Over the years I've enjoyed a number of different sports cars and will simply share a list here: Austin Healy Sprite (college days with my friend Bruce), a Porshe 356B Cabrole, Ford T-Bird, Chevrolet Corvette (ssplit-back) and now many years later, a Lexus SC 430 (hardtop coupe/convertible shown in picture above from recent neighborhood car show.
There's always been a feeling of freedom and exhiliration driving with the top down, wind blowing, with open spacious scenery zipping by that has brought great joy to my life. No doubt there's an obvious connection to sailing ... :-)
I'll never forget the day my phone at work rang and a deep voice announced, "Gretel is on Western Airlines flight # 897 (or whatever # it was). My mind raced to catch up with who was calling and who was Gretel ... I quickly realized it was Cathy's father calling from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He explained Gretel was a Golden Retriever he had rescued and was sending out to her new home in Colorado.
This started my love affair with many generations of Goldens in out family.
Cathy had been raised with Bonnie - who I recall meeting on one of my trips to CR when dating Cathy. Stephanie & Jennifer were raised by Gretel, who was followed by Sammie, Skipper, Mozart (Jennifer's closest pal) and now many years later my latest sidekick Chopin, shown to the left.
Goldens are not easy to raise during first couple of years as their innate curiosity and rambunctious nature gets them into lots of trouble .... but they love the whole world and just about everyone in the world ... bottom line, my faith is strengthen every day as Goldens (and of course all our family pets), I think, exhibit well what our Lord means by unconditional love that never ends.
I'll always treasure the many memories of the Goldens in my life and their sweet love that seems never-ending.
My love for sailing started with I was 14 years old and Mom and Pop took Jan and I to visit friends of theirs near Green Lake, Wisconsin.
Two college age men there asked me If I'd like to go sailing. I of course joined them .... but what I learned that Summer day in what turned out to be one of the most exhilarating experiences in my life to that point was I was "crew" (extra weight/ballast) on a 16' Snipe sailboat in the 1954 National Snipe Championship Racing Regatta. My stark raving terror and fear of capsizing soon transcended into sheer joy, amazement and excitement.
The range of sailboats I have owned raced and cruised on through the years runs from teaching myself to sail on a little Sunfish on a small neighborhood lake in Colorado, to blue water sailing in the Atlantic ocean east of Block Island up to Nantucket ... to now back at Lake Dillon on my restored 27' Catalina.
As those who have sailed with me know ... I often relate sailing to my faith. Only our Lord/nature controls the direction and speed of the wind; my job is to trim my sails and sail a true course in the direction I should go ...
Golf became a renewed interest and enjoyable part of my life in recent years. My father introduced me to the game when I was in grade school in Omaha, Nebraska. He was an excellent golfer having achieved a low handicap of around 9.5-10 - a level I will likely never achieve.
But what I've learned to enjoy is not just the competition with myself to get better, but the enjoyment of friends and the comradery, 19th hole laughter, jokes and good will. I've found new friends playing the game, and of course treasure my times with Monty, Mason, Luke and others in my family including Cathy, who is planning to play more often with me when she can.
Some of the most enjoyable moments in my life have been traveling to new places with Cathy. Most recently our trips to Switzerland and Scotland have broadened not only our perspectives but added to our understanding of our roots.
Coming back home to the good old USA and our home in Colorado is also an important part of traveling.
"Why The Chimes Rang" - Christmas 2021
Cathy and I added this section in late 2021 after concluding our regular monthly review of all of our investments and savings accounts. We've been blest through the years with our combined commitment to having the discipline to track all of our financial assets on a regular monthly basis. This approach is one we would highly suggest to all of our loved ones, regardless of current status, being married or not. Comparing where you stand now to a month ago for every single financial account (savings, checking, stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.) in our opinion is absolutely necessary to eventually securing financial security. If you confront yourself openly and honestly with the reality of where you stand today you have a good chance to make the adjustments necessary to eventually get to where you want to be.
In recent years as we entered into full-time retirement we have been well served by ETF (exchange traded funds) in Charles Schwab and Vanguard. Earlier in life we traded in individual stocks and have used with mixed results the advice of so-called financial planners from time to time. A major benefit we have enjoyed is setting up and consistently funding 401K and IRA accounts via our employers. If your employer does not offer this benefit you can setup your own. Learn how to do that at an early age. Then aggressively fund your account every single month.
The scope of this part of our web site does not allow getting into specific funds you should invest in. There is a lot of excellent information available to you.
One source of advice we strongly encourage is that provided by Dave Ramsey; link to his info is found here.
It's not an accident that I've placed Politics at the end of "Other Stuff" :-)
When I was a "know-it-all" college student at the University of Colorado I attended a rally for JFK sponsored by the young Democrats ... the truth of the matter as I recall was the announcement that there would be free kegs of beer at the rally. JFK's brother Ted spoke after introducing his wife at the time, dressed in a bright red dress.
I'd have endless arguments with Pop over the kitchen table at night. I was at the time a typical college liberal.
Then I joined the Air Force and the war in Vietnam opened my eyes. Without boring anyone, I soon learned that our media and even the government can twist the truth - maybe even lie to the public.
My politics have moved much more towards the conservative side as I have worked in private industry. While I generally feel moderate about most social issues, I long ago evolved into a strong fiscal conservative. I actually ran the Concord Coalition for the State of Colorado during Clinton's administration. To this day, I focus on who best understands how to best support the growth and success of small businesses.
Regardless of what one might think, over the years our politicians are too ready to spend taxpayer money on what they think American's want. That's fine. But to keep borrowing money from the Chinese and printing money (devaluing the dollar) makes no sense in the long run for my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
The quote from Margaret Thatcher: "the problem with socialism is when you run out of other people's money".
As this is being written politics in the USA has become very uncivil, with efforts sadly led by too many to divide Americans based on race, sex & other issues. I hope and pray future generations will support leaders who strive to unite ALL Americans around values our nation was founded upon.
In conclusion here is an excellent post that will explain why I have placed politics low in my list of important things to share with my loved ones: https://bradstrait.com/2021/04/15/jesus-politics-and-christians/.