Jun 25

Splitting wood reminds me of marriage

Are you serious?  Yes, I am.  

You may remember in my last post I told you about the other man in our house, my oldest son.  

Grant and I had the chance to talk a little last week while he was splitting wood.  I loved to see him working hard.  Seeing his shirt dripping with sweat reminded me of my days working at UPS.  Like me, he could see the fruits of his labor.    

We could also see on the ground before him and in the pile, there were two types of wood pieces.  Ones that were still round and others that were already partially split.  As he split wood pieces that were still round and surrounded by bark, I noticed that it took him a few swings to even get the split started.  Once the split WAS started, he had to use a sledge hammer to drive the wedge between the two pieces.  The pieces that were not whole, and had already been split, were a much different story.  All it took was one chop and the pieces flew their separate ways.  

Connie and I have a marriage that’s not partially split.  Much like my mom and dad’s (64 years) and all of my brother’s and sister’s.  It’s whole and we are ONE.  It would take much more than a maul and sledge hammer to get between us.  

The bark represents our never ending love for each other and God.  It wraps and keeps us together.  

What does this analogy mean to you?

Jun 20

Do you hear that?

Picture this, I’m in my office (in our basement) with the window slightly cracked for a little fresh air.  It’s in the 80’s just before noon.  As you might expect it’s another humid day in Ohio.  Off in the distance I hear a “thud”.  Ten seconds go by and I hear another “thud”.  This happens a few more times so I decide to go check it out.  (I’ll tell you more about the thud vs. a “crack” in my next post)

There in the backyard behind the row of arborvitae’s was my oldest son Grant, dripping with sweat with work gloves on.  We had asked him earlier, since the job market hasn’t panned out, to start splitting wood in the backyard.  There’s no shortage of wood and all we needed to buy was a $30 maul (it’s an ax with a sledge hammer on the back of it).  You see, sitting around the fire-pit is something that we all enjoy.

I’m guessing that Grant got out of bed at about 11:00 that morning and just put on some work clothes and headed outside. There were no reminders, no list on the counter and no nagging.  He just went and did it.  This is big.

I walked up to him and asked, “how’s it going?”.  He said “good”.  We still only get one-word answers, but this time he went on to tell me about this log and that log and his ax.   As I read what I’ve just written, this seems to be trivial.  I can honestly tell you that it’s not.

This is the summer before Grant goes to the University of Cincinnati in the School of Architecture.  He’s going to be on his own most of the time.  It’s up to him to continue to make good decisions.  Him taking the initiative to pick up the ax (maul) without “encouragement” is a big deal.  Sure his muscles are sore and he has more blisters than he ever has, but it feels good for both of us.

As he swung the ax another time, I asked him “isn’t this therapeutic?  It’s just you and the wood and the ax”.  He looked at me and smiled.  That’s all I needed.  Good job Grant.  Thanks for picking up the ax.

The sound that I heard was my oldest son becoming a man.   Way to go Wagner!


Jun 11

The Position Has Been Filled!

OK, the position was never “officially” posted but I’m happy to say that I’m no longer in need of a seeing-eye-dog (for the purposes of golf!).  My good friend Cary Allion has stepped to be my seeing-eye-“slink”dog.  

You may have seen my request last night.  If you didn’t, please reply to this note with your email address and I will send you a surprise.  My request went as follows.  


A message from Brian Wagner brian.e.wagner@gmail.com.

Please read to the end of this note.  Some of you have already sponsored me.  For that I say THANK YOU!

For those of you that haven’t, I need your help! I have committed to golf 36 holes in support of the non-profit organization A Kid Again at the 2013 Full Throttle Open Golf-A-Thon on June 24 at Heritage Golf Club!

This worthwhile event helps to raise awareness, critical funds and provides ongoing hope for local children with life threatening illnesses and their families. For more information about A Kid Again and its important work, please visit www.akidagain.org.

Please help support this effort by sponsoring me! It is faster and easier than ever to support this great cause by making your tax-deductible donation online by visiting my personal the page, see the link below. If you would prefer, you can send your contribution to the address listed below.

Please make checks payable to A Kid Again and include my name on the memo line.

To mail in a donation:

A Kid Again

777-G Dearborn Park Lane

Columbus, OH 43085

Whatever you can give will help – it all adds up! I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.

What’s the wrinkle you ask?  Well, as you may know my eyesight isn’t the best.  Hitting a golf ball USUALLY isn’t a problem.  Seeing it, after hitting IS a problem.  That’s why I don’t golf nearly as much as I used to.  When I do golf, it’s with “friends” or family.  Typically, one of my friends (Eric Gowans, a.k.a. big E) doubles as my seeing-eye-dog for this event.  This will be my first year without him.  He will be missed, but is excused as he vacations with his family in Emerald Isle, NC.  

Am I telling you about this wrinkle so you’ll keep reading?  Partially.  Is it so that you’ll feel sorry for me?  Not at all.  Maybe it’s for a phantom donation of golf balls?  No, but just in case I like Titleist Pro-V’s.  🙂  You see, Eric and I always golf together, laugh together and raise money together.  This year it’s just me.  These kids need your help.  I’m asking that all of you make your donation … and then double-down.  You’ll make some kids day, week, month or even a year.  

We like to have fun in what we do.  But at the end of the day, it’s all about the kids.  Thank you for your help.  God’s peace and I love you!    


BW (a previously unused nickname) and Big E

 To make a donation online, visit my personal page.

 Click here to visit my personal page.

By the way, “slink dog” was his nickname in high school.  I think he had something to do with his stature and how he played baseball.  Aside from that explanation, you’ll have to ask him how he got the nickname.  

Thank you to everyone for supporting me in this and my daily walk through life.