Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Hello 2012

Happy Holidays to one and all.  One of our favourite traditions is putting together our annual Holiday Hello, a picture-laden newsletter.  It is one of the ways we are able to keep in touch with family and friends from Trenton to Nanaimo, from New York City to the Crowsnest Pass.

When you click on the picture below, it will take you the 2012 edition.  We hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December Descending

I started trying to write one of my regular blogs this morning, but something made me stop.  The words weren't coming, the inspiration just not there.  After a couple of cups of coffee it hit me as to why. It was time to do another Wood Buffalo Update, time to gather up the dust bunnies of memory and share them before they are gone.

The final week of November proved that Winter has a mighty grip on us, dishing up temperatures that flirted with -30.  I was in Fort Chipewyan on Wednesday evening, an hour flight north of Fort McMurray, attending a community engagement event.  The municipality had chartered a plane to take a group of us up there as it is more cost effective than flying commercial.

I had a wonderful time connecting with old friends and making some new ones.  It was especially great to have a visit with Nadia's Auntie Rachel who I hadn't seen in a number of years.  An old-time country band warmed up the hall filled with about 200 residents and made the evening merry.

While we enjoyed the event, the pilots caught up on their emails and reading in the small airport terminal while the plane sat on the tarmac.

"It's going to be rather cold when we first get in the plane," the pilot warned as we prepared to head back home.  "We'll do our best to get it warmed up as fast as we can."

We sat in our seats, left for about four hours to absorb the bitter cold that had descended on Alberta's oldest continuously inhabited settlement, bundled up in our toques, mittens and parkas.  At that point, it was -34 with a windchill.  We shivered, our exhalations clearly visible in the cabin as the crew turned the ignition to begin the warming up process.

There is something romantic, in a northern adventure kind of way, of being able to experience this frontier-like mode of transportation.  I don't get up to Fort Chipewyan often, but when I do, it reminds me of the vastness of our region, and the importance of our rural communities.

It's not quite that cold this morning, only -20 according to the Weather Channel.  We had more snow last night, so it will mean another round of shoveling for me, which will make Ben enormously happy.  He's been building a fort at the end of our driveway, in the spot that always ends up being the biggest pile in the yard.

I came home from work one day and saw this beautiful tunnel burrowed out, thinking immediately that Heather had been out doing the work.  It turns out that the tunneling was all Ben, demonstrating an acuity passed down from his Uncle Keith.

In my new role (since the summer) of focusing on the arts at Keyano, we have ended up spending a lot more time attending  special events at the Theatre & Arts Centre.  Mom gifted us a couple of tickets to see Stuart McLean when he was in town in October.  We brought Neil, Susan, Dylan and Ben with us and enjoyed an amazing evening of stories and music.  Thanks Mom!

"We've been coming here a lot lately," said Dylan, as we crossed the snowy parking lot to go watch a short one-act play a few weeks ago.  "I like it."

Most recently, we all went to the opening night of Calendar Girls, a play about a group of Yorkshire women who decide to do a tastefully nude calendar to raise money to buy a new sofa for the cancer ward at their local hospital.  They chose to overcome significant body image issues and in so doing become global sensations.

Our local ladies became sensations of their own, doffing it all on stage, with strategically placed objects to hide their bits and pieces.  They were brilliant, and the audience response was stunning.

I did the pre-show speech for the final two performances, encouraging patrons to purchase one of the fundraising calendars that had been done featuring the ladies.  Some of you might find one under your tree come Christmas morning, so be prepared!

Dylan and Ben both came home with very positive report cards, Dylan crossing the finish line with an impressive 80 average for the first time.  We were both very proud of their efforts and Heather reported that all the teachers had lovely things to say.

Speaking of Heather, her health has been a little up and down in recent months, as she continues to work with a variety of practitioners to figure out what's happening.  She has radically adjusted her workload, listening very closely to what her body is telling her.   Some days she is full of vim and vigor, other days, less so.

We haven't been terribly specific about our Christmas plans, as we haven't firmed anything up yet.  At this point, we're thinking of maybe traveling down to Edmonton at some point.  We'll see what happens.  After the spate of accidents we've heard about this winter, the less time we spend on the roads, the better.

Have a great week.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Winter's rush

In my mind, winter has arrived early.  We are still a few days away from Halloween, but based on the cold temperatures and decidedly white landscape, a miraculous late fall melt is highly unlikely.  I'm not complaining, as the colder weather facilitates better sleeps (for me) and encourages us to spark up the fireplace in the evenings when we're spending time together as a family.

Speaking of which, our household population has risen by one in recent months with the arrival of Junior the hedgehog.  What started out as a rather prickly relationship has grown into one of trust and curiosity.  Each evening, Junior comes out of his lair to hang out with the family and indulge in his daily devouring of a couple of big fat meal worms.

I'm sure it's the same in your house, but September comes along and the calm serene of summer gets blown to smithereens by overflowing commitments, committees and daily concerns.  When school starts, it's like the gun going off at the beginning of the race to Christmas.  In what seems like the blink of an eye, we are halfway there.

Dylan is in his final year at Dr. Clark School, the place where he began his educational adventures 9 years ago.  He has gone from being the smallest kid in the school to being among the tallest.  I was thrilled to be able to slip in to watch the election speeches this year.  Dylan was running for Prime Minister of the student council against one other fellow.  He was the last to speak, and while I'm certain I have a biased perspective, I think he knocked it out of the park.

What was the first thing he did when he was done? He walked over to his competitor and shook his hand. I thought that showed a lot of class.

The day before I had had a chance to visit with former Prime Minister Paul Martin and talked to him about Dylan.  He was in town launching an Aboriginal Entrepreneurship initiative.  I described how Dylan has overcome his challenges and is successfully straddling two cultures, both of which add tremendous value to his life.  I also shared that he was running for prime minister of his school.  "Dylan sounds like he's a courageous young man," said Mr. Martin.  "I hope he wins."

I called home at 4 pm that afternoon to find out the results.

"Oh yes, I won," hurried Dylan.  "But Ben is not doing too well."

Following an end-of-school tumble that found Ben doing a face-plant on the concrete, Dylan was more concerned about his little brother - face covered in blood with a bag full of ice on his nose - than basking  in the glow of his election victory.

We are very proud of Dylan, apart from his political success, as he's really buckled down with the school work.  I have to give Heather so much credit, as she is here encouraging him when I am hither and thither in my multiple roles at work, in the community and with regional council.  He spent a lot of time on an incredible story about time travel which earned him an almost perfect mark.  Part of the assignment was to weave in elements of some of his core subjects.  He was not sure how to bring math into the narrative.

A story about a boy and girl who use a time machine to go back to 1911 just before a thief steals the Mona Lisa painting from the Louvre, I suggested that he might want to express the change of value of the painting from then to now as a percentage increase.  He did a google search and found out that it was worth $1.5 million in 1911 and about $700 million today.  We had a 45-minute debate as a family trying to reach consensus on the answer before putting the question out to the Facebook world.  Within minutes, people in multiple provinces were arguing about what the answer was to the question.

Ben has taken his musical passions to the next level, going to guitar lessons with an accomplished artist named Simon Budd.  His interest has not waned at all, which is awesome.  The things he is curious about continues to amaze me.  The other night he was nose-deep in a book in bed.

"What are you reading?" I asked.

"The Secret Life of Money," he said.

"What have you learned about so far?"

"Interest," he said.  "And stock markets."

I was a little gobsmacked to be honest, but delighted that he was reading a book with such valuable information.  It turns out he noticed the book being advertised in his Owl magazine and sought it out at the library last weekend.

Heather felt a weight lifted off her shoulders as she shared with her community of clients and colleagues her intention to scale back her offerings for personal health reasons.  Some of the things her body is going through has made it difficult to manage a daunting number of classes and personal appointments.  She realized that she needed to take more time for herself and took action.  Almost immediately, she began to feel better, relieved that she had paid attention to her body.

She was high as a kite (figuratively) yesterday, as she successfully delivered a keynote presentation to almost two hundred EAs and teachers in the Catholic School District.  It was such a success that they have asked her to come back and deliver a full-day workshop in 2013.

I won't go on and on about my life the past two months, as you could get a good sense of that from my public blog (www.middleagebulge.com), but I will share that two of the highlights of the fall were visits in both Guelph and Vancouver.

It was wonderful to spend a couple of days between work commitments visiting with Pierre & Robbie, Marcel & Kathy, Uncle Joe & Aunt Betty, Lisanne and Alex, Joseph Patrick & Mary Ann, and baby Nadine.  Thanks so much for making me feel so welcome and carving out some time with so little notice.

From Toronto I flew to Vancouver to join Heather and the boys for a wee weekend holiday in celebration of our 10th wedding anniversary.  It was great to see Claude, Tiffany and Madeleine in their West Vancouver home and spend time together, including a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner.  I'm convinced I landed in Fort McMurray the next day 10 pounds heavier than when I left.  That was some good eating!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hello September

I woke up on the first morning in September and glanced over my right shoulder to see hues of deep orange and purple as the sun poked its face over the distant hills.  I grabbed my camera - which has been largely supplanted by the versatile iPhone as the photography device of choice - as I knew it was most capable of catching the beauty of the moment with the lack of available light.

Ben and I enjoyed an equally striking scene the night before as the bright moon lit up the street.  We are blessed with regular Mother Nature masterpieces, and I do my best to capture as many of them as I can.

The summer seems a blur, a whirring melange of images, moments and memories.  It felt remarkably full to be perfectly honest, like we crammed as much into two months as is humanely possible.  It was also hot, too hot for this northern Canadian soul who appreciates cool and crisp evenings along with mornings that demand a good sweater and a steaming cup of coffee.  Did I mention how hot it was this summer?

Many evenings - perhaps most evenings - we were going to bed with temperatures in the house ranging from 28 to 31-degrees Celsius.  We had fallen victim to the boiled frog syndrome.  I knew we had arrived in those tepid waters when we had a guest in the house complaining about how incredibly hot it was in the living room.  Heather and I looked at each other somewhat puzzled.  We felt remarkably comfortable.  I walked over to the thermostat to see what the actual temperature was in the room.

"It's twenty-six," I said, with shock in my voice.  We were ready to curl up under a blanket because our bodies had been reprogrammed by the stiflingly hot weather.

Moments before leaving work to begin our summer holidays I was asked if I would be willing to accept a secondment (or a temporary assignment) to work on a project to get an arts council up and running in our region.  A nonprofit entity had been created and an interim board appointed, but it needed some full-time attention to become organized and operational.

"Absolutely," I said without hesitation.

"We'll get that started right away in August," he said, or as soon as I returned to the office after our two week holiday.

I was a little dazed as I packed up my stuff and headed home to start packing for our trip, as surprised as I was delighted that I would soon be spending the bulk of my time focusing on the arts, though there wasn't a lot of detail or direction.  That would come later.

Our summer journey took us from Cold Lake, Alberta to Watrous, Saskatchewan to spend a couple of days with my brother Doug and his family.  From the central part of the province we darted east to spend a short stretch at home in Kamsack before heading down to Winnipeg, Manitoba where we spent some wonderful hours with Heather's grandparents and her Uncle Gary and Aunt Syl's family before returning to Kamsack.  Eventually we ended up at Lac des Isles near Meadow Lake to hang out with Heather's mom, dad and brother and his family.

I could devote hundreds of words to describing every detail of these incredible days, but apparently pictures say a thousand words, so let's do it that way.

Both Dylan and Ben gave some fishing a try on the dock at Cold Lake.  We didn't catch anything, but we sure enjoyed spending time on the water.

Watrous provided lots of great opportunities for family walks and great visits.

Doug was the master fisherman early one morning.

The iPad proved to be popular with the little ones.

Dylan enjoyed some head-to-head time with his Memere.

The iconic Thomas family bus.

It was great to chat with Grandpa Gordon during several visits to their wonderful home  in The Wellington.

Grandma Mary looks absolutely wonderful, belying her 90 years.

Syl and Gary were marvelous hosts as they provided a base of operations for our Winnipeg adventures.

It felt great to work on a project together and a achieve a positive result - a new garbage container at the back of Mom and Dad's yard.  The old one was becoming a hazard after 40 years.

Warren, Sherry and Tori treated us to an outstanding afternoon and evening at Madge Lake, not to mention thrilling rides on the "big comfy couch".

Julia is growing into a wonderful young lady.

The cherry spitting contest was one of the highlights of our Lac des Isles stop on our holiday.

Do you think Dylan is having any fun?

A walk in the forest provided a lovely memory of Heather and her niece Julia.

One of many wonderful sunsets we were treated to this summer. This was on our final evening at Lac des Isles.

Upon our return to Fort McMurray I began moving offices at work while Heather, Dylan and Ben prepared for part two of their summer adventures.  Just a few days later, they departed south, dropping Dylan off at the Take Action Academy near Calgary.  Heather and Ben went on to spend some time in Crowsnest Pass and in the mountains.

The Ben Desk project

I enjoyed a working holiday at home, stripping out the upstairs bathroom, giving it a new coat of paint and installing tile baseboards.  I also built Ben a desk for his room.

A young boy jumps from the lifeguard town at YMCA Geneva Park

My final weekend of the summer was spent at Mindcamp at YMCA Geneva Park near Orillia, Ontario.  It was an amazing couple of days with creative thought leaders from 14 different countries.  It's good to be back in the swing of things - the boys have returned to school (on Wednesday) and Heather is poised to begin a busy fall of yoga teacher training sessions and myriad other activities.

I hope you had a terrific summer, that the sunshine was plentiful, mosquitoes scarce and the good times in abundance.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

June's bliss

I was fishing at the Clearwater yesterday afternoon when a trio of young ladies came floating in on their  inflatables.  As they got closer I realized that it was Misty, Jenn and Amanda - three fellow Farnsworth cast members.  They got out of the water and began trying to figure out their next move, as their vehicle was in a different location up river.  I wandered over to say hello and to offer assistance.    They didn't need my help as it turned out, but something Amanda said really stuck with me.

"There is nowhere else on earth I'd rather be right now," she said, reflecting on an idyllic day.

I felt the same way, sitting on the shore of this heritage river on an amazing afternoon, 25 degrees, slight breeze blowing, not a mosquito or gnat in sight.  It was an absolutely perfect day, providing an outdoor leisure setting that is the stuff of exotic tourism ads.

Ben and I are on our own, with Heather at a 4-day workshop in Calgary and Dylan spending time with his mom in Fort McKay.  For Ben and I, it's been a time of re-connecting after a rather elongated stretch of long work days and too many commitments.

He was thrilled to finally get his birthday present on Friday - an electric guitar and amp kit.  He is going through a strong music phase at the moment, spending hours at the keyboard or entertaining with his harmonica.  We hope that the addition of this instrument will inspire him to seek lessons, and take his love of music to a new level.

Meanwhile, Dylan discovered a gift of his own making recently.  He went to the year-end dance at his school a week ago.  Heather bought him a fresh white dress shirt and I slipped on one of my ties.

"Are you going to dance?" I asked as I dropped him off at the front door.

"No, but I'm still going to have fun," he said.

Three hours later I picked him up and found out that his night of "not dancing" didn't quite go as planned.

Mr. Gray, his home room teacher, shared with me that at one point Dylan was flat out on the floor of the classroom.

"Exhausted," said Mr. Gray.  "He really needed to catch his breath."

"How was your night?" I asked as Dylan got in the car.

"Incredible," he said.  "I danced all night long."

The smile on his face was worth a million bucks.

I had been asked by my friend Rick, a pastor at the Gospel Assembly Church, if I would be willing to drop in for five minutes to say a few words to a group of 25 high school graduates during a celebration they were organizing in their honour as part of their youth ministry.  As it wouldn't be a huge commitment of time, I said "sure" and began scrawling down a few notes on the evening's theme which was "Success".  The five minutes he first requested quickly faded into the sunset as he asked if I would stretch my piece out to 15 minutes - he really liked the direction I was heading after reading my notes.

My speech, which you can read in its entirety here, boiled down to three ideas that have contributed to my success: 1) Any job worth doing is worth doing well, 2) Embrace failure, and 3) Listen to the wind.  It seemed to go over well and Ben was able to recall two out of the three ideas 24 hours later, which meant that he was listening.

"What did you mean when you said that any job worth doing, is worth doing well?" he asked out of the blue from the back seat as we were driving yesterday.

I tried to explain that no matter the task, you could choose to give it 100% effort or a lackluster one, both are going to take time and energy, so you may as well do the best job you possibly can.  Unfortunately, I don't have a specific memory of how and when I made this mental switch, but for some reason painting the chimney comes into my head - a task that dad had given me in the summer of 1982 or 83.

Technology is amazing.  We have been able to stay in touch with Heather quite effectively using something called Facetime, where she talks into her iPad and we talk into my iPhone.  We have been married almost 10 years and have never been overly fond of communicating by phone, choosing that method only when we absolutely had to.  But this Facetime experience is quite lovely, personal and cost-effective when we're on a WiFi network - not sure what the fees would be like if we were using 3G?

Technology has also fundamentally changed how we engage with music, movies, books and television.  We still maintain basic cable service, but with each passing day I wonder why, as we no longer use it.  Claude and Tiffany kindly gave us AppleTV as a thank you gift when they stayed with us this spring.  From watching YouTube videos to accessing our music library thanks to iCloud to watching Netflix, it has supplanted regular TV in a way I never would have thought possible.  We could be watching a TV show or movie on Netflix, get tired in the middle, shut if off, go to bed, and return to that exact same spot the next day  with one click.  And of course, all of the offerings are commercial free.  The fact that the cost is a mere $8 per month is mind-boggling.

I'm a little sore sitting here typing this morning.  There is a stiffness in my neck and shoulders, and a large red splotch on my diaphragm, both remnants of my first road hockey experience in 30 years.

I had been asked to play in the Celebrity Game of HNIC's Play On! 4 on 4 street hockey tournament. Ben and I walked over to the site, stretched down the entire length of the road leading into MacDonald Island - 10 rinks set off by fencing, bright and colourful advertising, and 74 teams at the ready to compete.

Honestly, I didn't know what to expect.  Was this Celebrity Game going to be a faux-effort or was it going to be the real deal.  All I knew is that I had been "drafted" by Bobbi-Jo Slusar, a female hockey phenom hailing from Swift Current, and that we would be facing Team Hayley Wickenheiser, led by another Saskatchewan product and arguably, one of the most lauded female hockey players in the world.

From the moment the orange street hockey ball was dropped to the closing whistle 30 minutes later, it became abundantly clear that both sides were going for gold.  All I can say is thank goodness we had enough guys and ladies for three full shifts because after just a few minutes, many of us needed to tap out.

Mike Allen, our newly elected MLA and former Council colleague said to me in between shifts "didn't anyone tell them we're the arts guys?"  I thought that was a sage question, as I was doubled over trying to catch my breath.

I didn't score any goals, but I gave it a 100% effort and managed to pop off three or four legitimate shots on goal in one shift, making the goalie earn his keep.  Our team lost, but we were still awesome!

As we stare into the face of summer, we are gearing up to return to Saskatchewan for a few weeks.  We'll swing through the province, spending time with family in Kamsack, before darting into Manitoba to visit Heather's grandparents in Winnipeg.  We'll come back through Kamsack on the way to the Meadow Lake area where we'll meet up with the Wagner side of the family for our annual summer camping reunion.

Dylan is going to enjoy his first substantial taste of independence in August, attending the Take Action Academy at a camp in the foothills near Calgary.  Organized by the Me to We organization, the camp
participants come from across the globe, and spend their academy week learning leadership skills, exploring pressing global issues, volunteering in the local community and taking their place within a worldwide social movement of globally-conscious young people. They also build incredible friendships to last a lifetime. (taken directly from the website)

While Dylan explores his leadership capacity and makes new friends, Heather and Ben are going to do some camping and mountain climbing.  I think they are both excited to get in the great outdoors and spend quality time together.

I'll be sticking close to home, attending interPLAY and tackling the upstairs bathroom.  My plan is to strip out the cabinets, give it a good painting, and install tile baseboards.  My chance to "camp" will come at the end of the summer, as I travel to near Orillia, Ontario to attend Mindcamp, a four-day micro-university for personal, professional, and organizational creativity — a feast of 90-minute and half-day concurrent sessions presented by the best creativity leaders in North America and world-wide. (from the website)

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since I last connected through the Wood Buffalo Update.  The daily goings on are often captured on my other blog, now with a new address (http://www.middleagebulge.com).  A couple of postings that you might find interesting include 500 - my 500th article in 2.5 years, 45 - reflections on growing older, and In Praise of Stillness - thoughts about the role that quiet reflection plays in my life.

Have a great week and a terrific summer!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

First of all, a very happy Mother's Day to all of you that brought us into the world.  If the bright sun pouring into my study is any indication of what this day has in store, you are going to enjoy a warmth of wishes and a level of brightness and joy that you richly deserve.

The past month, since I last wrote on April 14th, has been a cacophony of milestones, moments and memories - some good, some not-so-good.

As we motored through production week for The Farnsworth Invention, none of us could have guessed that an errant driver attempting to pass going up a hill on a solid double line would throw many of us into an emotional stupor and a community and region into an uproar.

It was Friday, April 27th, when one truck, trying to pass a large vehicle, slammed into an unsuspecting truck coming the other way.  By mid-afternoon, the initial death toll of 6 had to be raised to 7, as a teenage girl who had been pulled from the burning carnage had succumbed to her injuries.  Friday, April 27th was also opening night for the show and we had to deal with the cognitive dissonance of having to perform in the midst of an overwhelming pall of grief that had fallen on our community.
But as all shows must do - they go on, and we proceeded to bask in the welcoming energy of a good opening night house.  I especially enjoyed the post-show reception and getting to meet many of the parents of the young adults in the show.  The majority of the cast are of the age that I was back in 1986 when we did A Man For All Seasons at STM in Saskatoon.  Watching their infectious energy, exuberance, and proclivity for partying put me in mind of my younger self.

The following day, my TEDx video was finally released to the public.  It is edging toward 600 views a couple of weeks later, which makes me happy.  I hope you take a few minutes to listen to the stories. Some will make you laugh, one might make you cry.  All of it turned out better than I thought it possibly could. One local media person suggested that next year, instead of talking about "My Social Media Timeline" I should focus on "Social Media Pitfalls".  I have plenty of examples of those, including many that reared their ugly heads last weekend.

Into the second week of performances of The Farnsworth Invention (we did 7 shows in total over two weekends), I was focusing much of my energy on preparing for release of information to our Keyano staff about changes that were coming with the new budget.  By Friday, our Human Resources staff and senior leadership were doing their best to serve layoff notices to 20 members of our faculty and staff.  It was a dark day - a day that was being experienced at colleges throughout the province as fiscal realities required cutbacks.

Unfortunately, elements of how the day unfolded began appearing on Facebook and Twitter and spread like wildfire.  One staff person being escorted to their vehicle by security became everyone being escorted out by security.  Changes in the visual and performing arts faculty became an utter and complete abandonment of the arts. We began fielding calls from major news outlets: Edmonton Journal, CBC, National Post and the Globe and Mail.

To set the record straight - about a lot of things - I spent the day after the layoffs drafting two communication pieces.  One was an open letter to the editor that I posted on the college website in the institutional voice; the other was a blog post - The Future of the ARTS at Keyano - that I wrote in my personal voice.  Both spiraled through the social media universe within minutes of being posted.

Some understood and accepted the information that I was passing along.  Others were earnestly resolute in their opinion that it was nothing but spin, perspective full of half-truths and corporate conjecture.  I stuck to my guns and weathered the storm that followed.

A week that began in dark clouds ended seven short days later in bright sunshine as the college hosted Wayne Gretzky for our first annual One on One Banquet.  Described by one person as "the best event they have ever attended - bar none", the fundraiser for our athletics endowment raised an incredible $210,000 in one night.  Amazing.

The next day we celebrated a dazzling Convocation as over a thousand people saluted the Class of 2012. I was tasked with introducing over 150 grads (out of 750) who were able to attend the commencement.  Ethically diverse, I managed to say all the names correctly except for one.  The days of having "Bobby Smiths" and "Trudy Campbells" are long over in our community.

In the midst of all this activity, we enjoyed having the Giroux family stay with us - for almost six weeks.  Getting a daily dose of baby Madeleine was wonderful, for all of us.  They've been gone only two weeks, but we already miss them terribly.

Neil and Susan spent several days with us last week, enjoying some quality time with Dylan and Ben, and getting out in the yard with Heather preparing the garden and flower beds ready for another season.  With an extraordinarily beautiful Mother's Day Sunday, Heather was able to devote much of the afternoon to doing her planting magic.  Dylan hung out reading the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy while Ben and I went to the river for some fishing, then to MacDonald Island for some rock climbing.

As the world continues to turn, life is full of many blessings, and we remain happy, healthy and excited for the warm months ahead.