The Harkey Blog

Friday, November 26, 2004

Thanksgiving - the other white meat

Thanskgiving is an interesting holiday. As a kid, I didn’t care about the food, I just liked getting out of school. It also signaled the beginning of the Christmas season, so I definitely liked that.

I remember one time when I was about 5 years old and the whole family was gathered at my grandma’s house for Thanksgiving. All of the kids were outside and one of my older cousins suggested we take some sticks and “swordfight”. The first duel was to be between me and my younger cousin, Scott. Well, apparently no one explained to me that this was a “pretend” swordfight, so when we were told “go”, I proceeded to jab Scott as hard as I could in the stomach with my stick. Of course, he immediately started bawling and ran inside to his mom. Not good. I probably didn’t get any dessert that year. (Our favorite dessert as kids was a CoolWhip/KoolAid/Mandarin Orange concoction called “Orange Stuff.”)

We also had a strange tradition of walking down the railroad tracks. You see, my grandma lived near a set of train tracks. After lunch, the kids would always walk down the tracks as far as we could. Of course, we would also put pennies on the track so that a train would smash them down. (Thankfully we never derailed a train…) There was also some strange rumor that we started about a crazed hobo that should be avoided at all costs. Of course, I would never let my kids walk down railroad tracks by themselves today. I guess that was just a different time.

My grandma passed away last December, but the entire family still gathers together. (We actually moved the gathering away from her small house several years ago, so no more train tracks.) So today, we gathered for Thanksgiving at my mom’s house in Holdenville (OK). After lunch and the usual small talk a group of us decided to head over to the railroad tracks near my grandma’ s old house. I took Maitlyn with me and so passed on the tradition of walking down the tracks to my daughter. It didn’t take nearly as long to walk to where the highway passes over the tracks as I remembered from my childhood…

Of course, now as an adult I have a different perspective on the purpose of Thanksgiving. It is a day to remember how God has blessed us and give thanks. Duh. It only took me a couple of decades to realize that one. I am truly thankful for many things…

I’m thankful for my lovely wife. She loves me unconditionally and is an outstanding mother to our children. I’m thankful for my children. They are truly a blessing from God in my life. I’m thankful for The Grove, my church. I’m thankful that God chooses to use me to accomplish His purposes there. I am thankful for God’s creation. I love how creatively diverse it is. I love mountains – especially the smell of pine trees as I hike near them. I love the beautiful colors of autumn. I am thankful that God has called me, redeemed me and is in the process of sanctifying me. I am unworthy to have a relationship with the one who is most worthy.

There is so much more that I am thankful for. These things are just a small scratch on the surface. It is the day to give thanks. It is my aim to do just that.

I’m hungry for another piece of pumpkin pie… my thanksgiving vice. Now I just gotta find the CoolWhip…


  • Thanks for sharing your Thanksgiving stories! It's fun to read about others' childhood's. Your train tracks story brought some good old-school memories back to my mind. I'm thankful for a cool childhood.

    And I'm thankful for the Ring of the Fellowship blogs!

    By Blogger Nelson, at 12:27 PM  

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Maitlyn loves to play Halo

Well, not exactly.

Yesterday at dinner I said something about Halo to Elise. Then Maitlyn says "Daddy, I love to play Halo." Elise and I were puzzled since we don't even let her see Halo because of the shooting, etc. She insisted that she had played it. Well, as the disussion went on, she started to call it the "Halo Bus." We quickly figured out that she was referring to the "Hay Bus" at New Life Ranch! Of course, we rode the Hay Bus a few weeks ago at Rocktober, so that's what she was talking about.

So, no Halo for our 3.88 year old (I figured that out with the help of Online Conversion) little girl.


  • That's really funny! I can't wait for Emma to start talking...I think. She's pretty chatty as it is, I guess I'm just ready for her to be understood. But then it'll never be quiet in my house.

    And just think about this:
    What if the Hay Bus at New Life was like Halo 2, with people jumping around shooting at each other (but not REALLY dying). That would make New Life a lot sweeter. And since it's called New Life, it's kinda like "respawn". They should look into doing that. That'd be sweet.

    By Blogger Nelson, at 11:42 PM  

  • Ah, yes. NLR would be much sweeter. Especially if they had infinite grenades...

    By Blogger Brett, at 11:53 PM  

  • im up for Zanibar, infinite grenades, and hay bus. You could load your whole team in there.

    By Blogger Jason, at 9:25 AM  

  • Ah, yes. And the hay bus would have all the cool vehicle weapons - gauss cannon, machine gun, plasma cannon...

    By Blogger Brett, at 10:41 AM  

  • This is quickly becoming the coolest church camp EVER!

    By Blogger Nelson, at 12:02 PM  

  • just make sure to keep Maitlin away from those hunters . . . bad hunters, bad hunters! them mean little things!

    By Blogger shauna, at 4:01 PM  

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Friday, November 12, 2004

Crazy times

So, the last couple of weeks have been quite busy...

First, my mom was here over the weekend of October 28-29. We had a great time spending time with her and she always enjoys hanging out with the girls. We watched the OU-OSU game on Saturday, which was entirely too close for comfort (38-35). For some reason, OSU plays their very best game against us almost every year. I have this theory about that... we are their biggest game of the year every year. No matter what bowl they go play in, we're higher ranked than their opponent will be. My other pet peeve about OSU is this: if OU beats them, we brag about it for a week or so. Then it's on to the next game on the way to a championship season. If they beat us, they brag about it for a year (or more). I guess that's the nature of being the little brother. If you beat up your big brother, you brag about it at family gatherings for years...

Then on Tuesday, we had another guys' poker night. Much fun was had.

Then around came Friday (November 5th). A group of 7 of us from Community Group drove to Tulsa to see the David Crowder Band play in concert. We left here at 5:00 and all of us piled in our Suburban. A little tight for the 3 guys in the back seat, but still, when's the last time you got 7 people in a car that wasn't a huge van? Did I mention that this was a group of all guys... with the exception of Shelli Jones (who was with her hubby, Justin). She was a good sport about being the only chick (even if she wished that some other girl[s] would have gone). The show was at the "24/7 Club." This was really the youth ministry building of a church called Victory Christian Something Or Other. I think it's kind of silly when churches call their youth building things like 24/7 or 180 or things like that. There seem to be lots of those "numbered" youth ministries in Tulsa. The opening band, Mutemath, was great. They really put on a great show - there was quite a buzz in the room after they played their set. Then Shawn Macdonald, then of course, David Crowder Band, who were terrific as always.

After the show, we tried to find a place to eat (it was only 11:00), but most places we tried had already closed. Finally, we settled on Bennigan's. Bennigan's used to be a favorite late night place of mine, but we don't have one here in Fayetteville, so I haven't been in a long time. After dinner, we drove over to Stuart's house to stay the night. Shelli went to bed right away and all of the guys (including Jay and Roger, who decided to stay the night with us) stayed up to play poker and Halo. Of course, since we didn't start poker until 1:00 a.m., we were up until around 6:15 a.m. Boy was that dumb (but the games were fun). We slept for a couple of hours, then drove back to Fayetteville.

Later that day, we watched the OU/Texas A&M game (Stuart came over as well). Another close call (42-35). In fact, we didn't even lead in the game until the third quarter. The first 1 1/2 quarters A&M was pretty powerful on offense, but we eventually took over and won the game. At least we have a couple of easy games next up (Nebraska & Baylor).

Next up in the list of guy oriented fun activities... the midnight release of Halo 2. Several of us waited in line at EB games on Monday night to get our copy of this much-anticipated game. We played just a little bit online that night, but I think the Microsoft servers were overwhelmed because we had a little bit of a hard time talking to each other. (Since then, it seems like everyone is connecting just fine). The next day (Tuesday), we had a Halo 2 party here at my house. All in all 10 people came over and we had 5 Xboxes and 5 TV's, so that meant that there were 2 guys per TV. It was lots of fun, of course. Halo 2 is different than the original Halo, but I think most of the improvements/changes are good. I do miss the old pistol, though. I have to say that I really like playing online, but playing a LAN game with all of us in the same house still is a huge blast.

So, it's been quite a run of fun activities. Is it possible to have too many fun things on your calendar? Maybe so. We were planning on going to Oklahoma this weekend to see the OU/Nebraska game. However, because the game starts at 6:30 p.m., and it's going to be cold and rainy, the girls can't go. That means Elise would have to stay with them at her parent's house while I go to the game with the rest of her family. Also, Elise and Maitlyn have been sick. So, with all of that, we decided the best thing to do was just stay home this weekend to chill out. Of course, we can always watch the OU/Nebraska game on TV Saturday night because championship teams get TV coverage.


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