Cherry Creek Schools and Our HOA

by DanWolgemuth on June 2, 2023

When Mary and I moved to Aurora, Colorado,18 years ago, there was an open field across from our house.  Within a couple years, Coyote Hills Elementary School was constructed and occupied.

At the same time that the school was being built, we were being introduced to our new Home Owners Association (HOA).  This group not only approves and monitors house colors, they also took responsibility for landscaping and maintenance of shared neighborhood property.  For 16 years, this worked without issue… until it didn’t.

It seems that a small strip of grass that is located between the sidewalk in front of Coyote Hills and street is now in dispute.  The question revolves around the responsibility to maintain this parcel of land.  For 16 years, our HOA embraced their responsibility and adequately maintained it.  Then something happened.  A dispute.  And with the dispute, an unwillingness on the part of the school district, and the HOA to allocate time and resources to maintain this grass.

And so the grass grows.  And yes, the weeds as well.

The district dutifully mows what’s on their side of the sidewalk… nicely mowed in angular patterns, and of course, the local homeowners maintain the grass across the street, but heaven forbid that anyone should mow the three-foot patch of grass that extends the length of the sidewalk.

Last week as I looked across the street with growing levels of frustration, mixed with disbelief…I pulled my mower from the garage and pushed it across the street.  Ten minutes later, I was done.  Grass mowed.

No lawyers showed up.  No school board members were called.  No fights broke out.  No, quite simply, the grass got mowed.

As I pushed my mower back into my garage, my feeling of satisfaction was overwhelmed with a feeling of embarrassment.  For over a year I’ve allowed the fuming and fighting of the HOA and the school district to impact my view of the world.  I allowed the irrational bickering of others to alter my perspective.  I submitted to a public dispute that changed my perspective on the neighborhood.

Not anymore.

While the world argues and fights and shouts and sues and lawyers up and looks the other way… and while those who live in other communities decide what happens in mine… I’ve  decided it’s time to change something.  To step in.  Quietly.  With a mower of my own.

The Kingdom of God doesn’t have a school board or an HOA.  No, it has a King, and the followers of the King steward the Kingdom… together.  One mower at a time.

Perhaps there are places we should all stop waiting for somebody else to figure out who’s job it is, and simply start our mower.  Side by side.  Because the grass and weeds are growing, and the neighborhood is paying attention.


Banana. Sunrise. Chair.

by DanWolgemuth on May 26, 2023

It was my first Medicare physical, and although I’ve gone through many routine physicals in the past, aspects of this exam were unexpected.

Dr. Seth Gursky, my Primary Care Physician, has seen me multiple times before. But this time, he poked into new territory. Specifically, memory testing. In fact, my pre-exam questions were very different. Questions about balance, and driving, and sleep… and memory.

At the start of the exam Dr. Gursky said, “I’m going to say three words and I want you to repeat them back to me.” Easy enough, I thought. He continued… “the words are, banana, sunrise, chair.” Dutifully, and confidently, I spoke them back. Then the doctor added, “I’m going to ask you to repeat these words back to me later in our exam.”

Yikes! I scrambled to refresh the words that had just crossed by lips, but nearly vacated my mind.  

At the same time, Dr. Gursky asked me to draw a clock face and show him 8:20. And yes, I had the capacity to do that. Thank goodness.

Then the exam continued. No details necessary, but time passed. Stethoscope listening, skin exploring, tongue extending, ears evaluating, questions asked and answered… then, and only then, the return question. “What were the three words I gave you at the start of our exam?”

For a split second, my mind froze, and then the three words tumbled out with nearly as much relief as when I finished the SAT exam in 1972.

banana. sunrise. chair.


Prone to forget, to dismiss, to ignore…

Jesus understood this. In fact, He instructed us to physically participate in His death, so that we would never forget how costly grace and forgiveness were.

And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19, ESV)

Memorial Day.

A U.S. Holiday instituted in 1868 after the Civil War, with the express purpose of honoring those who died in defense of freedom. Soldiers. Warriors. Heroes.

Short memories demand special and significant prompting. Memorial Day. And yes, Communion, the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper.

“Do this”, Jesus said. Hardly a suggestion. And confessionally, something that many Protestants have taken far too lightly, including me.

Remember. Reflect. Honor. Commend.

On the front lines for freedom.

As always, Jesus shows us the way. Life extended. Life extinguished. Freedom secured.

Jesus knew, what Dr. Grusky was testing…

banana. sunrise. chair.

“Do this in remembrance of me.”


The Guidebook to St. John

May 5, 2023

It was May, 2003 when Mary and I last visited the remarkable island of St. John, the smallest of three islands in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We were celebrating our Silver wedding anniversary with our three kids. Since then we’ve talked often about returning, and this year, in celebration of our 45th wedding anniversary, we’ve […]

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Standing between a stroller and a wheelchair…

April 28, 2023

A journey through Denver International Airport is something I can do without thought. I’ve done it hundreds of times over the past 18 years. Today, as I boarded the train that connects the main terminal to the C Concourse, I stood between a baby in a stroller, and an elderly woman in a wheelchair. The […]

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One or two?

April 24, 2023

Three or four? Five or six? Yes, this past week was another trip to the optometrist. Lens variations dropping in front of my eyes as I focus on the letters across the room. “Which is clearer?”, Dr. Bell inquired. Feeling the pressure of a pop quiz, I did my best to rapidly consider my options. […]

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Tax Day

April 14, 2023

There is something about April 15th that triggers a reminder in the head of most American Tax payers. Tax Day. And of course… because tax day is not allowed to fall on a weekend or holiday, we are gifted with three extra days to file in 2023. Ironically, it was a question about taxes that […]

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Then the 8th…

April 7, 2023

April 7, 1978. A Friday. A day of reflection, and sincere anticipation. This was rehearsal dinner day. The day before The Day. Invitations had been sent. Preparations had been made. The bride… Mary Christine Cargo, would be wearing the wedding dress that her mother wore in 1949, but not until tomorrow. Not until the 8th. […]

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I cry aloud to God, and He will hear me.

March 31, 2023

Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good? Will he never smile again? Is his love worn threadbare? Has his salvation promise burned out? Has God forgotten his manners? Has he angrily stomped off and left us? “Just my luck,” I said. “The High God retires     just the moment I need him.” (Selections […]

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Echo Mountain

March 31, 2023

It was our Christmas 2022 gift to our family. And while it was a repeat of the gift we had given a couple of years before, it was received with extraordinary delight. Yes, a shared skiing experience was just the right size for everyone. No exchanges necessary. Echo Mountain, here we come. Echo Mountain is […]

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Dear Mr. Putin, it’s me again…

March 17, 2023

I doubt that you remember, but I wrote to you almost exactly a year ago. It was a heartfelt letter, admonishing you, as Moses had done with Pharoah, to stop the unwarranted attack and abuse on the image bearers of God. But alas, my words either didn’t reach you, or you have chosen to ignore […]

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