Weekend recap

First night man-food: a nacho bar. The cheese had some kick to it. Coupled with a couple spoonfuls of salsa, I broke a sweat.
Between the nachos and the Texas hold ‘em tournament, the weekend was off to a good start. Granted, my poker winnings were not off to a good start. I had a few good hands: a flush, a full house, and I straight. In that last winning hand, I could have (should have?) bet smarter and milked a few more best out of the other players. But I bet too high and scared my opponents into folding. Surprisingly, my biggest take in a single hand came out of a pain of fives. But it was downhill from there. My last hand was a winner: a six through ten straight and I had it after the flop. I didn’t even need the turn or the river. This round was mine. One of the other guys was about to go bust and went all in. I had enough chips to match his bet, so I called. He also had a straight – a seven through jack straight. Dang. The blinds doubled after that round and I didn’t have enough chips to meet the minimum bet, so I was done. Third of eight players removed from the table. I didn’t make it past the first round.

There were nine guys in our cabin. I only knew two of them: my father-in-law and a guy I met through Homebuilders a couple years ago. Out of the nine, I was probably the last to fall asleep. There was one epic snorer. Graciously, he brought a supply of earplugs for everybody, but I can’t stand wearing them (and I can’t sleep with plugs in my ears). Besides, his snoring wasn’t that bad. I read for a while then tried some music to tune out the snoring. Unfortunately, the only songs I have on my iPOD is those from my workout playlist – not exactly the most relaxing music ever written. After MxPx’s Want Ad and Blindside’s We Are to Follow, I gave up and switched to ambient noise. I listened to the sound of rainfall and chirping birds. Last I looked at the time, it was 1:39 and I was still alert and unable to shut down my poor brain.

Started Saturday morning off an hour earlier than hoped for. Nothing a Rock Star, a shower, and a cup of coffee couldn’t cure. In the dining hall, while waiting for breakfast, someone smelled like cigar smoke. Couldn’t quite figure out who.

Spent some great time in worship, and Monty Hipp gave us a big challenge that will take my the rest of this week to finish. A few minutes to spare before lunch and it was raining. Raining? Really? I thought it was supposed to be sunny all weekend. The one item I forgot to pack was a hooded sweatshirt. Bad call on my part and I was starting to regret that lapse in packing judgment.

Lunch was yellow food day – chicken sandwiches corn and mac & cheese. I opted out of the cheesy pasted and got a salad instead (my wife and my mother would both be proud).

Due to the inclement weather, I skipped out on the ropes course. (the rain wasn’t really that bad – I just like the word ‘inclement.’) But I had a good talk with Pastor Mike trying to map out where my life is going. I can’t begin to explain how grateful I am to be a part of a church with such a great pastoral staff.

Poker was such a big hit the first night we ran another tournament Saturday night. I got off to a bad start, no good hands. Anything I had that was worth betting on was beat by the other guys at my table, but I managed to hang in there. Two players lost out going all in on the same hand. I folded that hand and that kept me in. I finally had a few good hands. And a couple lucky hands – I won a huge pot with nothing more than a king high. One more player dropped out and we were down to four. Then we consolidated tables. The four of us guys thought we were doing well, chips fairly evenly spread. We thought we had some good stacks. Key word “stacks.” Two of the three guys that joined our table sat down with cases of chips. Key word “cases.” They bought the pot in a few rounds, but with a bit o luck, I took a few good rounds. A couple more guys lost big and dropped out, one more table consolidation and I was still in the game. I was like the energizer bunny of Texas hold ‘em. I’d keep going and going and going. (at least that’s how pastor Rodney described me). I never led the chip count, but I’d hang in there because I knew when to hold ‘em and knew when to fold ‘em. And in the poker game that wouldn’t end, I landed at the final table (this time I had a case of chips). Down to five players (myself, Pastor Rodney, and three other guys) and huge blinds, the game’s pace picked up. Two more dropped out and we were down to three. I couldn’t get a decent hand and my chips were dwindling. The third player went all in, I folded and Rodney called. Up to this point, Pastor Rodney had been the chip leader. Him matching any player that went all in was not a problem. He took that round and nearly doubled his chip count. Final two players at the final table. Me and the pastor.

Now here’s my dilemma: you’re playing poker with your church’s associate pastor – the guy who handles marriage counseling and funerals… what do you do? I let him win. And by letting him win, I mean he beat me. And by beating me, I mean he cleaned me out.

Sunday morning, I was up an hour ahead of my best intentions (again) and my body was hating me for playing poker until 1:30am. The final man-food meal of the day was some of the best sausage patties I’ve ever tasted. One more session with Monty and we were on our way home. Dad and I cranked up some Within Temptation, and I zoned out for the next hour and a half.

And to top off a good weekend, I came home to a wonderful surprise – Bekah worked hard in my absence and finished some interior painting that we started last summer, cleaned as if we were getting a visit from a health inspector, completed some reorganization, and hung up some new curtains. Looking at what she accomplished in such a short time, I’m thinking I should go camping more often.

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