Thursday, June 2, 2011


     Last week you heard my "When I was a kid..." stories.  This week it is Jim's turn to share some of his favorite childhood memories.  Again we promise no "walking to school through snow and sleet" references- just some of our favorite memories that we'd like to pass on to our child some day.  Enjoy! 

Jim at Easter when he was four years old

When I was a kid, I loved the outdoors...

     As a child, I spent hours each week hiking, exploring, bike riding and swimming.  If a tree was big, tall, or unusual, I probably climbed it.  Hemingway describes an old growth forest like a cathedral.  I experienced this often- the woods behind my home was truly a sanctuary for me.  From early ages I was refreshed by babbling brooks and mini waterfalls.  I am still refreshed by nature today.  Amy and I love to go hiking on one of the many trails near our home or take a drive up to Lake Tahoe for a mini escape.  I can't wait to pass on my love of nature to our child.  Sand, pine needles, and autumn leaves, I look forward to feeling these under my bare feet along with my child's small feet. 

When I was a kid, I loved holidays and family gatherings...

     When my brothers and sisters came home from college I always enjoyed spending time with them playing board games, watching movies, just sitting and talking for hours, no agenda, just family and friends spending quality time together.  I am the youngest of five children and was always fascinated by what my siblings (John, Peter, Heidi, and Becky) had to say about their lives away from home.  I still love to get together with family and friends on holidays.  Celebrations are always best when shared!  I look forward to celebrating with our child and introducing our child to as many friends and family as possible.

When I was a kid, our kitchen usually smelled like a baker's paradise...

     How many times did the aroma of fresh baked cinnamon rolls fill every room in our country home!  Strawberry rhubarb pie, pineapple upside down cake, peanut butter cookies (Man, I'm getting hungry!)-these are the smells I grew up with.  Mom was such a good cook.  If it could go in a casserole, she made it work.  And when she canned cherries or grape juice the smell coming from that kitchen was a thing of beauty.  Mom shared that love for good food with my siblings.  John and Peter have an appreciation of the finer things that years of being bachelors couldn't erase.  Both Heidi and Becky have become fantastic cooks in their own rights, this process began when they practiced on us all years ago!  And, of course, Amy is constantly making our apartment an inviting home by the love she puts into her creations.  Our child will be able to enjoy the sights, smells, and tastes of this paradise.

When I was a kid, I loved Christmas...

     Vibrantly colored gift wrapping dazzled my young eyes.  Life always seemed at peace whenever the tree was up, decorated with lights and our mismatched, but well loved ornaments.  Lights and scented candles were everywhere and mesmerized me year after year.  Hearing the story from Luke chapter 2 about a special  baby and His arrival brought joy to my world.  Giving of gifts and the enjoying of gifts given felt right in this happy context.  Christmas was a magical time and a time of togetherness.  How many board games did we wear out from use each Christmas!  How often I was warmed by hot chocolate and marshmallows after hours of sledding with friends or family on the hill across the street!

When I was a kid, I used to play sports with kids in the neighborhood...

     I can still remember every rut, hill, or mound on the field where we played.  Football, baseball, soccer- it didn't matter- the game was always fun.  Sometimes the neighborhood dogs would join in the play and new games would be created.  There was always a dirt path between my house and my neighbors and it was always well-worn!  As I got older, I traded the field for the basketball court, but I never lost my love of the game.  As a high-schooler I enjoyed volunteering as a soccer referee.  I look forward to refereeing, coaching, and/or cheering again someday when my child is playing.

When I was a kid, my dad taught me to garden...

     My dad always said the garden was the most naural place to feel close to God.  He showed me how to plant, fertilize, water, weed, maintain and finally harvest a sizeable vegetable garden.  I loved the smell of the tomato plants and the crisp pop of green beans fresh-picked.  One year I stood, overwhelmed by pride, as I saw several of my tomato plants towering over me- over six feet tall!  Money was tight in those days and I am sure we saved quite a bit by having a vegetable garden, but looking back I think my dad had other reasons.  Looking back I see not just a boy cultivating and growing a garden, but also a boy cultivated, raised, and shaped by his father's garden.  This is the legacy I ache to pass on to my child. 

When I was a kid, I learned to love music.  I had a growing hunger for knowledge.  I came to know God and began a relationship with God that has impacted all my other relationships for the rest of my life.  I learned to work hard, to play creatively and enthusiastically.  I learned not to be overly affected by what other people do to me, but to remember to "consider the source," as my dad used to say.  I loved to watch television, sometimes too much!  I enjoyed spending time with others and walking this journey of life together.  I really look forward to walking the road ahead with all the people in my life, and I look forward to a set of small feet coming with me on this road.


  1. Love reading your blog. It is great to see your heart.

  2. This brought tears to my eye's Jim. Very well written!!

  3. Jim, thank you for sharing your heart with us. It is such a joy to see the things that touched your heart as you were growing up. Like Amy, God has given you a special gift of writing in a way that helps all of us understand you better and to see your hearts desire to have a child of your own. To share those same type of things that your dad shared with you with your child. Since we never met your dad it is nice to read how he impacted your life. Thank you for sharing with us and we look forward to hearing more from you....