To say that life has been eventful around here would be the understatement of the century.
On April 3rd, Tyler, who at age 23 is not just my oldest son, but also my oldest child, went to the courthouse and married the love of his life, Taylor Carr. Around a week later, he shared the news with us that we are to be grandparents. I'm happy that there will be a new life in our family, and overjoyed that Tyler will get to experience firsthand the absolute true joy that being a daddy is all about. What I can't offer happiness over, nor can I wrap my mind around, is this whole "grandpa" thing. To me, it's evidence that I'm no longer a young man - that middle age has silently crept up on me and taken over. But, it is what it is. The baby will arrive on or about December 10 of this year.
A couple of weeks back, I developed this horrific headache - far worse than any migraine that I'd ever experienced. I have hypertension, and my body throws up red flags when my blood pressure is too high - the primary warning system being headaches. In times past, I could pop a couple of extra-strength tylenol, lie down, and the headache would disappear. This time, however, nothing worked - not tylenol, not goodies powders, not sleep - nothing.
I suffered with this headache for almost 2 weeks, and finally caved in and called my doctor. I told him that I was going to pay the emergency room a visit - he instructed me to keep him informed. (I should stop here and tell you that I am very compliant with all of my medications - I never miss a dose.) I contacted a friend requesting prayers, and informed them of what was going on. The response was "Take a teaspoon of cayenne pepper right now. Don't ask questions, just trust me." I figured "What have I got to lose?" and took the cayenne pepper, along with a ton of milk to eradicate the painful burning on my tongue as a result of taking powdered cayenne pepper.... Within an hour, everything was back to normal. Gone was the headache that had been an unwanted/undesired guest residing in my head.
I saw my doctor the following Monday, and I reported what had gotten rid of the headache. After prescribing me different medication, he said "I can't officially tell you this, but it wouldn't hurt to add a pinch of cayenne pepper to your daily diet." I reckon that's why the license on his wall specifically states "License to PRACTICE Medicine". He's a top notch physician, not to mention a great personal friend, and I'm glad that he's open to alternative medicine.
This Friday, I'm speaking at the annual Trail Days festival in Damascus, Va. - this is my first time since 2005 speaking at this particular venue. Leisa and the kids will be joining me.
On Saturday, we're going to head off onto the trail for an extended hike - lasting until next Tuesday or Wednesday. I'm very much looking forward to it - it'll go a great distance in taking my mind off of everything else. I'm so looking forward to hitting the trail with Leisa and the boys - this is my most absolute favorite thing to do. You can have Dollywood; you can have Six-Flags; and you can certainly have the beach... Give me a few days of total solitude on the trail, and life's problems cease to exist. There's no rat race, there's no waiting for hours in a line to ride a 2-minute roller coaster, and there's certainly no hot sand burning your foot (okay, for you it'd be FEET) while you're walking to the beachfront water. It's just you and whomever your with out in the great outdoors enjoying nature as God intended it.
It's going to be a great time - and I wish it were for more time than just 5 days. 5 days is just a good start.