This was the last weekend before I will be leaving on my trike tour around the United States. Just to recap: I am a disabled United States Navy veteran and I will be riding my recumbent trike around the four borders of the US (12,000 miles) to raise awareness for veterans that are still effected by PTSD. My goal is to raise $25,000 to be given 100% to the Christian Warrior’s Retreat Center in Victoria, TX. Thanks to those that have already donated to my cause and I have already raised $1,504 before even beginning my tour.
This weekend was all about relaxation and family time. Of course, Sunday was Easter which is always a very special time for me in my life. Without Christ in my life, everything else would be worthless. Easter is the day that sin and death were completely defeated and I know that Christ is alive. Amen.
I spent a lot of time with my granddaughter, Nytalia. She is very special and I love her dearly. Whenever I am around her, she loves to hug on me and loves to have me teach her things. In the pictures above, you can see her hugging on my arm. Then I get to teach her how to eat her spaghetti noodles without making too big of a mess. She is always smiling and giving her Popi kisses. In the last picture, I am pushing her around in a store and we stop to look at the sparkling lava lamp. She loves to look at pretty things and I try to keep her learning all the time. I love to sing to her and read books with her. She is only a year and a half old but she is very quick at learning new things. I will miss her during my time on my trike tour but look forward to seeing her grow and can’t wait to see what she will become when she gets older.
On Saturday, my daughter’s boyfriend and his co-workers did a wonderful job doing a crawfish boil. They had so much fun doing this and there was some much food to eat. They added shrimp, potatoes, corn, sausage, and celery to the mix. Everything was delicious. I spent some time showing Nytalia how to peal a crawfish tail and was showing her the claws of the crawfish. She was even brave enough to try a bite of the crawfish but I don’t think that it was something she enjoyed yet. This was a great time and a fun way to celebrate my last weekend home. I look forward to trying the different foods from around the US. I hope that I am willing to at least try something new even though it may not be for me yet.
After lunch on Saturday, we got to go on a boat ride with our family. My daughter, Krystal, and Nytalia loved the ride. She would giggle and laugh every time we hit a wave and loved going fast. She is already an adrenaline junky and very brave. This was the first time that I was able to go out in their new boat. This boat was smooth and handled the water nicely. My wife, Cindy, was the one taking the pictures. She too enjoyed the fun time on the boat. My dog, Brutus, enjoyed the ride also. He was a little hesitant to get on the boat but once we got going, you would swear that he had a big smile on his face. The water was too cold to swim in so we will have to save that for another day. After the ride, we all walked hand in hand back to the campsite. It was so much fun.
That brings us to Easter Sunday. I was blessed and honored to have not only my wife with me but also my daughter, my son, and my granddaughter. We attended church at the Lakehills Baptist Church. This was my first time at this church but it felt like family already. This is a small church but reminded me so much of the church back in Ohio where I was a youth minister. This church has a wide range of age groups all the way from little babies to the senior citizens. The youth group did a little skit to show the Easter story and ended with Jesus coming out of the tomb. The pastor gave an excellent sermon. It was a very special service and moved me a lot. As you can see in the picture, Nytalia sat next to me with her monkey and even paid attention at times. She did really well for being so young. After church, Nytalia spent some times breaking the confetti filled eggs all over her head and table. We bought 100 eggs for her to use and she had so much fun. We all had a good Easter.
Sunday also was my son’s 24th birthday. Matt is becoming an amazing man. He moved to live with my daughter in January and got a job working as a Quality Control Officer. He has quickly learned that job and is making great strides at his company. We also spent time on Friday and Saturday looking at apartments for Matt. He is going to be moving into his first apartment in the next few weeks and is really looking forward to getting out on his own. I am very proud of him and will miss him a lot while on my trike tour. He told me that I will have to be back to celebrate the holidays at his place for the first time ever. Sounds like a great plan for me. He had a fun time celebrating his birthday and was able to have his favorites, chocolate cake with chocolate icing and of course chocolate ice cream. Matt, keep doing what you have to do to and become the man that God wants you to be.
Of course, I had a fun time this weekend with my daughter. Krystal has become a great mother and takes pride in her house and her family. She is always able to smile and brighten my day. We video chat almost every day and will continue to do that while on my trike tour. She has been the most worried about me while I have prepared for my tour. She asked me several times, “Are you sure you want to do this?”. I am glad that we have a good relationship and she cares about me so much. I will miss going to her house and eating her pico and shrimp cocktail. Krystal, continue to love your family and always do the work that needs to be done regardless of what anyone else says.
Well, this was the ending to my relaxing weekend. These three here are my strength and my support. I will miss them all but I am so proud that they support me. I look forward to returning home to see how they have grown and matured as I have been away. I love them all very much and could not have ever thought of having a better family.
I Ride For Those Who No Longer Ride.