Day 603 – Thankful for a New Father and Son Tradition, Order of the Arrow

We got news a couple of days ago that Dominic would be entering into a Scouting organization that I knew well when I was a Scout.  It is an organization that you must be voted into by your fellow troop mates as Scouts who best exemplify living the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives.  Being elected to become a member of OA is a big honor and it was awesome to see that Dominic was selected for it!

Reading his letter brought back a flood of memories for me.  When I was selected I still remember being pulled out of the crowd at the Camp Tesomas firebowl to go up to stand in front of the Chief.  He said something to me that I will never forget and proceeded to “tap” me on the shoulder three times.  I sat from behind the fire for the rest of the event and was told to stay silent.  That night I slept in my sleeping bag under the stars where they left me and it was one of the coolest experiences of camping I’ve ever had.  The next day was spent doing some manual labor while maintaining a vow of silence.  Throughout the whole experience I was given a small booklet to read and consider while working in the quiet.  Funny thing is that almost 30 years later I still have those books!

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I’m so excited to think that Dominic will now have the same opportunity!  While it sounds like my “Ordeal” and his may be different I am hopeful it will be something that he holds near and dear to his heart for the rest of his life.  Through that experience I learned so much about leadership, living the Scout Oath and Law, and about myself.

When I think back to the experience I had I still remember the huge smiles of pride on the faces of my parents.  They were there for the event and I remember how happy I was for them to be there.  At the time I wasn’t sure why they were so proud, but now, as a dad, I totally understand.

Congrats on this incredible honor bud!!!  I can’t wait to see your new patch on your pocket flap.  You’re doing things right and your mom and I are so proud of the man you are already becoming.  Keep up the awesomeness, soak up the experience, and enjoy this next Scouting adventure.  Love you dude!!!

Thanks!!!

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Day 602 – Thankful for Getting Out on the Water

Today’s been pretty solid all the way around.  Many great conversations, celebrating of successes, spending time with friends and mentors, hearing of others accomplishing goals, an awesome gift, the boys being fine on their own at home, Becky joining us in Lake City, and so many other wonderful moments.  It hasn’t all been perfect, but it’s been very full of joy regardless.  My heart is warmed as I pause and think of all that I am thankful for today.

There were a couple of moments though in which my head was filled with childlike wonder and they involved being on the river.  On a few days week my view of the river looks like this, a sunrise over the Black River yesterday morning:

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This evening it was a very different view as we went on a pontoon ride to wrap up the day with a few of my mentors.  As we were cruising on the Mississippi River there were so many views like this:

With the wind blowing in my face it just felt great to get lost in the beauty of the river and the bluffs it lies between.  The moon was out and bright and added a little extra to the view.  At one point an eagle flew close overhead, at another point and eagle took a stab at a fish.  I was able to see a significant portion of my Ragnar run segment heading north from Maiden Rock.  In another spot I was dreaming of having a house on top of the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River Valley.  The sun was beating down and it felt glorious!

There was just a magic to being on the water that caused all stress to melt away and let me mind focus on the surroundings around me, and it felt great!

Thanks!!!

Day 601 – Thankful for a Great Kid’s Cup

Today was our annual Kid’s Cup event and it was a huge success!  Over $80,000 was raised to help kids and families at a couple of local hospitals.  All the money raised goes specifically to helping improve the comfort of children and their families in all types of medical situations.

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In addition to being a part of an event with a fantastic purpose I also very much enjoyed the time I had golfing and hanging out with some work friends.  Being able to spend time picking their brains about work while also having more time to talk with them about home life.

The event was a huge success and I’m so appreciative of the event itself, for everyone who donated to this great cause, and for all of the work family I was able to spend time with today.  My heart is full tonight thanks to all of you!

Thanks!!!

Day 600 – Thankful for Signs of Summer – Grills and Boats

Today I am thankful for a couple of wonderful signs of summer…  grills and boats.  After getting home from hanging with the guys this weekend it was time to bounce right back into reality.  Checking the grocery store off the list is pretty much par for the course on on Sunday, but the other couple of Must Do’s were things that don’t happen often.

Earlier this afternoon we finally got our boat on the water and into our slip.  The ride was a pretty efficient from A to B run but that didn’t reduce the happy feelings of summer as we were on the water.  The sun even started to bust out for us as we wrapped up and got back to the slip.  It’s a little late this year but better late than never!

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Our grill finally bit the dust a couple of weeks ago so we bought a new one.  I’d completely forgotten how much work is involved in putting one of them together…  and they haven’t gotten any easier over the years!  Thank goodness I had an awesome work partner with me today, Gavin.  He helped me out with screws, grabbing parts, installing parts, and cleaning.  I was very thankful for his help, there were more than a few times in which he saved me a lot of time and frustration.

Once the grill was complete it was a little too late to give it a test run, but just getting it put together reminded me of summer.  Just looking at it had me thinking of so many great meals we will grill up this summer.

The first day of putting the boat on the water is always magical.  It’s like the day after Thanksgiving when you realize Christmas is coming soon.  Throw in firing up a new grill on the same day and it was like Christmas came twice!

Thanks!!!

Day 599 – Thankful for Laughing with My Friends So Hard My Stomach Hurts

Is there a better time with friends than when you’re all laughing so hard that there are tears and your stomach is hurting? As we’ve been chilling today we got onto a bunch of our favorite Saturday Night Live clips and other random videos online we’ve had a blast just laughing non-stop. Throw in watching Deadpool and shooting the bull remembering old jokes and it’s been a great day full of laughs and relaxation… and the day’s not even close to done yet!

Thanks!!!

Day 598 – Thankful for a Lazy Day of Geeking Out with Lifelong Friends

This morning I slept in until I felt like getting out of bed. I took my time showering up with no pressure of being ready to go by a certain time. It felt great!

Once ready I headed up from the basement and went on to spend the entire day geeking out with a couple of my closest friends, friends I’ve known since I was a little kid. We did nothing productive, we just spent time shooting the bull and playing games. When we got hungry we went out for food (thanks Garwood for taking us out for Schwarma Chicken!) and then went back to just chilling.

As I type this we’re headed to an Escape Room for some more fun. After that it’ll be time for more food, and then more relaxing and games.

Spending a day with the guys has been absolutely awesome, relaxing, and exactly what the doctor ordered!

Thanks!!!

Day 597 – Thankful for Airport Memories and Missing My Usual Travel Buddies

As I sit in the MSP airport this afternoon I’ve spent a fair amount of time wandering around. My intent was to focus on writing my book, but instead I’ve spent time wandering the airport. Around almost every corner hides another memory of a past trip here. The funny thing is that not all of the memories are from here specifically, but as you’ve probably noticed, pretty much all major airports start to feel the same after a while.

My stroll to the airport reminded me of this…

Wandering through the airport reminded me of this…

Hopping on the flight reminded me of these…

And of course the majority of those memories reminded me of the destinations we went to, like these…

Traveling alone for the first time in a while has felt pretty strange. Normally I have any number of my three favorite travel buddies with me, but this time I’m flying solo. While I am missing each of them it’s also making me smile as I realize that I miss them specifically because of how much fun we always have in the airport. Whether it’s goofing around or chilling we’re always enjoying each other’s company in the airport as we get excited for our next adventure. Today I am solo, but I am reminded of them constantly as I sit here in the airport.

Thanks!!!