walking

Today would have been my grandniece, Hallie Joy Moore’s first earthly birthday, had she not moved to Heaven shortly after her birth last year. I have been thinking about how different her life, and that of her family, has been because she is not here with us. For Hallie, I’m sure that her life now is more exciting than we could have ever imagined. We can only imagine what it would be like to live with Jesus in Heaven, but she is living that wonderful life right now. While she would just be learning to walk here, she would have mastered that skill immediately following her move to Heaven last year. There is no sadness there, so she has been very happy, and looking forward to having her family join her there one day, so she can show that all of the amazing things there are to do there. Her excitement about their future move to Heaven must be off the charts, because that’s just how kids are…always excited…about everything.

Hallie was a beautiful little girl. I think she looked a lot like her mommy, Lindsay Moore, with some of her daddy, Shannon Moore sprinkled in, and maybe some of her big sister, Mackenzie Moore in there too. It was a beautiful combination, for sure. She was born about two months before she was supposed to arrive, and I suppose that was just too early. While it made us all very sad to have her leave us, we also know exactly where she went, and that part makes us very happy…for her anyway. Hallie’s name was chosen for her with much love and happiness in mind. Her name Hallie means “Praise the Lord” and Joy, of course, means “happiness.” Both were perfectly chosen for her by her loving parents, and I think they are beautiful names. I can’t wait to meet little Hallie when I go home to Heaven. Today would have been Hallie’s 1st birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven Hallie. We love and miss you very much.

My grandnephew, Jaxx Harman is a sweet, good natured little boy who is very patient with his older sisters, who love to “mother” him. Having two older sisters can be a difficult thing for a little boy, but not Jaxx. He loves his sisters, and really wants to go play with them. He can’t walk yet, so he is limited as to what he can do, but he crawls, and I can tell you from my own experience, that many babies can crawl much faster than their older siblings. Of course, they can run, so that gets them ahead of the ones who crawl, but Jaxx’s sisters, Alice and Izabella, love their little brother too, and they try to keep him in the loop with their activities. It won’t be long before Jaxx is right up there walking and running with his sisters. He is already able to stand against furniture, provided that someone gets him up to the furniture, so it won’t be long before he figures all of it out for himself, and then…look out…here comes Jaxx!!

Jaxx has definitely found his voice, and his funny bone. He laughs often, as well as plenty of squeals and hollers. And he has an adorably cute cheesy smile that is totally contagious. He definitely keeps his family entertained with all his antics. He is very lovable, and loves life. Jaxx is all boy, however, and I’m sure that it won’t be long before his sisters’ toys become to girly for him. Nevertheless, he will probably play their games with them anyway, because he is an easygoing sort of guy. When it comes to food, Jaxx is ready to eat…anything that is put in front of him. He isn’t a picky eater at all, but he especially loves his strawberry milk. That takes me back to my young life, and I think, most kids. Flavored milk is where it’s at. I loved chocolate and strawberry milk, but then, I loved milk…period. As for Jaxx, strawberry milk is his go to flavor, and he will drink as much of it as his mommy will let him. And I think that with his sweet smile,his mommy and daddy, Melanie and Jake Harman are hard pressed to keep from giving in to this sweet little boy. Today is Jaxx’s 1st birthday. Happy birthday sweet Jaxx!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

There is a strange phenomenon that occurs sometimes, after someone we love passes away. I’m not talking about seeing their ghost, because I don’t believe in ghosts. Besides, the people I have seen, since the passing of loved ones, are real. I have noticed this after the passing of several people, and in some ways it is odd, but in other ways it is comforting, because it shows me that the person I love is still living in my memory files. In reality, I suppose it’s just me, finding characteristics in people around me that remind me of a lost loved one.

After my great aunt, Gladys Pattan Byer Cooper was killed in a plane crash, I used to see an older woman at the mall, just about every weekend. She reminded me so much of Aunt Gladys that I could almost imagine it was really her. Of course, the woman didn’t look exactly like Aunt Gladys, but she looked enough like her to bring back memories of years gone by, and a little sadness at the way she had passed. It seemed so senseless, so unbelievable that it could have happened in such a manner. One minute Aunt Gladys was fine and taking a trip to a family reunion, and the next, her life was over.

I find it strange that this phenomenon doesn’t seem to happen all the time. It only seems to happen in deaths that don’t make sense to me. I’m not looking for people who remind me of the person who died unexpectedly, they just suddenly appear. As I said, they are real people, please understand that. They just have similar features to my loved one who is gone. It doesn’t scare me, but rather it is just a strange reminder that my loved one existed. That their life was important. That their memory is, and always will be with me.

Since my 2nd cousin once removed, Jackie Morton passed away on March 9, 2018, I have thought about her many times. She was such a sweet, loving girl, and her passing simply makes no sense to me. One day she was fine, and the next day she was gone. Then, a few days later, while walking at the mall, I saw someone who really reminded me of Jackie. Had I not known better, I could have really thought it was her…though I knew it was not, for it could not be her. She has gone to Heaven now. Nevertheless, Jackie’s memory, like the memory of her great grandmother, my Great Aunt Gladys will always be with me.

I thought I saw you at the mall today. Though I knew it could not be you at all, for you are gone. I miss you so, and I wish you could still be here on Earth with us. But sadly, that is not to be, and never could be. You will always be with us in our thoughts, and in our memories…and we will always miss you so.

My nephew, Jason Sawdon is a Wyoming Highway Patrolman by trade, and a very good one. He was even voted “Trooper of the Year” in 2015. Jason is very proud of his role as a Wyoming Highway Patrolman, but that is not what he considers to be his most important job. His most important job is being a husband to my niece, Jessi, and Daddy to their daughter, Adelaide. For Jason, having a family is the ultimate life success story. Your job is just your job, and while you are good at it, and like what you are doing, it is still your job, and it will never be as important as your family.

This first year of being Adelaide’s daddy has been a busy one, because as you know, babies really do keep their parents busy. Having a child changes a person’s whole identity. Jason has gone from being Jason Sawdon, Wyoming Highway Patrolman, to being Adelaide’s Daddy. That will become more clear as time goes on, because all of her little friends will say, “You’re Adelaide’s daddy, right?” And that doesn’t really change…ever. Even when the kids are grown, people will ask you if you are their parent, so it is a new identity for the parent. And it’s one that they don’t mind, because that is their baby, and it’s really cool to have people acknowledge that. The older they get, the more surprising it is, but I still get asked if I am Corrie or Amy’s mom, so it’s a fun, and it’s definitely a lifelong name change for the parents.

Jason has been taking his family to do lots of fun things. They have spent time on the mountain, hiking and camping, and they have gone to visit the grandparents that live in Michigan. Adelaide is a part of a big family, on both her parents sides, so it’s important that she get to know everyone. Adelaide had a great time visiting with everyone, and getting to know her cousins. Of course, the first year being a daddy carries a lot of responsibility. There is much to teach your child, and lately, the focus has been on teaching Adelaide to walk. That is an important part of a child’s life, and a fun part of parenting. Jason and Jessi are great teachers, and of course, Adelaide is a model student, so she is now an accomplished walker. I know that the future will be a wonderful experience for Adelaide’s Daddy, and I look forward to watching them experience life. Today is Jason’s birthday. Happy birthday Jason!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My grandnephew, Lucas Iverson is turning six today, and he is proudly getting ready to go to Kindergarten. Lucas is a special kid. He has Down’s Syndrome, but he isn’t letting that or anything else slow him down. He has had to work harder than most kids, just to arrive at the same place, but just because it’s been harder, doesn’t mean Lucas will quit. He’s no quitter!!

Going to Kindergarten is going to make for a big year for Lucas, but that isn’t the only big step in Lucas’ next year. Over the next few months, Lucas is going to have some tests and procedures at Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado. I’m not sure what they are hoping to find with the tests or the procedures, but I pray they will find a way to make his life easier. His young life has already been filled with tests, and therapy to help with walking and such. Most of us would have wanted to quit long ago, but Lucas just keeps plugging along, because, he’s no quitter!!

Hard work has paid off for Lucas, because he is walking now, and that is a very big accomplishment. I think that his sister, Zoey might have had a lot to do with that. Zoey is just a little over four years younger than Lucas, but since she could walk earlier, she inspired him…and she helped him along. Sh has never been the kind of sister to push Lucas away. She loves him with all her heart. When they are in the playpen, they love to wrestle, and that is good exercise too, so I’m sure it has helped to make Lucas stronger. From what their mom, Cassie has told me, it’s quite a sight. It makes her and their dad, Chris laugh. The kids have a great time too.

Like most kids, Lucas live to watch television and movies. His favorite movie right now is Moana. Now if you’re like me, you might have to look that movie up to see what it is all about. Well, it’s an adventure movie about a teenager who sets out to save her people. Lucas likes that sort of thing. He also likes reading his cardboard books and coloring. I’m sure he’s quite an artist. Lucas is growing into quite a big boy, and it s all because he’s no quitter!! Today is Lucas’ 6th birthday!! Happy birthday sweet Lucas!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Bob at about 16Few birthdays mark such a big change in one’s life as this one will for my husband, Bob Schulenberg. Bob had planned to retire in January of 2017, but with the offer of a severance package through the City of Casper, where he has worked since May of 1989, due to the economic downturn, Bob retired on July 1st. It was like icing on the cake, and we couldn’t turn it down. That means that since he was 17 years old, this is the first birthday Bob will spend without a job. That is such a foreign thought to him…and to me. Bob is a hard working man, who has a lot of trouble sitting still…probably for working so hard for so many years, so I doubt he will do much of that. Besides, there are people who have been waiting for him to retire, so he can work on their cars. Hmmm, does that sound like much will change with him? I don’t really think so. In fact, I think that the only thing that will be likely to change, is the stress of an 8:00 to 4:30 job…with a boss. I think that the “B” word is one word Bob is totally ready to imageremove from his vocabulary…and I’m ready for him to be able to remove that word too. One of the things we are looking forward to is more free time to walk and hike, because we both like that. Of course, since I am still working, most of that will be around Casper for now.

Bob has a few other plans in mind to occupy his time, like finally getting his garage organized and putting in a storage shed to house the things that really won’t fit in the garage now that it will be a shop, and not just a place to park the cars most of the time. That’s all fine with me, as long as he leaves me an open stall to park my car in, because after all, my car lives there and the cars he is working on don’t. I can see him hanging out at the parts house, talking to the guys, because most of the time he doesn’t have much time for visiting when he goes in there. And of course, there will be the morning breakfasts with the other retirees…you know, that exclusive club that can go have breakfast at 9:00 if they want to, because after all, they don’t have to got to Bobwork. I guess you can see why I am going to have to keep him walking and hiking…yes, it’s so he doesn’t get fat from all that sitting around.

Oh, I tease Bob about sitting around doing nothing, but that simply isn’t Bob’s style. He will probably watch a little more television, but my guess is that it won’t be very much or very often. He has better things to do than to sit around wasting away. For Bob, retirement means the freedom to get out and do things, without having to stop and go to work, and I am very happy for him. Today is Bob’s birthday. Happy birthday Honey!! Have a great day!! We love you, and we are all very happy for you!!

imageimageTwo years ago, my husband, Bob and I intended to take our favorite hike…Harney Peak in the Black Hills of South Dakota. That hike didn’t go so well, or at least we did not succeed in completing the full hike. The Lookout Tower eluded us in that, we reached it’s base, but could not go on to the top. The reasons were varied, but I felt like the main reason was that I was not in good enough shape for this tough trail. Bob thought otherwise, and looking back, I have to think that, at least in part, he was right. Bob thought that the heat of the day, combined with the lack of trees near the top since the pine beetle infestation, sapped our energy making it almost impossible to finish the hike. We had plenty of water, and food too, just no more energy…and we still had the 3.4 mile hike back staring us in the face.

After that hike, I wondered if I would be able to get myself back in shape for the next attempt. It was a low point in my hiking career. Six months ago, I made the decision that it was time to get back in shape, and to go after the Giant that had been looming over me for a year and a half. I started walking again and eating right, and before long I was doggedly walking 30,000 steps every day. Then shin splints hit me like a bomb. I was determined to continue walking so my training wouldn’t suffer, but after three weeks, I knew that I was going to have to do something different. Nevertheless, I tried to keep going, until my granddaughter, Shai Royce made me promise to take the next week off. Thankfully a week was all it took, and I was back to walking 25000 steps a day in a couple of weeks.

Still, the Giant loomed over me for the next month. Our trip was coming, and I wanted that mountain. The Harney Peak hike belonged to me. I have hiked it at least fifteen times over the last 21 years. I had imageimagepaid my dues, and I did not want to let one bad experience take it away from me. We decided to head out to hike early…6:00am or so. In reality, we began our hike 6:37am, and with the light cloud cover and the earliness of our hiking time, we were very comfortable. The hike was hard…it always is, but in two and a half hours, we found ourselves at the top standing in front of the lookout tower. We made it!! We had conquered the beast. The Giant no longer loomed over me. I know that there is no reason that I can’t continue to hike Harney Peak for years to come, because with hard work…there is nothing I can’t do.

imageMy grand nephew, Lucas Iverson is turning five today. Lucas is a special needs child, who has Down’s Syndrome, but don’t think that a little thing like that slows him down, because it doesn’t. Things are harder for Lucas, but Lucas is a go getter, and the word quit is not in his vocabulary. Lucas is learning to walk, and he walks along the walls and navigates all over the house pretty easily. Of course, there is a motivation for that, because Lucas has a little sister named Zoey, who he absolutely loves, and he follows her all over the house. Zoey is coming up on a year old now, so she is pretty mobile. That is a good thing, IMG_3235because that helps motivate Lucas…not that he needs motivating. Lucas never thinks about whether or not things are hard…much less if he can do it. He just tries to do his very best, and besides that, he’s just having fun anyway.

Lucas is going to pre-school now, and he really enjoys it. He loves people in general, and loves to give everybody hugs and kisses. Lucas especially loves hugging his grandma, my sister-in-law, Rachel Schulenberg. Rachel tells me that when he hugs her, he literally melts into her neck. It makes Rachel feel so loved. There really is nothing like having a grandchild like that…one that just loves to hug you and showIMG_3234a how much you mean to them. Lucas is that kind of kid. He is that way with everyone…but his grandma is special, of course.

Lucas loves to go camping and fishing with his family. Sitting around the campfire listening to everyone talk and laugh is so much fun for him. Some things are harder for Lucas to do, and require the help of his parents, but he is so happy just to be out doing things with them, that it doesn’t seem like work to him. Like any kid, doing things with his dad…like fishing is just fun, and really isn’t that what life is all about for a kid…just having fun. Today is Lucas’ birthday. Happy birthday Lucas!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

On the SlideSince losing over 330 pounds, my sister-in-law, Brenda Schulenberg has basically entered her second childhood. It all started when she decided that she needed to go and play on the playground…or at least slide on the slide. Now, she has set herself a goal of visiting every park in Casper at some point this year…including walking around the parks. She found an outdoor exercise bike, and after many attempts over the course of the last two years, finally was able to make it work. When her niece posted pictures of her children sledding, Brenda told them that they should come to Casper next winter so she could go sledding with them. These things are not the activities of most life-long sedentary and overweight people, but then that isn’t who Brenda is…anymore. She is a vibrant, active 50+ year old, who got a second chance, and she has no intention of wasting it. Brenda soon became a woman on a mission…a get healthy mission.

Checking it outIt has been a long journey for Brenda, but not nearly as long as it would have been for most people in her shoes. Most people who find out that they have several health issues, all caused by obesity and all reversible, would have said that the challenge was more than they could face. The mere though of healthy eating and an active lifestyle makes most people in that situation feel tired and hungry. And most of those people give up before they ever get started…but not Brenda. In all reality, Brenda was no exception to that general rule, but she dug down deep within herself, and decided once and for all, that she was not going to let this beat her, and she was not going to die at 50 years old. In many ways, that was about the last time Brenda acted like someone with all the health concerns she had. and now she simply doesn’t act her age at all. It’s like she has age regressed…and that’s ok. If you missed out on an active childhood, and you had the chance to go back in time and change that…wouldn’t you do it too. Brenda simply had to do it.
New Bike
In recent months, Brenda has been obsessed with the idea of riding a bicycle again. She wasn’t sure that would be a possibility given the condition of her knees right now. Nevertheless, she has high hopes, and so she decided to find a way to ride a bike in the meantime. She bought a bicycle…purple, of course. She took the pedals off of it, and for now, she sits on the seat and walks the bike along the trails. She calls it a strider, and I don’t know for sure if that is the name of the bike, or what you call one that has no pedals, but either way, she can now ride a bike…another thing she didn’t really do much as a kid. And another step back into her second childhood. Today is Brenda’s birthday. Happy birthday Brenda!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Boston Marathon 1Running for exercise has not always been as common an occurrence as it is these days. Before machinery, cars, and other modern conveniences, people walked to many of the places they went, and so the thought of specifically walking or running to get exercise was pretty foreign. Nevertheless, there were races, and sporting events, so it wasn’t unheard of to run or walk for exercise. Most people have heard of the Boston Marathon…especially after the bombing that took place there April 15, 2013. The marathon has been a runners biggest goal since its first event, held on April 19, 1897. The marathon was an event that came from the dream of Boston Athletic Association member and inaugural US Olympic team manager, John Graham, who was inspired by the marathon at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. He immediately set out to bring the race home to the United States. Graham enlisted the help of Herbert H Holton, a Boston businessman. They considered various routes, before a measured distance of 24.5 miles from the Irvington Oval in Boston to Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland was eventually selected.

Fifteen runners started that first race, but only ten would finish. The winner was John J McDermott, who finished with a time of 2 hours, 55 minutes, and 10 seconds. McDermott was sponsored by the Pastime Athletic Club of New York City. He took the lead from Harvard athlete, Dick Grant over the hills in Newton. He did walk several times during the final miles, but still won by a comfortable margin of 6 minutes and 52 seconds. He had only won one other marathon in the United States…the previous October in New York City.

As most people know, a marathon is normally 26.2 miles, and the original Boston Marathon was only 24.5. That was changed in 1908 so that it would be in compliance with the rules of a marathon. The marathon was originally held on Patriot’s Day, April 19, a holiday that commemorates the beginning of the Revolutionary War. When Patriot’s Day fell on Sunday, the race was held the following Monday. Then when Patriot’s Day was made a Monday holiday in 1969, the Boston Marathon moved with it, and it has been that way since that time.

Originally, women were not allowed to run in the Boston Marathon, which made a lot of women angry. That rule finally changed in 1972, but not without a few missteps first. In 1966, Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb decided to fight the system. She became the first woman to run the entire Boston Marathon, but had to hide in the bushes near the start until the race began. In 1967, Kathrine Switzer, who had registered as “K. V. Switzer”, was the first woman to run with a race number. Switzer finished even though officials tried to physically remove her from the race after she was identified as a woman. In the fall of 1971, the Amateur Athletics Union permitted Boston Marathon 2its sanctioned marathons, including Boston, to allow women to enter. Nina Kuscsik became the first official female participant to win the Boston Marathon in 1972. Seven other women started and finished that race. In 1975, the Boston Marathon became the first major marathon to include a wheelchair division competition, which Bob Hall won in 2 hours, 58 minutes.

Exercise has become a regular part of the lives of many people these days, whether they walk, run, bicycle, or some other form of exercise. While I can’t imagine myself running in a marathon…or any other race, I could see myself walking such a distance. Once you get started with exercise, it can become very addictive, and that’s ok too.

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