Three years ago, life was throwing me more curves than U.S. 129 in the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, better known as the “Tail of the Dragon.”
I was taking care of a friend slowly dying of cancer, watching him fade further and further into non-existence, becoming less and less the bright, witty, larger-than-life guy I had known for almost 15 years and more and more the guy who was content to spend his last days sleeping away the pain, wasting away mentally and emotionally, helplessly and uncommunicatively waiting to die.
I had also just had the sweetest and smartest dog I’ve ever known put to sleep – a creature equally larger-than-life, even though she only weighed 9 pounds. She was the engine that kept the Lizard Lounge humming, directing everyone’s actions to meet her elaborate terrier time clock for waking, playing, eating, and sleeping.
With the real loss of one and the pending loss of the other, I found myself coming to grips with the stillness and loneliness in the house, a house once full of life and activity and barking and laughter.
I took a shot at seeing a therapist and found the experience impersonal and unsatisfying – I had more success with vodka. The only one who could have actually rescued me was the One I still held at arm’s length – and I was too afraid to face giving up the things that medicated me from the loss to turn to Him for salvation.
I finally threw myself into working on the house, painting and hauling mulch and finishing projects that had been on my “to do” list for way too long.
In the midst of all this, I realized I needed a diversion; thus, “Live from the Lizard Lounge” was born.
I had toyed with the idea of starting a blog for some time but couldn’t decide on a theme. I’m not political, didn’t have many strong opinions on things, and didn’t have a huge passion for any kind of activity. As I spent more and more time working on the house, though, I realized I could write about everything I had learned as a home-owner and citizen of small-town Central Florida – not really a DIY kind of blog, but one peppered with my own personal musings about watching banana trees grow, visiting area attractions, and decorating for Christmas.
My first post, published August 7, 2009 (later retooled and given its own page) summed the theme up rather nicely:
“This blog is about life here at the Lizard Lounge – house and home, flora and fauna, flotsam and jetsam, and the ongoing journey of creating a personal environment within which to nurture my world-weary soul.”
Since then I’ve written about soup, tomatoes, losing my dogs, the wit and wisdom of my friend George, new doors, raking leaves, snake plants, visits to Disney, and bookcases (to name a few). After I finally stopped holding God at arm’s length and cried out to Him for salvation in June of 2010, the first post I wrote after that reflected a change of voice due to His gift of grace, and one that set the standard for finding Him in everything I did and most of what I wrote afterward, as you can see in posts here, here, and here. The retooled first post I mentioned earlier even reflected my life change with this edit, inserted after the “flora and fauna, flotsam and jetsam” bit:
“In Psalm 116, verse 7 the psalmist writes: ‘Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.’ Indeed He has – I only have to look around.”
Anyway, sixty-five (now sixty-six) posts later, it’s time to lock up “Live from the Lizard Lounge” and focus on things with more eternal implications. On March 6 of this year, God finally blessed me with the inspiration and opportunity to start a second blog, “clay.” In the inaugural post, I wrote:
“Clay is about my journey of discovering God’s will for my life for the first time, learning to become a totally committed follower of Jesus, and my ongoing desire to develop a sensitivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit and His working in and through me.”
In addition to writing regularly for “clay,” I feel God is calling me to something new, something as yet unrevealed, something He’s still preparing me for. In fact, I think that the experience of writing for “Live from the Lizard Lounge” and “clay” have both prepared me by giving me an outlet for putting my thoughts on paper and, in the case of “clay”, being able to “give the reason for the hope” that I have. (1 Pet 3:15) At any rate, it’s time to stop writing about mulch and bananas and start devoting all my resources to what God has in store for me.
“Live from the Lizard Lounge” will continue to live on here on WordPress, albeit frozen in time, serving as a testament to a three-year chunk of my life – not a significant amount of time in light of the implications of eternity, but one that represents the greatest period of growth and change I’ve ever experienced in my years on this earth.
If this is your first visit to “Live from the Lizard Lounge,” a good start would be to click on that link up and to the right that says “Why the Lizard Lounge?” to give you an idea of where the name came from and what kind of “flotsam and jetsam” you’ll find on here. After that, feel free to browse and read and follow my journey from “lost and lonely” to “time to move on.” Beyond that, please follow me on “clay.”
As for the Lizard Lounge itself:
“Granted, it’s just a little concrete block Florida house, but it’s my little concrete block Florida house!
“And it suits me just fine…”
…and I think it always will.