It’s Thursday morning December 9, 2010. I’m sitting in my favorite Panera Bread waiting for the library to open. Christmas music is playing on the speakers. Nearly every table is occupied with a customer. Most of them have their laptops or iPads out.
The sky is gray outside and the sun is refusing to show itself today. I know how it feels. Neither Ashya or I wanted to get up today. All three of the live-in boys felt the same way. It’s just gray and cold enough outside that a nice blanket of snow would cheer things up.
Last night we had practice for the children’s Christmas program at church. I have been blessed with a group of talented young individuals. What they lack in polish they more than make up for in enthusiasm. After church the family went to see Soccer Dude’s game. His team won 6-4.
The job hunt is still proceeding. I’m willing and ready to work but not desperate enough to take a part-time, minimum-wage, burger-flipping job as yet. I’ll keep applying for jobs that suit my skillset.
Still no net service at the house. Apparently we live far enough out in the “rural” area that there’s no DSL coverage. I guess I find southern Missouri’s definition of “rural” amusing. I can see plenty of neighbors from each window in the house. In Iowa that would be defined as a neighborhood.
The Pirate has been doing well in his new school. His grades keep coming back in the high 90s. 48 Fan is dancing with GC Jazz for the first time next Monday. I should be in attendance at that concert. Pvt Black Spartan is still serving our country. She did want everyone to know that she passed her most recent PT test.
God Bless everyone.
I’m sitting here in one of Springfield’s public libraries contemplating the last twelve months of my life. A year ago, Virginia had been declared cancer free by the doctors. My daughter was planning on coming home for Christmas. For the first time in a long time there were presents we had bought under the tree (not just presents donated to a less-than-fortunate family). I had a good job that I enjoyed immensely.
Here I am November 2010. Mrs. Vulcan Stev is gone. #48 Fan is 400 miles away. I’m laid off and looking for work.
What do I have to be thankful for? LOTS!
I have been blessed not once but twice in finding Mrs. Right. Ashya and I partners in EVERY sense of the word. I miss Mrs. VS and I’m not belittling anything of the 22 years we were together. However, Ashya and I fit like two peas in a pod. God has blessed me with a very beautiful woman for me to love, care for, cry on, and be with.
I have 5 very wonderful children. Pvt. Black-Spartan is protecting our country. I am honored that my daughter is serving our country proudly. Soccer Dude is very much his mother’s son. He’s a natural athlete and I’m happy to cheer him on. #48 Fan is maturing the time he’s spending away from Dad. I’m seeing glimmerings of the man he’ll become. The First Mate and The Pirate keep me on my toes. I’m having a blast carting the both of them to and from the library to have internet time.
The fact that I’m not currently working has allowed me to get things done for the family that otherwise would’ve required either myself or Ashya to take time off work.
I prayed that God would heal Mrs. VS. He has. When I stop to think about how she could be just lying in a Hospice bed, not knowing anyone, not responding to anything, I realize that God has blessed us for saving her family from the pain of watching her ebb away.
I have air in my lungs. I have food in the fridge. I have gas in the car. I have money in the bank. There are others out there off far worse than I.
Being thankful means more than looking at all your stuff and living for that. Being thankful means looking at your place in the universe and realizing that you are where you need to be.
Thank you God for all you’ve done for me in the past year.
A lot has happened since I last wrote anything for this blog. Where do I start?
The Pirate and I moved all of the important stuff (except #48 fan and his belongings) to the Ozarks right at the end of October. I’m discovering that enough of Springfield Missouri (ca. 1985) remains that I’m not completely lost. It’s strange seeing trees out my window instead of cornfields, but I’m getting used to that.
Ashya and I got married on Oct 29th. We’re realizing that there are more differences between us than Coke vs. coffee, but that’s not a bad thing. Things like how I fold laundry, sort the DVD collection, wash the dishes (yes I do laundry and dishes) are all foreign concepts to the new members of my family.
The Pirate has been enrolled in school. He’s liking the new environment and is making new friends. His reservations about moving down here are lessening each day. He’ll be ok.
We’re all adjusting to the new reality. But we are working on it.
The biggest thing I’m facing is still no job. It’s not like I expected the Ozarks to open wide it’s doors and say “Here Stev, take your pick of employment.” I’m just not used to sitting at the computer in a Library looking for work and calling it a productive day.
We can’t seem to find anyone who can give us unlimited net connection at the house. Plenty of companies are willing to hook us up but with three boys wanting to play internet games and me looking for work, we need unlimited DSL.
I’m on ye olde Book of Face when I’m at the library. I’ve still got plenty of posters in the works, but job hunting comes first. I’ve got an invitation from members of the old gang for a game night. I’ll be taking them up on that in the near future.
I will get back to regular posts. I promise you that. Life just hasn’t allowed me much of an opportunity to do so.
It’s no secret. Ashya and I are planning on getting married sometime in the near future (ie within twelve months). There are too many indicators that she and I are destined for each other. She meets each and every one of the criteria I had prayed about that my next wife should have (including the bonus ones that I could live without).
We’ve been wondering about the time table for our eventual nuptials. We’ve been concerned with the melding of two families, who’d have to move, which school system the boys would attend. Typical stuff to be sure in this day and age, but we want to make sure that we do this right.
I had a good job here in Iowa. She has a good job in Ozark country. Soccer Dude and First Mate enjoy the schools they attend, likewise #48 Fan and the Pirate. We weren’t entirely sure which direction the we were headed.
I make no secret about the fact that I believe prayer works. We began praying for direction. Today I got a shock. My boss informed me that due to rising costs and falling revenue, my position was being eliminated. I didn’t take it too well at first. I packed my desk and left.
I notified family and friends. There were tears, questions about what I’m gonna do, and promises of prayers and support.
The more I talked with my Ashya and my Dad, I began to realize that this piece of bad news has a VERY large silver lining. I left on good terms with my boss. He was very sorry to let me go. I really liked my job and really didn’t want to leave. God replied by having the job leave me.
So I will be looking for work in the Ozarks. Why? Ashya already has a good job and there is no reason for her to leave it. My house in NE Iowa is to small for the combined family. We found a nice house big enough for all of us in her neck of the woods (literally woods).
So, I’m updating my resume and portfolio. If you have any freelance graphic design work you need done don’t hesitate to give me a holler. Things are gonna be a little tough but we’ll make it.
It’s currently raining outside. I’m listening to Toby Mac on the new iPod I bought for the puppet team. #48 Fan is standing over my shoulder reading this as I type. The Pirate is being a tween and is outside running around in the rain. I’ve been looking over some links that Ashya sent me. We’re making our plans for the future.
I am a father to six kids. The only thing preventing me saying I’m husband once again is a ceremony and a piece of paper. I’m gainfully employed as the ad man for a small-town Iowa paper. I enjoy my job. I am a son, a brother, an uncle. I have lots of acquaintances and am blessed with the friends I have. Are these who I am? Are any of these my defining characteristic?
I used to spend my evenings sitting in my chair watching whatever was on the tube. More recently, I’ve been spending my evenings on the phone (thank you whoever invented unlimited calling and unlimited texting). I don’t miss the TV I’m not watching. I can’t wait for next spring when Ashya and I are no longer separated by 400 miles.
I’m a geek. The Wierd-Al song “White and Nerdy” could’ve been written with me in mind. I’ll be playing D&D on Saturday with my homies.
I just realized that I’ve been rambling. Who am I? I am the sum total of my experiences. I believe that God has a plan and purpose for the man known as Vulcan Stev. Where am I going? I don’t know but I do know that its gonna be an interesting ride.
I’ve received a number of requests for this after my posting Meet Ashya T’Sai. Yes there are wedding plans for the future and no we’re not publicizing the date as yet. Ashya is a single mom with two boys. Since they will be showing up in posts from time to time, I thought it best to introduce (and reintroduce) the whole clan.
Vulcan Stev – yours truly. An ad man for a local paper, I was married for 21 years to Mrs. Vulcan Stev who recently passed away due to complications arising from breast cancer. I am a movie buff, enjoy comic books, science fiction on the big and small screen, role playing games and renaissance faires.
I am also an avid puppeteer and have preformed “Goober” at many shows across north central Iowa.
Ashya T’Sai – my better half. We actually graduated from the same high school at the same time. Ashya was a member of the same science fiction literary club that I was in high school. Her interests and mine mirror each other so closely, that the only thing we disagree on is how to ingest caffeine. I prefer mine cold and carbonated, she prefers hers hot with two sugars and cream.
Pvt. Black Spartan – serves our country by working for Uncle Sam. She’s my oldest. She’s a chip off the old geek block. She’s a better D&D player than I am and has traveled more than 400 miles just to attend a Renn Faire.
I asked her once what she did in the military. Her reply was “I could tell you Daddy but then I’d have to kill you.” Since she’s a qualified sharpshooter with the rifle and black belt to boot, I believe her.
Jazz – my adopted daughter. Pvt. Black Spartan asked Jazz to stick around the house after she went back to base. The reasoning was that with mommy gone, Daddy and the younger brothers needed a female around to make sure we didn’t kill ourselves doing something “bachelor stupid”. Jazz did what her friend asked and hasn’t left.
Soccer Dude – Ashya’s oldest. He’s a nice kid and fine young man. But he’s the kind of guy Ashya and I didn’t associate with in high school. As a junior he’s captain of the soccer team, has lettered every year. Seated number four on Tennis team his first year playing, consistently finishes in the top three in 5K’s that he runs for fun. Then to top it off, plays more musical instruments than I thought one person was capable of playing.
48-Fan (PIT #2) – my oldest son. He is also a junior and your typical teenager with a driver’s license. He’s a member of the school’s Academic Decathlon team and was the only Freshman in school history to qualify for state. He’s earned a significant number of metals and has lettered every year. Participates in school theater productions and provides a considerable number of voices for various characters in our puppet shows.
The First Mate – Ashya’s youngest. He and the pirate are two little peas in a pod. He plays bass guitar and seems to think his primary mission in life is to sneak up on either his mother or I and attempt to scare us half to death. When he doesn’t have his laptop up and running to play online games with the pirate, they are outside shooting their air rifles.
The Pirate (PIT #3) – my youngest. The Pirate enjoys his laptop and Wizard 101 MMORPG. When he’s not on the laptop or out getting in trouble with the first mate he is actively avoiding household chores. He is of the opinion that Ashya and I are getting married for the sole purpose of his and the first mate’s budding friendship.
As most of my regular readers can tell you, I am a widower. My wife, Mrs. Vulcan Stev passed this past spring after a battle with breast cancer and then liver cancer. Rather then rehash what I’ve already written just click here.
One week after I wrote the I’m not fishing post, I broached the subject with my pastor and my church. I wanted them aware of the fact that I was not looking at leaving the church but rather looking to go to a place where single women my age attended. I wasn’t about ready to start dating someone I didn’t know. So in order to get to know the women when I was ready to start dating, I had to go to where they were.
The members of the church all agreed this was a reasonable thing for me to do (though there was gnashing of teeth over “It’s too soon to be dating”).
Two days after I asked for prayer that God would illuminate my path towards “Single, Ready-to-Date”, I got an e-mail from an acquaintance from High School. She was now a single mother and her children had questions about Renaissance Faires and Role Playing Games and how both of those activities can fit into a Christian worldview.
I make no secret about the fact that I am a Christian. I make no secret that I believe that Role Playing Games are not Satanic in nature and can be enjoyed by Christians. With those things firmly in mind, I honestly answered her questions to the best of my ability. I was no more thinking about my recent prayer request than I was thinking about supper two weeks from then. Here was a friend from High School asking my opinion on a subject that I know pretty well.
One e-mail turned into two. Two e-mails turned into many. E-mails gave way to text messages. Text messages gave way to phone calls (Thank God I have unlimited texting on my phone and we’re both on the same network so we’re not paying for all the additional calling and texting).
I’m not going to bore you with the all the details and some of the details are highly personal, suffice it to say that over the course of these conversations we not only renewed a friendship but we sparked something more than that. I journeyed to the wonderful land of the Ozark mountains to meet her family this past week. After meeting her family, asking her parents permission (I know I didn’t have to because we’re both adults but I did anyway) to date their daughter, Ashya T’Sai (vulcan for Lady Love) and I officially began dating.
What? How could you? Isn’t this too soon?
Ashya and I are friends from high school. She and I share the same faith (not just Christianity but the same subset). I don’t blog much about this but I work with kids in the church. My main form of doing this is with a puppet team, Ashya and I were on the same puppet team in high school she still works with the Wednesday evening children’s stuff at her church.
My last request was that the next woman in my life should understand me. Mrs. Vulcan Stev and I loved each other very much. We did not share many interests and once the kids were gone from the home we were going to have to reconnect. I did not want to start dating again at age 43 and have NOTHING in common with the woman I dated.
Ashya, not only gets my sense of humor, she’s as bad as I am with puns. She not only likes movies but our DVD collections are nearly identical. The only reason we don’t watch the same TV is because I have dish and she doesn’t. The only major difference between the two of us is that she likes coffee and I have to get my caffeine cold and carbonated.
I’m not going to question God’s timing. I asked God where the pond was and he responded with the fish. It’s like he was telling me that I didn’t have to worry about this because he had everything under control. I loved Mrs. Vulcan Stev and I always will. However she is now a treasured part of my past. Ashya and I are the future.
Just to give all my geeky buddies an idea of her geek cred, her son, PIT #4, (not sure about that nickname yet) was given a whole slew of ducklings. I suggested that she name one of the ducks Howard. Not only did she get the reference but she laughed for a minute or two before saying, “That’s perfect.”
Ashya and I are not playing the dating game. We’re not in this just for fun, she still lives in the Ozarks and I live in North Central Iowa. We’re in this for the long-haul. She’ll be showing up in these posts, I just wanted to introduce her to everyone.