Birthday dinner at Efrain's
"Blogger" n. Someone with nothing to say writing for someone with nothing to do. This is the blog of Eric Swanson containing the developing thoughts and reflections on the externally focused church, the kingdom of God and what I see God doing in the world, in my life and the life of my family and friends. I also occassionally throw in a little commentary on good restaurants I like along with a few pictures.
Liz and I are in Stevenson, Washington at Skamania Lodge at a Leadership Network Retreat. LN has some great folks and it is always a kick to hang out with them. Today, during our free time some people played golf (you are never to say "golfed"....golf is something you play), some went to the spa while I and 4 others went on a two hour white water rafting trip--tons of fun.
Reecently, as I've been speaking at externally focused events, I have asked those in attendance, "How many of you want to change the world?" Invariably, every hand goes up. And here's where the nickle drops; everyone wants to change the world but very few people are giving the opportunity to do so. The job of leaders...spiritual, visionary leaders, is to give everyone in their Bailiwick the opportunity to regularly engage in changing the world.
In 1999 I bought a 1996 Mazda 626 that had 60,000 miles on it. Soon after buying it I heard some squeeking in the brakes and took it to a good mechanic friend of mine. His shop didn't work on Mazda's but he knew someone who did--Wolfgang Reitz, owner of Coyote Motors in North Boulder (303.443.3011). Shock of all $hocks, he put on new brakes for under $100....I think it was around $80. I hadn't walked out of any car repair place for under a hundred dollars in years. Since then Wolf has been my mechanic and has always done a great job and an incredibly fair price--never selling me something I didn't need. It's just the way he does business. In January when my '96 Mazda was finally getting old enough, with 173K miles on it, I started looking for another car...well, another Mazda. Sounds a bit nutty I suppose but I thought, "I've got my mechanic...I just need another car, so I'll buy my car around what is already consistently great in my life." And I found another Mazda...on Craig's List: a 1999 626 with 27,000 original miles, "driven by our grandmother to the market and back." After buying the car I aske how long it had been on Craig's List. "I pressed the enter button and you called." Liz and I donated the '96 Mazda to Good Neighbor Gargage. GNG is run by Jim Reiner of Belay Enterprises (see photos of 96 and 99 side by side). Jim is a social / spiritual entrepreneur and I need to write about him some time. GNG fixes cars and then gives them to single moms for transportation for work and life.
One of our favorite places to eat in the world--at least the countries we've been to is "Chiringuito de Ayo" (Ayo's Snackbar--picture grapvines for your ceiling and beach sand for the floor) on Burriana Beach in Nerja Spain. Liz and I have been to Spain on four different occassions and we always find ourselves at Ayo's. Ayo is now 70 years old and every day for nine months of the year (he spends the months of October, February and May vacationing in Cuba) he prepares 5-15 giant pans of paella, each of which contain 70-80 portions of paella.
Our holiday in Spain was great! We rented a condo overlooking the Med on VRBO.com (Vacation Rental by Owner) from a wonderful and dear woman from who lives in LA. I'll attach a video of the view from our balcony. We couldn't think of a more spectacular and beautiful place to be.