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 follwed 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 with Mom's .... but they love the whole world and just about everyone in the world ... bottom line, my faith is strengthen every day as Goldens, I think exhibit well what our Lord means by love .... 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.