Winter Adventure 2014 – entry two

•February 6, 2014 • Leave a Comment

As I retire to bed, I reflect on the day. Some key points:

* good : how the more north we got, the more snow we saw
* bad: 3 nasty traffic jams that delayed us over an hour total.
*good: we had a great time on the road, lots of good music and conversation
*crazy: snow caps that kept flipping off the tops of people’s cars and flying end over end to smash into the road. I wish I had a video of this.
*impressive: Todd was handling business on the phone, got a lot done over the course of a few phone calls!
*amazing: to finally get here and see more snow than I have ever seen except for at Snowshoe mtn way back in the day

Thanks to Aunt Jill and her awesome hospitality! Dinner was enchiladas and they were amazing!

Side note: thank God for heat. It’s in the negatives outside – that wind is no joke!


Winter Adventure 2014 – entry one

•February 6, 2014 • Leave a Comment

So, Todd and I head up to Ohio today for the first of four days in our relentless quest to see some dang snow! Memphis keeps being teased and yes it has been a cold winter but we just haven’t been able to get the white stuff.

We are driving up now and I will post more as we move forward and events develop. “Exciting!”

Christmas Blog Project 2014

•February 4, 2014 • Leave a Comment

(composed this post this past weekend, but forgot to publish)

I need to write more. This is an old epiphany, made no less true by my lack of implementation. This weekend I find my heart inspired for something that will happen much later this year.

As many of you know, my Christmas season starts September 1. This year, I am going to do a blog every day from September 1st 2014 – January 2nd 2015 (or whenever I get back from my vacation). What will I blog about? Anything. Nothing. Whatever.

Does this mean this blog will lay fallow until then?

No. I have Christmas Season 2013 memories to deliver. I have stories to tell. I have poems to write. I have a song in my heart to sing.

I am just putting this out there now to keep me honest. “But Stephen, you have never kept your word on your blog before!” you implore, and I must agree. This, however, is a new year. A time for turning over a new leaf.

I will even post some more reviews on my other blog.

Just something I banged out, I call it ‘Looking Forward‘:

though winter’s chill has not yet left
i sadly count the days
knowing strength will soon return
to harsh sun’s unkind rays
but once spring comes i pull again
on fall’s promised return
knowing autumn winds will bring
cool ceasing to the burn
all my christmas spirit kept
and hidden deep inside
but on that first september day
to yuletide tunes i’ll ride

Merry (memories of) Christmas! (intro)

•January 7, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Friends, once again I have not posted since before the holidays. This year, however, I look back not in regret of not communicating with you (although it is a shame) but rather rejoicing in the happy memories I made with family and friends during that time.

This time, truly it was being busy with being merry that kept me from this blog, and that is a good thing to my mind. I will post more, oh yes, for I want to tell you about Thanksgiving, about my staycation thereafter, about Christmas and time with my sister, about celebrations with family and friends, about all of the joyous laughter and celebration.

God has been so good to me this past holiday season. I rejoice in that. I am very busy at work, but I will post my first actual Holiday memory post very soon. Of that I am sure, though I do not blame you for doubting!


The Procrastination Dilemma

•November 22, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Hello friends,

I have come to realize something. That something is that I need to write more. A truth so plain, so blatant and obvious, that it is hard to understand how I have ignored it for so long. I think I probably should be writing every day. Writing what? Something, anything!

I have to thank my friend Katie Welch for pushing me to this understanding, as it was a result of mulling over the creative writing workshop notes from church that I understood that when I set “pen to paper” or “fingers to keyboard” as it were that I am able to express myself in a way that I sometimes struggle to verbally. Well, that isn’t precisely true.. let me try to work through this.

I have always had a gift with words. Speaking to you, I can empathize with whatever you are going through and express my thoughts and feelings in a creative way. I have always had a gift for speaking, be it deep conversations under the stars, preaching/teaching, or sharing moments with a friend.  That being said, I have always had a greater talent for expressing myself in the written word.

When I combine those things, writing down to distill and coalesce my thoughts into a concentrated and potent form and then speaking, that is Stephen O’Daniel “maximized”. At least from what I have seen and been told. I say these things not to toot my own horn, as it were, but rather to force myself to look directly at some positive things about myself, some gifts from God that were given to me for a reason.

Let’s back up half a step. As stated before, I need to write more. Why haven’t I been writing? I find that life expands to cover all the space that you don’t delineate for specific purposes. When I do not create room to write, there is no room to write. When I do not make time to write, there is no time in which to write. I have to, on purpose, make time to do this.

So, what is the solution. The solution is to write! Something, anything, and if I may be an encouragement to you, maybe you are a writer. Maybe you have the soul of a poet or a writer (I have both, and I think that they are often shared in the same heart) and maybe you aren’t doing it either. Let us, all of us, make time for our gift.  God has a purpose in it, and I do not just mean a kingdom purpose though of course primarily and first I mean that. God has a purpose in it for US, for our personal growth and development, and when we keep it chained up we hinder growth in certain areas of our lives.

And yes, I know I owe you more Chicago blog. Forgive me?

I must take a moment as well to point out that I am neck-deep in Christmas spirit over here. No kidding. I have decorated my cube to the max at work and I must insist you check out my Instagram ( to see a video of the festiveness occurring even now at my desk.

Merry Christmas everybody! I am quite serious when I say that I am irrepressible. I put the reason in a Facebook post the other day, I must point you there to read it (I do not want to repeat myself overmuch).  The house will be Christmasified a week from now but my desk is shining brightly!

Thanksgiving is next Thursday, and in case I am terribly inconsistent and do not come through on my new determination to write every day let me wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. I surely hope I get to see you and hang out with you this holiday season. You are a blessing to me, my friend.

ps. I had something specific in mind when I gave this post that title. I think it is absolutely hilarious that I put off using it until another post.

The Countdown

•October 31, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Good Morning friends!

I never did get around to finishing up that Chicago blog, but it is on my radar I assure you. It is a wet one today, rainy and gloomy but hey it IS Halloween so I would argue it’s kind of appropriate. Happy Halloween to you all.

In honor of the fact that there are only 20 working days until my vacation season begins (I have two vacations between thanksgiving and new years, I am only working 10 days in that time frame), I have composed a poem.

Just a little something //

There came a gentle wind to me
it whispered in my ear
about a counting down to be
I smiled as I did hear
in only twenty working days
vacation season’s start
and tomorrow Christmastime
overdrive in my heart
so i nodded to the wind
and it went on its way
leaving me to handle things
by counting down each day
a happy Halloween to you
and treats (not tricks) to all
as I continue celebrating
all of the joy of Fall

I hope you are all well. Love you all!

Stephen O.

Poetry Repost: Sight

•October 22, 2013 • Leave a Comment

An old poem, ‘Sight’

I did not know the question
with the answer firm in hand
and when it finally came to me
i did not understand
for the moral of the story
can confound even the wise
’cause when you’re looking for the truth
it cant be seen… with eyes

I really like this one. One of my old favorites.


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