Sunday, March 11, 2012

Time Traveling and What I Love About Choo!

I'm probably more of a weather geek than most but that's because of the amount of time I spend outdoors on my bike. I appreciate a site that provides good wind and temperature forecast details as well as one that maintains a history of this data. I think I've stumbled onto the pièce de résistance of weather sites. Check it out. Note the slider along the bottom that takes you back in time; in this case (Minneapolis) as far back January 1st, 1948.

My retirement countdown is on and as of this writing, I have at most 661 days left before I push back from the scope one last time. Not that I want to wish my life away but how fast will 661 days pass by? My blog is a perfect tool to help me put into perspective my time remaining. Using this calendar-calculator I can plug in the number of days I want to go either forward or backward in time to see what the date would be. 661 days in reverse takes me to May 19th, 2010. Looking at my blog I find this post from May 16, 2010. Not so long ago at all really.

Speaking of going back in time, every once in awhile I'm curious to figure out the year and month that my dad was the age I am now. The calculator in the link above makes easy work of that computation as well. I'm 54 years, 6 months and 14 days old. My dad was born on October 27th, 1925. He was the age I am now on Sunday, May 11th, 1980. The photo to the left would've been taken within a few months of my dad at the age I am today.

I got a text from Rachel sometime after 10:00 Tuesday night that read: "Hey, you're good at writing. Wanna send me a letter saying all the things you love about me?" I replied "Sure...when do you need it by?" "Like tonight or tomorrow," she replied. Considering I needed to be up in less than 6 hours I told her I'd work on it in the morning.

She's on a leadership bus tour of the Midwest with 25 other students from the University of Minnesota campuses. They'll be taking a circuitous route to Texas and back, stopping in Kansas City, Missouri; Fort Smith, Arkansas (where they are tonight); Hollandale, Mississippi; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Bay Town, Texas and Dallas, Texas along the way. They'll be doing volunteer work at each city with different students taking the lead and organizing each stop.

The letter she asked me to write is something that gets read in front of the other students early on in the trip as an icebreaker of sorts. I was only too happy to help.

What I Love About Choo!

From the very first time I saw you, all of 7 and a half years old running alongside my truck looking back over your left shoulder with the biggest smile on your face as I pulled into yours and Mom's townhome driveway, I felt a connection to you. You stood, out of breath waiting for me by the door in the garage while yelling up to Mom "he's here!" As you led me inside I handed you a gift I'd picked up at Target the night before: a Betty Spaghetti doll with accessories. It's a memory that will be with me forever because at that moment, you began to win my heart and I've never been the same since.

Rachel, you have a zest for life unlike anyone else I've known. So much so that I'm willing to give you a pass on your perpetually messy room because through you I realize that there are things in this life that are so much more important. Your beautiful faith in God and genuine love for others topping that list.

I love the many road-trips we've taken together, sometimes just the two of us where we can be driving for hours with seldom more than 10 seconds of silence between us. A Caramel Macchiato for you only adds to our time together as you're even more talkative and I love that! I never tire of hearing all you have to tell me about your life, the funny stories you describe in detail about experiences you've had since we last connected. You are such a treasure and a blessing in my life!

Gone are the days of me coming home after the late shift, walking in through the laundry room an hour or more after your bedtime only to hear you whisper down through the clothes chute "hey, Kev! ...c'mon up!" My heart would melt as I'd drop everything and give a quick wink and a nod to Mom on my way up to you, explaining to her that you were still awake and wanted to say hi. She'd smile back at me. I'd sit on the edge of your bed listening as you'd excitedly to tell me about your day or show me the book you were secretly reading under your covers with a penlight. Your late-night-after-hours secret activities were safe with me.

I'd love to come home to that precious little girl again but I know I can't because she's grown and moved on. Instead, I take comfort in seeing you blossom into a beautiful, confident and radiant person who has her whole life ahead of her. I thank God every day for you and Mom in my life. You, my sweet child, are the icing on our wedding cake and I love you more than I could ever begin to express. There's nothing I wouldn't do for you. Heck, I'd even appear on Judge Judy if that's what you wanted!


jj video from Kevin Gilmore on Vimeo.

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