Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Tame Lion

When I was a child, I remember going to the zoo in Houston. Now, I have been to a lot of zoos in my day and they all start to run together after a while, so it did not surprise me that the only part of the Houston Zoo that I remember distinctly is the gift shop. It is funny to me that in spite of my love of animals, and the importance that I placed on a trip to the zoo as a child, the only thing that I can remember is the place where you buy things. That, my friends, is good advertising.

I spent much of the morning doing chores, everything from washing cloths to cleaning my truck. It is a challenge to keep my truck clean and organized, but the bigger challenge that I faced today was how to fix the leaky rear window. The solution that I came up with involved some pliers, a pocket knife, and a hammer. For two hours I scraped silicone, applied weather stripping, disassembled and reassembled the window, and pounded on random pieces of metal, in an attempt to make the back window fit properly into its frame. I think I have achieved success, but I am not sure.

Staying with the Greenisens is a vast improvement over the parking lot next to the abandoned building where I slept my first night in Texas. Dr. Greenisen and his wife, Bonnie, make a funny pair. Bonnie is a sweet, red-headed, green eyed lady of Swedish decent and Dr. Greenisen is a shorter, rambunctious gentleman with a narrow beard and a friendly face. They have made my feel welcome by not making a huge deal out of my stay. If I want to do something, that is fine with them. If I want to do nothing, that is fine with them.

I am really impressed with Bonnie’s cooking abilities. Last night she made delicious lasagna, accompanied by key lime pie and cookie cake. At the dinner table, Dr. Greenisen carried the show, with stories about his times in Russia, and what those guys would do with a bottle of Vodka and a coffee mug.

“If you could give one piece of advice to me, or to anybody really, what would it be?”

After a moments thought, Dr. Greenisen responded, “Trust your instincts.”

“And what about you Mrs. Bonnie? What would you say?”

“Be a life long learner, because if you are a life long learner than you will have the ability to change careers or life direction when you need to.”

After tonight’s dinner, I met up with a friend from Tuscaloosa who is working in Houston and we went to Chelsea Wine Bar. I have really been amazed by the different cultural experiences that you can have in bars around the country. I sat there, sipping red wine and talking with my friend about the future of space travel, while in the background a 6ft 2in biker in a leather vest pinched his girlfriends butt, and a bartender wearing pearls and a black and white plaid skirt stopped to listen to the group of people playing Celtic flute music. It was definitely worth buying a glass of wine to get to experience the atmosphere of Chelsea Wine Bar.

I am starting to learn that there are a lot of good people to meet and good experiences to live if you are only willing to pay the cost of inconvenience. It is worth making an unexpected U-turn and pit stop when the result is a gymnasium with trees growing through the floor. It is worth four hours in the hot sun on the beach to be able to talk to some neat surfing instructors.

Not every risk is worth it. That is why they call them risks. On the other hand, nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you never take risks or do hard things, you miss out on a lot of what God is offering us in this part of life.

3 comments:

Phil B said...

Andy,
Good title.
Some good observations, and some good questions.

Keep up the good work.

Rahbean said...

hey old friend!
i came across your blog today--you are in houston??! i worked there this summer for 6 weeks, just flew out of IAH this morning... crazy timing! will this roadtrip of yours take you near denver? that's where i hang my hat these days--you should come say hello!

thanks for sharing your adventures & ponderings. peace and blessings,

robyn

Andrew Bishop said...

Hello Robyn!

I am glad to hear from you. What brought you to Denver? I will be passing through there sometime around the end of September. Send me your contact info on Facebook and I will call you when I am in the area.