Hmmmm, I can never figure out why some of my photos show up "off rotation".
Anyway, thank you to all my sponsors. Because of your support in this great because and encouragement in me, I have received my Great Cycle Challenge Bike Shirt/Jersey this week. It was an awesome feeling seeing the package and opening it up. Stay tuned for an updated Profile Pic, Bike, Shirt and "me"! Now if it would just warm up enough for me to wear short sleeve without a jacket ;-)
The weather has been spectacular the last couple of days here in Miramichi. It was so nice that I was able to get out last night for a bike drive. Felt nice to stretch the legs.
Anybody that knows me, I'm pretty sure they'll tell you that I'm a little bit OCD. I'm a planer, I like to sort out details and have most things all in place for whatever I'm in to. Well Vacation is no different. And tonight when I arrived home from work, YAY, a Vermont tourism information package. In today's tech world, and "downloads", who even requests tourism packages and maps? Do people even use maps anymore? Awhh, YES, that would be me. Don't get me wrong, I have my phone, my Garmin for the car and if all else fails my GPS64 Handheld; but there's something about having a map and being able to look at the layout of where you're traveling. I've found that Vehicle Navigation and GPS's have, well, made us a little bit travel stupid.... We rely on them so much that we're almost lost without them. There's something rewarding about looking at a map, figuring out where you are and when you're going. N, E, S, W (Never Eat Shredded Wheat). Following routes and roads and being able to navigate; that was something my dad taught me early on, Thanks Dad!
Anyway, where was I, oh yeh, vacation plans. One of our vacations this summer will take us SW into Vermont. Brenda and I have our campground all booked, and the plans/activities are all falling into place. Let's see, Smugglers Notch, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory, Stowe Gondola Skyride, Waterbury, Stowe Recreation Path (Bike Trail), etc. We'll be taking our bikes and making the most of our trip, by vehicle, foot and pedal!
Now that our kids are grown, it seems we are left doing things alone, together. So it's been different, different in a sad way and different in a good way (I'm sure some of you can probably relate). I find I'm excited about these plans with Brenda, I'm excited about being able to enjoy each other and to see things without the worry of watching for kids or hazards, etc.
In finishing off this blog for this evening, thank you for your support with "my Challenge". Your contribution in this great cause is allowing children to grow up, allowing children to fall in love, get married and have families of their own. Experiencing all the trials and joys of being a parent. And the trials and joys of "their" own children growing up and being able to focus on themselves again.
I wouldn't have it any other way! I have been so blessed in Life, I couldn't even begin to share how great HE has used me.
Now, let's rally together and keep those funds coming, let's help these children to experience vacation after vacation after vacation.
This pic is a wee bit old, 2009 I believe. I had two (2) of the most awesome parents. I look back now and think about how much trouble I was growing up as a teenager. I thought I knew everything and mom and dad, just "didn't understand". Looking back I couldn't have been more wrong. My parents were nothing short of amazing. The pic shows how my dad was all of the time around mom, he was always grabbing and hugging her, trying to kiss her. He was never afraid of showing his affection to her. You see I grew up in a home where we weren't afraid to show LOVE, I never left the house without a hug and kiss from both of them. I'm now 48 and still don't leave mom without a hug and kiss. Dad always bear-hugged me, he was always wrapping his arms around me and squeezing, kissing my cheek and sayin' "I love ya man! Oh what I wouldn't do to feel that hug and hear those words right now.
Because of Mom and Dad and how I was brought up and what I saw, we carried on that tradition of affection in our Family (although Brenda sometimes gets a bit angry with me when I am trying to steal a kiss in public :-). Our 19 yr old Daughter never leaves without hugs and kisses or the face-time or phone calls with I Love You. For our 21 yr old son, we never leave the house, or he never heads to bed without making it a point to plant a kiss on our cheeks. It's always I Love you!
I think to times when I'm cranky (yes I do sometimes get cranky), I storm out of the house, head to the garage or something and never tell Brenda I Love Her. Why do I do this? Why do we do this? When I'm in the garage or driving down the road, the reality and sadness sets in and then I feel like crap. Let's not do this to ourselves; if our time is limited and believe me all our days are numbered, let's pay special attention to our most important relationships. Let's not miss the chance to say I Love You, let's squeeze extra long with that hug, let's kiss, and kiss again, let's show LOVE. Remember the Beatles Song released in 1967 "All you need is LOVE".
Don't wait for the diagnosis to show just how much you care, show them now! Show them today.
As I wait for the snow to melt, the roads to dry up and the temperature to rise, I am motivated to make the most of "my challenge". In the coming days/weeks, I'll be hitting the road in support of this great cause; training myself, conditioning myself so that when June 1 hits, I am ready. Thank you for making me ready, thank you for your support for this great cause, thank you for making a difference!
There's something about a small community coming together and rising to the Challenge. That's just what unfolded over the past few months in Renous, NB (about 20 minutes from where I now live and 10 minutes from where I grew up). They were successful in winning the distinguished title of 2019 Kraft Hockeyville. You can can catch up on their entire story on www.krafthockeyville.ca.
Anybody who knows me; I am not a sports guy, no Hockey, no ball, no racing, no golf, no bad habits? To me this rallying together was more than just about Hockey and that's what I was drawn to. I feel that is probably what a lot of people were drawn to. Yes the $250K in rink upgrades and hosting an NHL Hockey Game is awesome, but if you watch, read and "feel" the story of the Tom Donavon Arena, Renous, NB and Thomas Dunn, you'll quickly realize there is more to the story.
This Challenge, "My Challenge" is about raising funds for Children affected by Cancer, so they can "LIVE LIFE" and not be fighting for it, Oorah! In the story of Thomas Dunn, a 14 Year old in Blackville, NB that was called HOME in the summer of 2018, he too was helping children/kids to LIVE LIFE! You see, Thomas was an organ donor and his legacy will live on through the lives of others that his organs have gone to help. How wicked is that! The photo below is some of my work family who came together to show our support for the Tom Donavon Arena and Thomas Dunn. This is only one (1) of 1000's of photos, signs, videos, posts, etc. that were posted by our community, our province, our country.
Community, relationships, coming together, support, that's what life is about. Pedals' Up!
PS - During June, one (1) of my runs will take me through Renous, stay tuned!
I know she will probably "give me a good rakin' since she does not like her picture taken! I couldn't help myself, I love this pic! Excited, anxious, uncertain, nervous, all emotions that she is experiencing as we took off on her first mission trip to DR in February 2019. I've been there 4 times so I knew what to expect, but this was her first trip. I couldn't have been happier to have my wife join me, to see all her emotions unfold that week. I am truly blessed to have found the love of my life! We are both blessed to be able to experience and help in this way, the way that HE calls us to. Just 2 Years prior to this photo, Brenda was in a Hospital bed in Montreal going through a surgery that would change her life forever. Does that smile look like she gave up! Does that smile look like somebody who Cancer took the best from? Nope! She's a fighter and she had too much "Living Life" to do. She has taught me so much, and I would not be the man I am today if not for her. I LOVE MY WIFE BRENDA! (jumping up and down on the couch like Tom Cruise did on Oprah :-)
That girl is my Baby! Graduated from High School as Salutatorian and started St. Fx University in the Fall of 2018. Health and Sciences for entrance into Med School. That's right, she wants to be a doctor... and I'm going to be broke :-) I couldn't be more prouder of the young women she is becoming. As my wife was going through Cancer twice (2013 and 2017), Emily and her mom developed a bond like no other. I saw how our daughter changed to being the mother figure, teaching me how to do laundry and cook. Teaching me things that I should have known how to do; looking back, I just took for granted. I realized pretty quickly that I was not "appreciating" my wife the way a man should. I took her for granted. And it wasn't until the Big "C" rung the doorbell that I realized just how much she did.
Anyway, back on track. I look at my daughter and all her accomplishments, all her experiences, all her disappointments and it has shaped her to who she is. I want every child to experience these same highs and lows, I want every parent to experience the joy of watching their children grow up. This is what makes me want to help the Sickkids Foundation so that every child has a fighting chance. Will you Help? Will you support me in "My/Our Challenge"? Just think for a minute, if the situation were changed and it was your child, how much would you spend/pay to try and help? It's a harsh reality for 1400 Children in Canada each year. Stop thinking and start doing, Help me "Kick Cancer to the Curb"!
So often we are "busy". I'm probably the most guilty of keeping busy. We definitely overuse the word. How many times have you answered "busy" when asked these questions: How have you been? BUSY! How is work? BUSY! Do you want to go get groceries with me? I'm BUSY! Do you want to go for a drive? Sorry, I'm BUSY! Would you be available to help out this afternoon? Can't, I'm BUSY!
We need to cut-back on being BUSY.... We need to start enjoying ourselves more, making time for whats important, and WE... ARE... IMPORTANT. Two (2) years ago I went out on my KLR650 (different bike ) and explored Maine and New Hampshire. I visited restaurants, shopping centers, LL Bean, Tourist Attractions, and Mt. Washington (photo), etc. all by myself. Well I wasn't really all by myself, I knew Dad was right there with me! It was an emotional trip down memory lane, but honestly, there was so much JOY in that trip. I still think back and refer to it often.
Moral of the story, take the time to look after yourself, do something for you, regardless of how foolish or odd it may seem. Take that trip, spend time with that person, reflect on what's important and what gives you JOY! Enjoy life, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.
If you were suddenly diagnosed with the “Big C”, what would be on your mind? Who would you turn to? I’m pretty sure we’d all reevaluate our priorities, and focus on what’s important. Family, friends, relationships, that’s where I’d be. I am blessed to have some of the greatest friends ever. Seen here, two (2) of my High School buds and best pals, out for a night of food and drinks! Following a day of skiiing at Crabbe Mt.
About 7 Years ago, I only "knew" people that were affected by Cancer, but nobody I would consider close. Since that time, I have lost my father to Cancer (2013) and my wife has been diagnosed twice (2012 and 2017). My wife is doing well. Cancer needs to go!
I am blessed and fortunate to be able to pedal through June in support of this extremely worthy cause. I hope you'll partner with me in "Kickin' Cancer to the Curb"!