"Taking a Swing at Weight Loss - Update #5"
15 June 2001
Greetings to La Familia, Los Amigos, y A Los Quien Le Importa! QUE PASO?
Hola to everyone from the sands of Miami Beach, Florida. Welcome to Miami-bienvenido a Miami. So nice to have a little sunshine back in life though it comes at the price of oppressive heat and stickiness. For much of the last two weeks we have been drenched with showers of blessing from tropical storm Allison. The New Orleans region needed some rain but not in that concentration. Glad to be dry...if ya' don't consider the sweat factor, that is.
SO! It's update time. Two and one half months have gone by and here are the vital statistics: Have lost 95 pounds and am finally starting to both feel and even see the difference myself. Some of you know that by the end of this trip my hair will be my last 10 pounds of weight loss. In the Old Testament God chose and set apart Samson the Prophet for His purposes and as a sign of that, Samson was not to have his hair cut as a Nazirite. Well, for me this trip has been set apart for weight loss and health, so as a symbolic gesture of my reliance on God for strength I will not be cutting my hair in the back until I reach my goal weight. By the end of the trip it will be my last bit of poundage.
Since April 1 have driven 12,000 miles through 26 states while spending over $1600 just for gas. You Californians can't be too sympathetic as I have found gas for as low as $1.29 per gallon! I have attended 43 major league baseball games in 12 of the 30 ballparks. Gosh ... what happened to the Padres? One day in first place spooked them out so much that they are now back in the cellar! As proof of my eager desire to stay in touch with those I love, my laptop tells me that during this same time I have sent out 947 e-mails ... where would I be without wireless access? I have been so thoroughly amazed with America that a couple weeks ago, as I was driving with my dad, it dawned on us that we needed to add one more little goal to this trip. So having studied the map it is my intention (God willing) to go to all 50 states of this great land. Over the July 4th holiday I just booked a four-day fishing adventure with my brother John and our good friend Dwayne Clover in Sitka, Alaska. Watch out halibut and salmon, here we come. Having incorporated Alaska, Hawaii will have to be the final state for some trip recovery R&R. It would be awesome to plan a week of fun some time over the winter if any of you are interested ... I have never been and think it would be a great time. Someday the reality of a productive life will return to me, I am sure, but for now I want to milk this dream for all I can get out of it.
Well, after having my dad on the road for much of the trip, his fatherhood was finally needed elsewhere. We met Phil, Betsy, Nicole and Josiah in New Orleans a couple weeks back, and after some great fellowship with Betsy's extended family, my father and Phil drove a truck full of furniture back to San Diego. They did get stranded for a while by the flood waters in Houston but eventually made it home safe and tired. What a joy it was to get better acquainted will all the Fatters and Uncle Don. It was a reunion of sorts with all the Fatter grandchildren together from San Fran, San Diego and Houston, and we were welcomed intruders. They were very generous hosts in their historical building in the heart of New Orleans's French Quarter. While there, they were celebrating the 100-year anniversary of family ownership of a gem structure just one block off Bourbon Street. Bourbon, what a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah that was ... I was looking up, waiting for lightning strikes at any moment. Also spent a couple days of incredible fishing with the Samaras who are the dad and step mom of good friend and San Diego drug rep Mike. Though the weather was pitiful, the fish were clueless and I fished my heart's content for reds, drumbs and speckled trout in the Bayous using shrimp that were caught earlier in the day.
Am now traveling with my good buddy Jose Jesus Escobedo (Chuy) who I met while he volunteered at our clinic last summer. We have since become good friends and brothers in Christ, and it's a joy to spend some time showing him around America. Though sometimes suffering from tortilla withdrawal (do our best to find Mexican food), he is having a wonderful time. He just finished 10th grade and plans on serving the poor as a physician someday in the future. Well, I could go on and on, but I suspect some of you did not even make it this far. So much to tell of such a wondrous journey. My friend Alberto Rodriguez generously donated the airfare that brought Chuy out.
I delight in knowing that as a result of all your prayers, God's blessing is upon us! There are daily reminders of that reality. Thanks!
Blessed is He who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments. Psalms 112:1.
So blessed on my way to becoming half the man I once was,
P.S. For those into wedding romance, check out www.bridalpictures.com (now expired). A new way of displaying wedding photography ... from my brother Paul's marriage to Eleni in Boston.
Oh! If you have anything you think is worthy to post on the website, send it to me. The page editorial board will review!
Next update will be in a couple weeks.