Tim Russert, newsman and moderator for Meet the Press died today of a heart attack.  He was 58 and just got back from a trip to Italy with his family to celebrate his son’s graduation from Boston College.

In my life, I woke up from a somewhat disturbing dream then worked for the day.  I often let the dogs stay outside for a while as I’m working and if they want in they’ll scratch on the back door to let me know.  Bruce was sitting in the papasan and Harvey was outside at one point when I heard him jump on the door.  I thought it sounded louder than usual but didn’t think much of that as I was walking down the hallway, Bruce in front of me.  Bruce took a turn to go to the front door and that’s when I realized Harvey was out there.  I was pretty dumbfounded, but I was thankful that he had the presence of mind to come back to the front door instead of wandering around the neighborhood (which he may have done) or walking out onto Murrayville Road where he’d be likely to get hit by a car.

I called Amanda and let her know that Harvey had gotten out and investigated the fence while I was doing that.  My first thought was that he had gotten up on a stack of bricks and jumped over the fence, but I didn’t think that too likely.  We think now that he was able to go under one of the gates.  One of the boards is a little bit loose and when you add how much give there is between the two gate doors it’s feasible that he got out that way.  I also saw some white hairs stuck to some of the wood there.  I could be a CSI.

After I finished up work I played a game of Catan with Michael.  I think I could have won if I’d played my Monopoly Card on what was to be my last go, but alas I didn’t and he won.  We started another one that I didn’t think I’d do too well on.  I ended up doing okay but had to quit because Amanda and I had dinner plans.

At 6:30 we met Polly and Dave Clawson, our small group coaches or mentors, at Macaroni Grill.  Amanda and I were there a little early thinking there’d be some wait, but we were seated quickly so I sketched a fat guy on the table and Amanda filled him out with other crayons.  I acted like she was messing it up but it was cute and fun.

We ate and talked with Polly and Dave for quite a while.  The food and the company was good.  Eventually we talked about future small group plans and the like.  The biggest thing, to me, that came of it was that they suggested we think and pray about the idea of becoming small group coaches at some point down the road.  Honestly, the thought had crossed my mind, but I have never felt really all that spiritually mature.  I mean, people have told us- Adam and Megan, Mike and Kaitlyn- that what we do with the small group has had an impact on them, but I don’t feel very intentional about it.  I guess that’s it- we sort of coast along right now, but if we were to become small group mentors I think we’d need to be more intentional in what we do with it.  I guess it’s a matter of laziness, really.  I mean, a part of me just doesn’t feel like I’d be that good at it, but another part of me groans just thinking about the effort it would take, although it probably wouldn’t be a whole heck of a lot more than the effort we put in now and I thin the end result would be really satisfying.

Anyhoo, after dinner we came home and Michael met us there to play Settlers of Catan.  It was my best game ever, I can tell you that!  I beat Amanda and Michael in about 20 or 30 minutes.  It was awesome.  Michael was a bit cranky though, and it wasn’t just about me winning the game.  He hadn’t eaten much and he seemed tired, so hopefully he’ll be better tomorrow.

Last night before I went to bed I pulled up some home videos from our trip to Kentucky in 2004.  About an hour of it was me, Amanda and my brother, Adam, riding there in Amanda’s mom’s van.  It was actually pretty entertaining and I showed it to Amanda tonight.  We both had a good time watching that before she went off to bed.

Zach Dotsey