Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Pearl Harbor

On Monday we took a pilgrimage to the national memorial at Pearl Harbor. It was a sobering yet inspiring experience. 

This anchor is off of the USS Arizona and stands in tribute to all the men and women who sacrificed their life in the attacks on December 7, 1941. 

We were there when the gates opened and were the first group to boat over to the memorial above the USS Arizona. 

This was a pretty solemn 15 minutes we spent over the grave of some 900 men.

Some parts of the ship continue to stand out of the water. She even seeps a bit of oil yet. Some describe it as the tears of the men who lie within her. 

Inside are engraved the names of all the men who died on the Arizona that day. Over 1,000.

Flanking the memorial is the what's called the Tree of Life, a reminder that death does not have the last word.

After visiting other sights around the Pearl Harbor and WWII memorials, we bussed it over to the USS Missouri. This was a super interesting tour. Among many wonders, I couldn't believe how beautiful the teak wood deck was. 

This spot marks the sight where the peace treaty was signed between the US and Japan marking the end of WWII. My Grandpa Schmeltzer was aboard another ship in Tokyo Bay, the USS Pamina, while this document was being signed. 

We toured the rest of the boat too. I was particularly impressed with the machine shop. 

The technology of their day was pretty incredible too. Pretty amazing to see this boat, which marks the end of WWII, sitting next to the site of the USS Arizona, which marked the beginning of WWII. A lot went on between them.

Winning a world war is worth a little celebration.

I think what impressed me the most about this whole experience is the amount of patriotism that welled up in the American people following the attack at Pearl Harbor. Japan didn't expect that. I think we all felt a bit of that after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Sadly, I'm not sure we'd experience such unified effort in our country over anything today. I love America and thank God for the men and women who have sacrificed to ensure her freedom. Their martyrdom inspires me to never take anything for granted. Above that, their heroism encourages me to fight for freedom. And not just earthly freedom, eternal freedom. 


On Sunday we met up with an old seminary classmate of our Fr. E.J. Resinto at Sacred Heart Church in Honolulu. Beautiful parish.

It's a busy little Church with a K-12 school pushing 1,000 enrollment.

No better way to hang out then celebrating Mass together. 

The breakfast to follow was pdg too. 

I love Sunday's. Aside from hanging with Fr. E.J., we didn't do too much. It was also rainy. But turns out when it rains in Hawaii it remains warm out. Good stuff.

Sunday, January 29, 2023


On Friday morning we jetted over to the island of Kauai. Waikiki has been great, but the idea of a slower pace sounded good to me. Enjoyable it was.

We've come to learn that Aloha means more than just hello. It's basically the Hawaiian motto. It means along the line of breath of life. When you are greeted with an Aloha it is wishing your life to be well. Aloha could easily be translated into the breath of the Holy Spirit. 

First on the dock was a trip to the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Pretty impressive. 

We conquered at good 6.2 mile hike to the coast and back. 

Our whole reason for going over here is because Joe scored us a room at a ritzy resort. We felt like the Beverly Hill Billies walking in. 

Beautiful views. 

We were able to stay free if we offered Mass while we were there. Gladly. 

We couldn't afford the meals though. However, there is no shortage of food on these islands. We've been eating well to say the least. 

Good stuff. It was fun to get a new perspective of Hawaii from a different island. I appreciated a little more chill time. Hard to believe it is January. Were not going to know how to handle the weather when we get back home. We'll cross that bridge when we get there. Until then... three more days in the sun. 


Friday, January 27, 2023

Good ole Boys

I dig this island life. Pretty easy going. The past couple of days we have just been trolling around. Snorkeled some and visited some good folks. 

Our first stop Wednesday afternoon was along the North Shore where the Eddie was to visit our old classmate Fr. Rumple. Good guy and beautiful parish. 

Today we met up with Bishop Larry Silva. Generous man. Bought us Mexican food. 

Then gave us a secret tour of some holy relics. 

St. Damion of Molokai and St. Marianne Cope are some of Hawaii's Catholic hero's.

The Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady Queen of Peace houses their relics. Bishop Larry was able to get us up close and personal. This might have been the highlight of our trip thus far. 

Later we invited some of the boys over for a guys night out.

Bear busted out the cigars.

And then the ukulele.

Another fun time had by all. These island are full of good ole boys. Much like home. Turns out surfers and cowboys have a lot in common. Tomorrow... Kauai. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Day in the Sun

Chris Ledoux once sang, "A fool I may be, but a coward I'm not." I ain't gonna lie, I really wasn't looking forward to going surfing, but to uphold my cowboy dignity I went for it. Bucket list, check.

Bear is a world class surfer, so Joe and I felt pretty safe.

They say the best surfer is the one that has the most fun. In my estimation, Joe won.

I was super impressed, Joe got up on his first try.

I don't think you can say that I ever got up.

Later we took Bear's Corvette for a cruse along the cost.

And then landed back home for some Lungren Brothers steaks.

A fun day was had by all. The ocean beat me up. I'm sore and worn out. But we did it. The drive was fun as well as seeing the country side. Beautiful. Who knows what tomorrow with bring. Guess we'll wake up and find out.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Touchdown Jesus

With a winter storm rolling in, my buddy Fr. Joe and I decided to get out of Dodge. Hawaii sounded like a good landing. So on a wing and a prayer we blew out early Monday morning and headed for Honolulu. My buddy Bear Woznick lives in Waikiki beach and had a place for us to crash. So far so good. We landed here about 4:30 their time and Bear showed us around.  

This is actually my second stab at Hawaii. Last year I over slept my flight and things went down hill after that. Joe said that was divine retribution for not waiting for a time when he could go. So this year things worked out for all of us. This is from Bear's living room in the Foster Tower.

Bear and Fr. Joe. Bear Woznick is host of the radio program Deep Adventure. He's had me on a time or two. Fr. Joe Paddock is a priest on the MSU campus in Bozeman MT. We went to seminary together and have remained good friends. Bear took time to give us a quick lay of the land. 

Giddy up!

This should be a fun 10 days or so. We don't have a lot planned other than getting some sun and hanging out. I'm sure the Lord has some surprises in store for us though. The first one being that today was the feast of St. Marianne Cope, who ministered to the lepers on the Hawaiian islands. We also have some priest buddies down here. Stay tuned. Aloha.

Friday, January 20, 2023


The day finally arrived to get the sleds out. We didn't have a lot of time, but it was still worth meeting up with Kurt and heading into the north Big Horns. It was a bit of a drive for a couple hour ride, but he fresh smell of 2-stroke in the air made it all worth while. 

If nothing else, it was worth loading up just to turn heads around town. 

White Horse's lift arms make light work of loading and unloading. 

Kurt just outfitted his new dirt bike with his snow-bike kit. It did pretty good for the first time out.


The snow was pretty light, but we found enough to keep our sleds cool. It's always good to get into the mountains even if its only for an hour or two. Now that we know the sleds are going to preform, we'll be ready to hit it hard when the late winter snows hit. On to the next one. 

Sunday, January 15, 2023


Behold the Lamb of God! Behold, Him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.

Mom and Dad

January 14th marked the 50th wedding anniversary for Mom and Dad. They were married in 1973 on Mom’s parents’ 25th anniversary. This has always been a special day for all of us and this year was no exception.

And the two shall become one flesh.

Dad always said that he was related to half the town and then married the other half. 

We threw them a nice party. We started off with Mass where there was a special blessing for them. Followed by a reception down stairs. Lungren Brothers provided the beef. 

Mom baked her own cake. 

One big happy family.

Special thanks to all who helped make this celebration go so well. Aunt Tuni on the organ, Uncle Scott as lead vocals, Uncle Chris and Aunt Fran as readers, Lynn Murdoch for cooking the briskets, and everyone who showed up! Congratulations Mom and Dad. Your fidelity has meant the world to all of us. 

Friday, January 13, 2023

Off the Hook

Well, the season is finally over. We started with 15 cows and ended up with 13 in the freezer. That should be enough to hold us over until summer. 

As much as I love hanging beef, seeing an empty rail is a pleasant sight. 

This last cow put 50 notches on our scabbard.   

Chad lent a hand for the final push. 

That should last us a while. 

God bless America!

On to the next one! This freezer of meat should get us till July. Hopefully we’ll have 12 more critters on grass by then. We’ll worry about that later though. There’s snowmobiling to be done!

Fr. Brian

Fr. Brian Hess and I go way back to seminary. Being two years ahead of me in school and about eight years behind me in life, we've spent...