Friday, July 17, 2009

I'll Know When I Get There

When one puts together a 1,600 mile road trip west there is a certain amount of planning that needs to take place beforehand. How much depends upon your style. One can go with a full strategic plan, one can think strategically, or one can just head west and figure out where you are when you get there.

I am transporting some family belongings handed down from my parents to my siblings who all live in various towns spread out in Colorado. With a bit of free time and a need to get this move done sooner rather than later I made a decision to do the move myself rather than hiring a moving company. In a previous life I had some experience in packing and short distance moving. I have never driven across the country further than Minnesota and I have a desire to see how towns are doing economically between here and there.

The truck rental place allows for six days and 1,600 miles so those were the parameters of my travels. I have one brother who lives in Longmont, one brother who lives in Beulah, west of Pueblo, and a sister who lives in between in Littleton. I asked and was turned down for travel companionship by both my wife and daughter; my wife because she done that drive before and did not look forward to doing it again, my daughter because she is just graduated from college and back from a month of house rehab and construction in Kentucky and is starting a new job shortly. So I made a decision to do it alone splitting the twenty hour drive up over four days.

I got some maps and figured on not driving on the interstate perhaps driving on the Lincoln Highway (US30) but no pathway certain. I filled up an MP3 player with great tunes and got a few books on tape. I got new batteries for my camera and planned to post somewhere. As I do not have a smart phone I planned on taking my computer with an air card.

Luckily I didn't complete a strategic plan as my sister arranged for my nephew to accompany me, which is actually something good, not having to do it alone. My nephew is a new history/math teacher and crew coach and is in a job search in the Washington DC area and looks to be an interesting travel companion. However, he seems to be into deeper planning than I am.

We shall see.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I am putting together a drive from Cleveland to Colorado with a truck load of furniture. On the surface it all sounds rather long and boring and not much to it other than having to drive all that way. Yes, it is more than twenty-one hours by car but I am driving a seventeen foot long truck.

The furniture that I am delivering is from my parents' two bedroom apartment which had already been downsized from a large house. I am delivering much of the contents to my siblings who all live in various towns in Colorado, many hours apart. Both of my parents died January 2008 about two weeks apart. My father was 94 and my mother was 91. So the transport represents the dissolution of physical aspects of a 66 year marriage. Perhaps there is some sub-conscious baggage that goes with that.

My father was not willing to part with most of his books when they first moved so many went into the apartment and some went into storage. When they died all of it went into storage, four lockers worth mostly because it had to be spread out to be appraised. Then all of the siblings had to decide who wanted which items which is not the easiest thing to do. We all could afford to buy new items if we wanted but generally we all had houses filled with things. However, these were the items of furniture that we grew up with. Some had been constructed by our ancestors over 150 years ago, some were pieces purchased cheaply to fill an immediate need but were never upgraded. Some had greater monetary value, some little value. Many had some sentimental attachment. So there is some baggage that goes with that.

There are four of us and I am the younger middle child, but as the only sibling in town and the executor the task of distribution fell to me. As an administrator I was perhaps a little more intense than many although my style is somewhat laid back. There were days when I did get tired of handling the process but persevered. This transport is moving towards the end of the process and there are feelings that exist behind that end.

So, on Tuesday, I drive west. I will have plenty of time to think and perhaps to write about my travels.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Rules as Commands vs Rules as Guidelines

I believe that we should rethink any action that leads to new rigid rules. It isn’t whether or not there are rules; it is how rules are written. Rules should be less commands and more guidelines for collaborative behavior. Always again, the Golden Rule. The fewer commanding rules the more we rely on ourselves as community to provide for safety and security.

How can our community guidelines lead us to accountability, collaborative behavior, and transparency?

How can we move away from controlling behavior into leveraging, guiding, and linking behavior?