Monday, October 19, 2020

From the Atlantic Shore to the Cornfields of Indiana: A 14-year Journey

Fourteen years ago today, I ran into the Atlantic Ocean to complete my 3,260-mile solo run across the United States. So much has happened in my life in the 5,110 days since then. Those of you who have followed this blog over the years know what I mean. These days I'm surrounded by cornfields in Indiana, and farmers are currently in the process of harvest. Rather than take space in today's writing to recall moments of that 2006 coast-to-coast run, I'd rather fill a few paragraphs with words about how happy, content and fulfilling my life is today.

Kelley and I have been married for two years and the past 5+ years of being in each other's lives have been an indescribable joy. We share a beautiful home, eight wonderful children, excellent health, stable jobs, and a life that is truly filled with love, laughter and happily ever after. I am honestly the happiest and most content I have ever been in my entire life.

This year, I came into full communion with the Catholic Church and as a result have been blessed beyond measure. My family attends Mass each week and I've been teaching the junior high faith formation classes at our church. God has been so good to me and my family. I thank Him each day for bringing the paths of Kelley and I together in 2015 and for blessing our lives with all that both of us had truly desired in our hearts.

Although this has been a pandemic year, Kelley and I have aimed to make cherished family memories in every way we possibly could. Along the way, we worked side-by-side on numerous home projects while enjoying outings with two daughters that live with us. One is in the seventh grade and the other in 10th grade. All of our other children are adults and although we don't see several of them as much as we would like, we aim to keep in touch and they are always in our hearts and prayers. I've been blessed to be a dad for over 27 years, and a stepdad for the past two years. Kelley and I have been given the gift of children who are a joy, and we love having the 'parent' title.

The photo that is accompanying my writing today was taken last week on our backyard patio. The autumn leaves are stunning at the moment and the vibrant colors remind us that the holidays are just around the corner. We're looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas -- building even more special memories.

Yes, so much can happen in 14 years, and 14 years from now I'll be nearly 70. Between now and then, Kelley and I will continue to grow in our love and in our faith... and inevitably begin growing in new roles as grandparents and retirees. Life is an amazing journey and I'm so glad that I get to step through the rest of this journey with Kelley by my side.

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,