grouse avenue…

i drive past this corner almost every day on my way to and  from work. grouse avenue at 300th street. it doesn’t usually look quite like this. but on this particular day it was dry and dusty and windy. almost sunset. there was a vehicle headed west, stirring up a cloud of dust as it made its way down the gravel road. from the stop sign i quickly snapped a few shots, and this was my favorite.

i have never seen a grouse along this stretch of road, so am unsure why the name choice. i looked up “grouse” in the online dictionary. grouse as a noun refers to “any of various chiefly ground-dwelling birds.” and grouse as a verb means “to complain; to grumble.” and then i looked at the synonyms and found a long list that makes me smile… here are some of them: “beef, bellyache, bitch, bleat, carp, caterwaul, crab, croak, fuss, gripe, grizzle, grouch, complain, growl, grumble, grump, holler,…”  grouse avenue on this particular day looks much better than these words describe.

mare and i recently watched the vow, and i remember a main character leo talking about “moments of impact.” moments that happen and change our lives. how we look at life. and how we live our lives after such moments. april 25th, 1986 is one such moment of impact for me. twenty-six years ago on this day was when i fell from the top of the third story of my friend shaffer’s house, leaving the lower half of my body paralyzed. and i’m forever changed by that moment. a moment of impact.

so am listening to music from the mid-eighties today. it takes me back to the time before and after that moment of impact. mr mister playing kyrie and broken wings. corey hart doing never surrender. and likely my favorite, john parr doing st. elmo’s fire/man in motion. john and david foster wrote that song for rick hanson, a young man paralyzed from a truck accident more than twenty-five years ago as well. he wheeled his way around the world to raise money for spinal cord research, and inspired thousands of people, one of which is me.

traveling down grouse avenue, so to speak, is not something i want to do. i do not want to be one of the “chiefly ground-dwelling” types. i do not want to “beef, bellyache, bitch, bleat, carp,” etc. because for some reason i still believe that even though this is not an ideal road to travel, God makes good come out of it, and breathes purpose into every road we travel. sometimes we just need to look through the dust to see the beauty of it all.


~ by fourfeetsixinches on April 24, 2012.

17 Responses to “grouse avenue…”

  1. May God continue to use you to bless and encourage! I am so low today – your message came at just the right time – thank you!

  2. Thinking of you and thanking God for you, my dear brother. I thank God for opening our eyes to see and opening our hearts to know more of Him, in the midst and in the aftermath of difficult situations life on this earth brings. No grousing allowed…soar like eagles:) love you

  3. 1986 was a year that I also will never forget…my mom died unexpectedly in March, then we got word of your accident in April and wanted to come be by your side so bad, May brought the miscarriage of our second child, flooded out of our home in October followed by another miscarriage that same weekend. Sometimes it’s not only just a day that changes your life forever but a year or season of life. But in it all…like you said, God will bring good out of the painful dusty road if you allow him to. It’s much better to be an eagle that soars in the blue sky than a “ground – dwelling” type. Breathing in fresh air is far better than inhaling dust and spewing out the dirt! 😉

    • It was a long season of what felt like assault, wasn’t it Cindy?! But here we are now…and God has done some unexpected and wonderful things with the clouds of dust! Great to hear from you!

  4. Thank you for sharing your words that are so well spoken. I am walking on my own grouse avenue and sometimes have difficulty seeing the beauty through the dust but it is there. And my peace goes deeper than my pain…I could not ask for a bigger blessing!

  5. Wow. I loved it. You are an amazing writer and person. Keep up the good work

  6. As usual, thanks for sharing your wisdom and reminding us to pause to find beauty and inspiration every day things.

  7. Benefiting and baffled by well ,your boldness in sharing.I have benfited from the different views you share here in your blog with words and camera. How your camera found that beautiful new horizon;yucky,dusty and all is baffling.The moment of impact that you describe here for you personally is one, those of us who don’t need wheels cannot fully appreciate . So grateful though, that you share your travels and that fire burning inside. Stoked:)

  8. “With tail fanned, wings half spread and a pair of white air sacs on his chest inflating and deflating to produce a sound that has often been described as hands clapping under water, the cock sage grouse struts….this display helps hens choose their mates of the year and establishes dominance between cocks.” All across Wyoming, this sight and sound is a sign of Spring. (article, Casper Journal, April 25 – May 1 publ) These grouse are a rare, impressive sight witnessed by few. Scott, love the picture. Your writings, pictures, sharing some of your soul is not unlike the Wyoming Sage Grouse…..”ground dwelling” creatures whose magnificence captivates all who are fortunate enough to capture their performances. Thank you Scott. Your “impact” in 1986 now frequently impacts and inspires others!

    • Nadine,…it is great to hear from you! And your description of the the Wyoming sounds of spring via the sage grouse was great. I hope all is well with you guys out west!

  9. SOOO….. Today I sat looking at the back of our house where you had the “Moment of Impact”, still wanting to have all the questions of why answered. Now it is late, almost tomorrow, the end of the day, I am exhausted in so many ways. Still questioning, but realizing as you have captured in this photo, that below all of the dust we see, God has us on the road He wants us on. May I only trust HIM. DCS

    • Shaffe, I would have loved to spend the day there cutting firewood with you and reminiscing about all the life we’ve lived since that 1986 day. There has been so much richness, my friend. So much. Am grateful beyond words for your friendship along the way.

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