her about leaves on our rambles.

Mambowether is different. She's an 18-month old dynamo of speed and oralness. Taking her into the woods is an exercise in stooped running and grabbing things out of her mouth. Not exactly fun. She doesn't want to just ride on my back, she wants to run through flowers chasing butterflies and then eat them (not nearly as tasty as grasshoppers). End result, taking her into the woods doesn't happen as much as it did with Miniwether. I've found my wilderness romps have been severly curtailed and it depresses me. I've come to the realization that it'll be a while before our outings are back up to speed.

So be it. Those times will return.

One other major thing that's going on is Clark and family are moving. In less than a month they'll be gone. They'll still be in the greater Houston area, but our quick, spur-of-the-moment trips into the Spring Creek borderlands will be coming to an end. Major bummer. We'll still get together for big adventures, but those don't happen nearly as often or as easily.

Anyway, I just wanted to give you a glimpse into what's going on and why I haven't been posting as much. I had to reorganize things and decide what's important, decide what I love doing.

And what I love is my family, adventuring, and telling people about both.

I can't guarantee I'll still post something every week but it seems you'll be here when I do show up. I'll try not to keep you waiting too long.

Oh, and for those of you waiting for the next part of the Wendigo story, don't worry, you'll get more soon. Not the next post, but soon.

Coming next: 3600 miles of asphalt, two kids and no portable DVD player

Adventure! Excitement! Exploration!


Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that you are brilliant. I mean it. I remember eventful one day in Dr. Data's computer science class - We were to write a simple program that made a line appear on the monitor and move down to the bottom. I glanced at your station and you had made your own version of the bouncing, spinning screensaver we all recognize now. I was in AWE. Me? My computer started to smoke. Dr. Data had to get out the fire extinguisher. You are now a fabulous chemist/teacher/father / husband (Your wife is awesome, btw). I'm still a goober who bumps her head alot and occassionally starts things on fire by accident.

Don't quit writing. We love you.

chris said...

17,000 hits!!!

Merriwether the Adventurer said...

Y'all are too kind!

Keep it coming. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Try to post one more time....your site does not like me! I check your site every morning when I get to work. It makes me happy to read of your adventures. Keep it up! Congratulations on the promotion. As for being a great teacher, I could have told you that 15 years ago.... Glad you have decided to keep posting.