Curves. I guess I've always been fascinated by them. As a young boy, it was the the undulating line of a cowboy's lariat reaching toward a running calf or the ever-widening circles created by a pebble tossed into the pond. As I grew older, it was the soft gentle forms of the female body that attracted my attention. Aircraft, in any form, have always been of interest to me, but the rounded sheets of riveted aluminum that comprise WWII aircraft such as the B-17 and the F4U Corsair are what really get me excited.

Our new motorhome, the Ultra Van (which we got in June of this year), is built using aircraft monocoque construction with those same gently rounded sheets of aluminum. The motorhome was acquired so that I could take Rhonda and my engraving shop on more of my gunsmithing trips, as I have spent considerable time on the road "apprenticing" to be an International gunsmith under Dave Mattice. Dave has been the US Olympic Team Gunsmith for the past three Olympics, LA, Seoul and Barcelona. Did you know there are 17 Olympic shooting events and that we had a Gold and Silver medalist last year? Probably not, because our media is so biased. But, I digress from my subject matter.

Curves are no doubt why I enjoy engraving so much, getting to create my own curves in my own ways, composing the concentric everwinding scrolls and flourishes into beautiful patterns of chiseled steel and inlaid gold. Vehicles too are affected by this curve compulsion, because the Corvairs we drive have nice purposeful lines that are pleasing to the eye as well as the hand, unlike today's rounded cars which all somehow look like an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss left too long in the sun. I've always enjoyed driving on nice curvy roads, watching the countryside go by, which, in a way, is a lot like what my life has been like this past year, like chasing one's headlights up a steep curvy road on a pitch black night. Afraid to go much faster, but unable to slow down. Swinging the steering wheel back and forth, seeing a little ways ahead as you hit the straightaway and then losing sight of all but the path immediately ahead as you steer hard into the next curve, not really knowing what lies ahead, only that you'll handle it when it does appear.

I could spend pages telling about our adventures (and misadventures) of the past two years, but I really wrote to tell you about one specific curve that will impact our lives for years to come. The curve I speak of is now slowly receding from what it was three days ago when it reached its peak in size and curve has been growing rounder and firmer each day for the past nine months and now has (as I lift my eyes from my writing and look across the room) resulted in seven pounds, six ounces of the cutest little rugrat you ever wanted to see. Yes, I present you Emily Dale Pilkington (drumroll please), born November 28th at 12:01 am, firstborn child of Rhonda and your humble author.

I can't begin to tell you the feelings that encompass me as I hold this tiny life in my arms. Overwhelming praise, joy and thanks to YHWH our God, a heavy weight of responsibility to raise this child in respect and love for both our Creator and His creation and an irrepressable desire to talk nonsense and silliness to it, are some of the more common ones. Certainly we would be more than grateful for your prayers for us in days and months to come. And to each of you who read my words, whether friend or family, customer or competitor, I want to thank you for the contributions each of you have made in our lives, and wish you the joy that I have in my heart.