A short thought of Thanks

I have my priorities screwed up most of the time. I’m focused on the unimportant and not urgent, instead of the opposite. I’m behind the eight ball, in a game that I haven’t gotten around to starting yet. I overall rarely use discipline to keenly discern the highest priorities for long term big picture payoff.

But this week, this Thanksgiving holiday week, I’ve been content with that.

Turkey day snuck up on us fast this year, and I threw together our plans at the last minute. I didn’t do a lot to make the most of it and multitask it to the max.

Thursday was a great day, just as hectic and overindulgent as it was. It wasn’t perfect and that was 100% fine by me. I still am recovering in some ways, and happy about that too.

It’s all okay, because I have SO MUCH to be Thankful for. I did notice the tiny moments that I caught a kind word from my wife. I got to watch our silly daughter play with her rambunctious cousins. I appreciated the amazing meals prepared with love. I saw family gather, and share. In one fine moment after another, peace was passed around the rooms in so many ways.

There is a ton of things I didn’t do and I could have done better and could have prepared more for. Oh well, this is real life, and this is just about as good as it can get.

I thank God for the many blessings in our world and may you feel them yourself just as I have this Thanksgiving.

Until next week my friends, Take Care and Give Thanks!


Aaron Nichols

On a dark desert highway

If I need to escape into a daydream and flip through my mental memory rolodex, I instantly transport to an empty and undulating desert highway. The late evening summer sun is finally settling behind a far-off mountain range. Every color in view is another shade of reddish brown. It’s been hours since civilization, and my speedometer is reading around 80mph.

I have no radio signal, but for some reason my phone is able to stream a Royals game. The slow pace and the uneventfulness of several scoreless innings are well-matched to the static landscape all around. Nothing out here is moving but me and I can barely notice that either.

This is southeastern California, there is no sparkly beach or buildings or congested population. This is no-man’s land.

It was already late afternoon when I finally picked this route to Lake Havasu. I was worn out with the traffic leaving San Diego; it took awhile to decide which way to escape that mob. I probably should have stopped earlier at Joshua Tree, but I was so detached and oblivious from our week of vacationing, that I missed it altogether…

Nope, out here, there is no National Park. It’s not pretty enough for that. This is just barren desert.

Eighty miles per hour may seem fast for a narrow two-lane. Without even a chance of seeing a patrol car, I could have easily added another ten. I kept it somewhat reasonable though, since every couple miles, the road dropped out from under me for a hundred feet at a time. Calling them ‘dips’ doesn’t give these cutouts much credit. I think these reverse bridges are designed to let water cross the road, in the slim chance that rain ever finds this place. This strip of asphalt is one long sandy roller coaster.

I wasn’t quite lonely out there. I was so far removed from the real world that Roxy lying silently in the back was companionship enough.

Two hours back, there was a four-way crossing. A sandblasted brick box used to be a service station. I slowed down as I got near. There were two relics resembling gas pumps. Both were occupied. One with a large red-caked old Winnebago and at the other a frustrated soccer mom stood by her SUV. I passed on through, with a foolish confidence. My gauge read just over half. Surely enough to make it one of the other towns on this map…

I came upon them, every 40 miles or so. Back in history there was an established town there. At least I would guess that’s why the map showed a name. They were now nothing but tumbleweeds and rock. My journeying wasn’t limitless, the tank only holds so much. This road is much longer than I had thought it to be. The fuel stops I hoped where there; weren’t. I motored forward into the young desert night, not knowing when I might run out and then how soon help might arrive.

This is the sort of place that isn’t on the way to anywhere. Most people wouldn’t have a reason to be this far out in the desert. I knew I would need to be on-guard if stranded here… Finally, after a couple long hours watching the needle of my gauge dropping, I drove up to a general store. There were gas pumps with electricity. A 4×4 highway patrolman sat across the road. But sadly the place was locked up, and pumps on the fritz. Dang, I had to pee…

Nothing to do, but head back out there, now with less than a quarter tank, I still had miles to go. My nervousness was on constant increase on that last stretch heading into Arizona. The pastel pinks and purples of the clear sky darkened into navy then midnight blue. In the distance I finally saw tiny spots of yellow, it was Parker, a real city perched alongside the Colorado River.

I don’t think I had but a few fumes left, when I pulled into the Terrible’s Quick Stop and let Roxy out the back. I was hungry from a long day on the road. I still had to find a place to camp for the night. I narrowly avoided being stuck in that desert. It was real relief to hear fuel gushing through the hose.

I drove around 3800 miles on that trip from Princeton, KS to San Diego and back. That late evening blast across the sandy moonscape of California was maybe my favorite of the trip. It was a bookended moment in time that etched itself into memory. I was enchanted with the area. I was maybe in actual danger. I drove along a razor’s edge at 80mph and damn, it was fun.

My life here at home is pretty pedestrian in comparison to that night. I have routines and awesome moments with my girls and I’m glad that I don’t fear for our safety here. I wouldn’t want a Mad Max existence, barreling around constantly in battle for survival. On that night though, I began to question the boundaries of my safety net. I powered myself right into that problem, and luckily coasted on out.

Memories are hard to make, when everything is perfect. Those times when it all goes right, can be somehow forgettable. Like I said back on the first line of this story, when I daydream, I find myself way out there, so far from home and uneasy in my seat. That was an experience of real adventure and the impression upon the mind is vivid.

Scarcity can be so satisfying in hindsight. I did make it through; there was no disaster at all. I probably had a mile or two to spare even. I entertained more fear than necessary. It was special though, that drive across nowhere.

Without surprises, those other segments of the trip were curiously forgettable. All those well-fueled and carefully planned miles I navigated fade into the mundane. I guess it’s ironic, to think I spend a lot of my energy planning to avoid life’s problems…

I guess the moral of this one, is to appreciate the unrest, the lack and the will to drive where others don’t. These might just be the only memories to cherish someday. The ‘normal’ ones could blow away like the dust, in the wind.

Until next week my friends, take yourself out there, where no one else will go, and enjoy every minute of it.


Aaron Nichols

You Gotta Fight for Your RIGHT!!! Right??

I hate to admit that there few things I want in life more than this. It’s embarrassing and probably immature, but true. This one thing seems to trump (ha!) most other personal values and I’m ready at any time to fight for it. I relish the moments it happens and regret whenever it doesn’t. Sometimes all I’m doing all day long and probably in my dreams too, is yearning and aching To Be RIGHT!

Being Right is My FAVORITE!!!

It’s sad but true, it seems that I can’t help it, and I’ve just always been that way. WHOO HOO, I LUV TO BE RIGHT! Hitting the lottery for me, would be that I could spout irrefutably undeniably and authoritatively with absolute faultless correctness whenever I spoke! How AWESOME would that be!!




Actually, wanting to be right, as much as I love it, isn’t always helpful even though I want it to be.

I must not be the only person in the world like this, because as our recent social media opinion-s’plosion shows, it’s not uncommon to see folks spreading their own righteous assessments around like manure. In fact this blog here, is my personal field to fill with my own bull-stuff every week!

I do think however, there is a reason you are reading my words online, or someone else’s FB posts, or listening to a podcast, or clicking on a video or even tuning into a cable news channel. I believe that if you are engaged and listening, that you somewhat agree or relate to the content. At the very least, you can stretch to understand their presented point-of-view somewhat. Enjoying media that is congruent with your own preconceived ideas, can reaffirm ones’ inherent correctness about world and life issues. My writing may help you confirm your own handle on life’s truths.

Now, I know that some of you are mature enough to watch or read the articles of your opposition. If you are like me, you even seek them out. I have several podcasts that I religiously follow, and one happens to be from an atheist. His words are slowly delivered with a greatly varied vocabulary, and he sounds extraordinarily intelligent. Yet! I do listen to his hour of oration, merely to hear for myself, how right I AM, and how wrong HE IS. His obviously misguided attempts to replace the perfection of God’s lushly created universe, with random chance mutations of stardust and lightning strikes is bafflingly enlightening!

Again I find myself in search of affirmation, more than transformation of my own limited and admittedly wee small-mindedness.

I won’t apologize a bit, for wanting to strengthen and develop the inner stance and core belief structure that I want to use as my life’s navigation compass. A sailboat needs a rudder. A mission requires a map. ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up someplace else!’ You see my point, right.

But, we come to a real impass and problem, when I have decided that I completely know all that is right, and that YOU are incorrect about EVERYTHING. If I am conservative and you are liberal, we have nothing positive to discuss. If I live sober and you enjoy booze, forget it, you’ve lost me at ‘Beer-Thirty!’ If I deeply appreciate the profound rebirth of my life through Christ, and you think the Bible is an old tired book of fairytales, then excuse me, but we will end the conversation there!

How can I continue to swim and splash and wallow in my own personal correctness, if I am to interact with any entity that doesn’t agree with me already! It’s almost impossible’!

Although I truly enjoy being right, when I am, (which is like almost always :)) I know deep within that it’s fear and weakness and low-level egotistical nonsense that requires I only always be right in my own mind. It proves in fact, that I must not have concrete 100% bulletproof belief, or else it could easily withstand an opposing opinion at any time.

Assertive compassionate self confidence with a reserved humility is how deep-rooted well-being dresses. An established inner stance can play and interact with the world around it, without lashing out at everything that moves in an opposite current.

With this being election week, and our country in surprised shock at itself, the boxing ring bell is dinging; ‘Insecurity!’ ‘Insecurity!’

If we all really had it figured out, and we were so right about all our opinions, there wouldn’t be much to say at all. We would simply and intentionally live out our personal values to the fullest possible extent. It wouldn’t even take words to do that. We would do, instead of talking about doing. We wouldn’t try to explain our side; we would powerfully be the change we want to see in the world, enough that others would really want to follow our lead.

That’s too hard though, too big a task, waaaaay to much work for me, when I have a daughter to diaper and a business to get running in a few hours from now. Instead let me snort and spout off a few more words. That’ll do pig. That’ll do… This way, I can set my mind at ease in my own airtight case of self-righteousness and sleep easy knowing I have said what could be said, and that’s that. I’ve done my part!

Surely, I get to be right again about all this now… right?

Until next week, take care my friends. I truly appreciate You, even if you don’t 1000% agree with me.


Aaron Nichols

The End Times? The Good Times? Time after Time?

Do you get the feeling that we’re careening down the slippery slope headed directly on a collision course with some kind of disaster?!?!

It sure does seem that way, when you think about the impending election, and the hysteria surrounding it. There is a LOT of speculation afoot. The collective consciousness is close to full-term-pregnant with social revolution on both sides of the isle.

I for one, am on overload with the intake of political information, and I don’t even watch the news.

Just with social media, YouTube videos and the podcasts I listen to, the screeching static is deafening…

But I wondered recently about what to do in the meantime… You know, before we hit the inevitable World War III that will arrive with the election of either candidate.

There is the meantime you know.

Luckily, I haven’t completely forgotten about the meantime.

In the meantime, I can do a lot of things instead of agonize over the unwritten future.

I can enjoy my life, just as it, exactly in this moment, precisely as all things are, because that is the only way they are actually occurring. Not as my inner fantasies wish they would be… but that is the only true always.

Just now, in the meantime, I can enjoy little moments of cute faces while feeding my daughter her oatmeal for breakfast. I can still show up for work, just like I always do. I can appreciate the immense blessing of my sleeping wife, as I come home waay to late from work.

There is ton of stuff to do in the meantime.

Can you believe that today, I was able to eat lunch at home, and even fall deeply asleep on my couch for 30 minutes… It was a NAP! Hooray! It happened in the meantime.

I’m probably just an ostrich with my head stuck in the sand, praying that this storm will soon pass. Naïve on every level and so uninformed!

Yeah on a certain level that’s true, yet something I found out  despite the crazy politico mayhem is that I still need to change a dirty diaper. I also need to design a tee shirt for basketball season. I do have a schedule of staff to coordinate and there are raw potatoes in a box that need washed and wrapped in foil, then put in the oven…


Real life is still somehow going on.

In certain ways, if I look back at all the major newsworthy events, that I have luckily not been personally involved with (which is like almost all of them), real life has continued on, in some way shape or form.

I don’t know what you are doing in the meantime, while WW3 is most certainly approaching, but I do hope you take small regular everyday moments and savor them deeply. We are blessed, we are God’s beloved children, and In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Period.

If there is a next week that happens, I’ll see you then.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep doing what must be done, and enjoying it when I can. 🙂

God Bless You and God Bless the U.S.A.


Aaron Nichols