2009…49 Years Old

2009…49 Years Old

The Donna half-marathon to raise funds for breast cancer research was on my birthday this year. Gregg surprised me at the start line and ran alongside me. It meant a lot that he didn’t mind going slowly so he could spend time with me.

We began getting bored with running so we joined a Sprint Triathlon training class. Finding time to swim, bike, and run each week was all-consuming yet we made new friends and had fun. The day of the race was brutally hot. We swam ¼ mile in the ocean, biked 12 miles, and ran 3.1 miles. I came in 3rd…from the last. But I finished and am officially a triathlete! And…that is checked off my bucket list.

While training for the triathlon, we were invited to train for the MS-150, a fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis. I learned to draft in order to bike 150 miles in two days. The ride began in St. Augustine, we spent the night in Daytona Beach, and we rode back to St. Augustine the next day. That, too, is checked off my bucket list.

Not that we were obsessed, but we took our bikes on vacation to ride trails around the USA. We enjoyed riding Route 66 outside of St. Louis, Missouri. Also this year, Gregg led a group of 8th grade boys on a bike trip across Florida from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.

I had the joy of watching my husband have the time of his life at Cedar Point, “The Roller Coaster Capital of the World.” He saw his third-largest smile that day, his first being at our wedding and his second at seminary graduation.

I’m convinced wallpaper was invented by the devil. It doesn’t help when the builder glues the wallpaper straight onto drywall – what a mess. Having removed the evil, our walls are now a happy yellow or white, and the master bathroom is lavender. Gregg painted his office a Steeler/West Virginia gold. It looks great with dark wood furniture. The project was a lot of work and it was well worth it!

I continued in Mending Hearts this year. Frustrated at my lack of memories, I took a trip to my hometown of Cocoa, Florida. It was special to see old stomping grounds and reconnect with friends. How ironic that both of my childhood homes are now painted yellow.

Judy and Dina Daniel, Jean Allen (aka Godmother), and Kristin Friend in Jean’s Highview Drive home.
Our first Cocoa, Florida home on Highview Drive in River Heights
First Baptist Church of Cocoa
Our 2nd home in Cocoa on Emory Lane
My friend, Donna Kates Meyer, from high school drove around with me to help me remember landmarks.
Gregg with Alyssa’s dog, Lily, at the Howalds’ lake house
Lynchburg, Virginia with Joel and Theresa Hesch and Steve and Sherri Pettit – friends from Derwood Bible Church in Maryland
At the JAX airport with Elisabeth Arnold
Fun reunion with our St. Pete friends – Mikel and Kathy Patterson & Chuck and Joyce Elkins.
Shuttle launch seen from Dad and Gladys’ Cape Canaveral condo
Gladys and Norm (Dad) Abell at our house
Golfing with Dad and Gladys in Arkansas
Outside of St. Louis, MO – Bike trail on the old Route 66.
Thanksgiving Day races – the girls did a 6K and the guys did the half-marathon
Lots of snow in Markleysburg!

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