Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

Today, I went dirt bike riding for the first time.

I didn’t die.

I did wear a bike helmet and running shoes instead of flip flops.

After I rode the dirt bike, I tried out an ATV—which I have done before, when I was 15.

This time, I could reach the foot pedals while seated so I didn’t have to stand the whole time.

I’m having a good time, visiting Susie’s relatives: David and Barbara, and their kids.  They have a lovely place near Denver.  It’s on a huge piece of land, and they have an awful lot of things that are very entertaining, like a great big TV and a motor home.

“I never dreamed I’d have so many toys,” David said to me in his garage, while we looked at the dirt bikes and basketballs and tool boxes and SUVs and everything else in his garage, after eating a delicious pork tenderloin on his fancy BBQ.

He wasn’t being boastful.  Nor was he wistful about the perils of materialism and the forgotten quest for a simple lifestyle, as I think many of my Vancouver friends might interpret his comment.

No, he was just saying: He’s a fortunate man in a fortunate family, whose bounty has exceeded what he ever dreamed of growing up.

And what’s interesting about that, is that we spent a fair amount of the day talking over lunch and while working on the motor home about the adversities and setbacks that we’d each faced.  Even good luck, it seems, doesn’t always come easily or without consequences.

Because the other thing that’s interesting, is how much he and she and the family seem to give to their community, to their friends and to their family.  They have a pretty wonderful spirit of wanting to help out whoever’s in the most need.  That’s not always the easiest person to help.

In fact, it’s pretty easy to help out your best friend, and harder to help out someone you don’t know that well, but often that’s the more valuable assistance, the place where the littlest gesture can have the biggest impact.

Anyway, those are the lessons I learned today: Help out those in need, be truly grateful for what you have, whatever that is, and always wear a helmet when dirt biking, even if it’s a girl’s helmet with flowers on it.  You never know.

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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