"The sea was angry that day my friend"..,today started wet, stayed wet until late in the afternoon. Our Skipper took us on a beautiful tour of the U P. Sheriff was whistling the theme to Gilligan's Island...very fitting.

The ride we are on creates a different sense of “normal”. Each day it’s the same routine. You get up, get on your bike, ride all day, get off your bike have dinner and go to bed. Same thing, day after day after day. I didn’t say it was bad, just different. The guys are a blast, the food is always unique. The only thing that changes is the view. And we can thank God for that.

Growing up for me was normal. If you’ve read my posts from a few years ago you’ll have a sense for how it was growing up in rural Indiana. I’m the youngest, and five years separate me from the oldest, my brother John. My Dad was a hardworking man. He worked outside, and when he got home all he wanted to do was read the paper and watch TV. I didn’t understand when I was little. I wanted him to come out and play catch, ride a bike, do something. But he had been outside all day. Sometimes hot, sometimes very cold and he was tired. I do remember going up through Scouts with him. I remember lots of camping trips, even after Scouting. So we did things, just not at the pace a seven year old would want. Later in life we enjoyed going to races. He was a big Bill Elliott fan and in the spring of 1988 I got to take my Dad to the Elliott’s race shop in Dawsonville. I had a work relationship with Bill’s brother Dan. Dan jumped in the car with us and had a nice conversation, then gave us a personal tour of the shop. I think that was a highlight in my Dad’s life. My Dad passed away in June of that year. And in November I’m at the race in Atlanta when Bill Elliott won the NASCAR championship. I cried a little that day. He worked hard. The bills were paid, we had food on the table and a safe secure place to lay my head every night. Except that one night I came home very late after “bad pizza”. I was scared, but the fear was in the house with me that night. I tell you this so you know I had a normal childhood, in normal surroundings, doing normal things. My Dad was a good Dad to me.

When I had children I knew I was going to do it a little different. When the kids wanted to play, I would play. Even today if they call and ask if I want to do something, no matter how tired or busy I am, I’m gonna go. That goes for the dog too, she wants to play, on the floor we go. I hope that I was a good Dad. I hope the home provided was adequate. I hope that my children have memories of normal. I know when I see my son interact with his son I see a good Dad. I would like to think I had some influence of how a good Dad should operate. 

The children we are supporting on the ride this year have not really had normal in the sense that most of us know. The normal that is provided to them by The Methodist Youth Home will give them a foundation where they know they are loved. Where they will receive support, guidance and direction. So being on this ride is another opportunity for me to provide some normal to children that just need a chance. I only have perspective on the normal a Father can provide. I cannot give the perspective of a mother. But I bet I know someone who can.

Today’s song of the day…."Say a prayer for the little man, cause he’s gonna need a helping hand now and then, and I won’t be around can you just let me knowthere’s an angel looking down"...Blackberry Smoke, Prayer For The Little Man…go to iTunes and get it, don’t read the whole lyrics on line, go get the song and understand how life doesn’t always work out the way we planned.