Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A Life Worth Writing About

It has been a month since I last wrote in my blog. Our rig has been sitting at the ranch in Missouri during that time. As I have written before, I become uninspired to write when we are sitting still. I had a thought the other day. I don't like it when my life is so "normal" that I do not think that I should write about it. So, my goal going forward is to live a life that inspires me to write about it. That statement means different things to different people, but to me that means new experiences and new places. We have a plan to get back to travel, but right now we are taking some time to learn how to sail so that we can explore even more new places in the future.

When I look back at the pictures I have taken in the past month, I do see that a few notable things have happened.

Sailing update: We have gone sailing over 20 days since we splashed the boat on May 22. We have logged over 100 hours of sailing time. We have sailed in very strong winds and we have sailed in almost no wind. We bought and installed our new mainsail. We paid $389 for a brand new surplus sail. It performs very well and looks awesome. We were invited to go sailing with a dock mate. Jerry and Diana have a Catalina 32. Jerry is a very experienced sailor and it was great to learn from him. We had the strongest winds I have seen. We had a sustained 25 knots. Their boat handled it with ease and we had an awesome day on the water. Jerry let me drive the boat for the first half of the day, I learned a lot.

Kim and I have been discussing our future sailing plans. I will write about that in coming entries. We have big hopes and dreams and I hope we can make them happen.

I have been working on my golf game a bit since I have been back at the ranch. I have a 150 yard practice area that allows me to hit as many balls as I would like and then I get to take a walk to go find them. I went to one of the courses in Springfield and actually played pretty well. I hit one shot from about 150 yards to within about 2 feet. And yes, I did make the birdie.

Our grandson, Will finished up his baseball season. His team won the regular season, but three of the 4 coaches and many of their best players could not make the playoffs, so they lost in the semifinal. Still a very good year.

Kim and Amelia watching Will's baseball game.
Our daughter, Shannon was born on July 4. We celebrated her birthday by going to a Springfield Cardinals baseball game. They allowed the fans to sit on the outfield grass and enjoy a concert afterwords. Fireworks then followed. It was a great time with the Shoemaker clan.

The big event of the past month was a quick trip to Colorado. I am one of 5 boys. (4 of which are still living) My brother Brian, who lives in Dallas, called me on Fathers day to wish me Happy Father day. He told me that we all needed to get to Colorado at the same time. I agreed, but had no plan to make that happen. My brother Alan let me know that he was stopping by the ranch in Missouri for a visit on his way home from a wedding in St. Louis. Kim wanted to go see her parents in Texas and she came up with the idea of her jumping in the car with Alan's wife Denise and going to Texas with her and Alan and I going to Colorado to be with my Dad on his 87th birthday on July 11. We got Brian to fly out from Texas and Bob lives is Denver, so we all made it. We spent two great days looking at old pictures and telling old stories. It was an awesome time and I will cherish the memories for the rest of my life.

L to R, Bob, Brian, Mom, Dad, Me, Alan
Here is a shot of Bob's family:

We really enjoyed looking at old pictures. I found an old album that I have never seen of my Dad's time in Korea during the war. I had to take a pic of this photo.

Dad with a 50 Cal
I could not let a trip to Colorado happen without a trip up into the mountains. We drove up to see my brother Bob's in-laws cabins. We climbed 2000 feet and the temperature dropped 20 degrees.

Alan looking out over the South Platte river.

The rest of the trip went as planned and I spent a day in Bedford with Kim's parents and then Kim and I drove back to Missouri.

We went sailing on July 19 to 21. I checked the radar before going out on Thursday afternoon and there were storms around, but they looked like they were going to miss us. I was wrong. Just as we got the sails up, I looked up and saw a big black cloud. We dropped the sails and fired up the motor and headed to the dock. We just made it before we had strong winds and heavy rain, but not bad. We were standing on the dock when this massive wall cloud appeared on the horizon.

It was moving faster than any cloud I have ever seen. When it slammed into the marina, the boats with empty poles healed over dropping their rails in the water. Many of the docks broke loose and the dock behind ours hit ours causing damage to Jerry's boat. Our dock broke loose and almost hit the dock behind us. It was amazing the power that storm hit with. They spent the rest of that day and the next putting all of the docks back in position.

Another marina on the lake did not fair as well. Here is a shot I took when we were out sailing yesterday with our son Mark. You can see the wrecked dock in the background.

This is the same storm that caused the Duck boat tragedy in Branson. Very sad.

The last thing I wanted to write about was this past Sunday. We had a local dealer bring out an all electric dirt bike to the ranch. I was given the opportunity to ride it. It was very controllable, but very fast. The only problem they have with it is that it only runs for about an hour and a half. That is not long enough for most races. It will be very interesting to see how that technology improves over the next few years.

That wraps up the major events of the past month. We will continue to log hours on the sailboat to gain experience and knowledge. We do have a week long sailing trip planned on Bull Shoals. That is a 35 mile long lake. I will write about the preparations for that trip in my coming entries.