In my last entry, I mentioned that I was having an issue with my back. I am not totally sure what happened, but I did some heavy lifting earlier in the day and was careful not to strain my back. I was feeling fine. Later that evening, I got up out of a chair and BAM! It was all I could do to sit back down. The next morning, I almost needed assistance to get out of bed. It took about three days to get to the point I could walk without pain, and almost 2 weeks to get back to normal.
The bad news is that first weekend was when Michael and Connor came to ride and I could not do much. I did spend a bunch of time with Connor at the pond fishing. He loves to fish and other than helping him take the fish off the hook, he can do it all by himself. Not bad for a 5 year old.
I did have some friends come out to the ranch to ride and Michael got a good ride in with them.
Shannon needed to be out of town for a few days, so she had William come to the ranch to stay with us. What started out as a 3 day visit turned into 8 days. We had a blast. He is so active at 7 years old. We fished, hiked and took 4 wheeler rides. We even did some work around the ranch. I loved having him with me. Kim and I tag teamed. When he had me worn out, he would go make cookies with Kim or play Wii in the trailer.
Will even helped with the dishes.
Grand kids are great all of the time, but we really love to get them one at a time.
After being here 6 days, he finally said the words I have been waiting to hear for 2 years. "Grandpa can I ride my motorcycle?" I bought this 50cc bike for the grand kids to ride, but it has not seen much use to this point. I have been patient and waited for them to decide they wanted to ride it. I was expecting a short ride, but after he got going he rode for over an hour and he only quit because it started to rain. The best part is he was riding with confidence and even did some riding in the standing position. I asked him where he learned that. He said, "By watching you Grandpa". My heart melted.
Here is a blurry shot of him riding in the standing position. This is a much needed skill to ride on the rough trails at the ranch.
Here is a short clip that we will enjoy for a long time.
Will woke me up the next morning and wanted to ride more. He rode on the wet grass and got his bike pretty muddy. He tipped over a couple times and got a few scratches, but that did not slow him down. I think he is now ready to ride and I could not be more proud of him. He really wanted to wash his bike, so that is how we ended our visit.
We also got the boat out while Will was here and went to Bull Shoals Reservoir. The water was too cold to swim or ski, but we did catch a few fish and the boat ran well. We are ready for a fun summer at the lakes.
I also wanted to mention a totally unrelated thing that happened the other day. I have now been retired for 2.5 years. It is difficult to remember what it was like going to work every day. While I worked for MICROS, the now division of Oracle, I developed a few special relationships. For many years I taught sales schools for new employees and really enjoyed watching those young people advance up through the company. I got a note from one of those guys the other day on their last day at the old company. He wanted to thank me for my mentoring. I can't tell you how much that meant to me. It is just so nice to know that I had a positive impact on someones life.
We are staying very busy with activities at the ranch and more time watching the grand kids. I will periodically try to document our summer in Missouri. We are planning to move fairly soon to spend a week or two at the lake. We are also beginning to talk about some extended travel plans for next year. We are already getting excited about that.