Friends, Family and Heroes

Thank you all so much for asking after Cody. He is doing well and recovering as expected. I just have a short check in for you today to say a few words about family and how amazing it is when family are also friends.

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Cody NOT Odin

The last few days we have been in Elko, Nevada. Why on earth would we be in Elko? That is an excellent question. The answer is that Cody’s parents, sister and her family live here. After more than a month on the road it has been a really nice respite to be close to family.

Ever since our wedding I have always told everyone that I won the in-law lottery. Cindy and Larry Hyslop are absolutely remarkable. They are adventurers in their own right and their epic travels have in no small part inspired our own. Cindy taught me how to use Excel for my graduate accounting class in less than forty minutes and over the phone! Larry is a retired computer science professor but also an inspired artist and writer. His pottery and books are featured all over town. You have probably seen some of his pottery in our house and commented on how very cool it was.

Together, the Hyslop’s also have crafted a beautiful oasis in their back yard. There is a koi pond, stunning path through flowers and vegetables and a separate flamingo garden – it’s a thing . . . both my mom and Cody’s mom are all about the flamingoes. I just don’t get it but I don’t have to.

KODAK Digital Still Camera
Notice the Grizmingo in the mix?

On this leg of the adventure we went to a nice little bar and saw some great art yesterday. Cody went with his folks, sister and one nephew up to a lake this morning and went kayaking. My mother-in-law has made great dinners and she even had a birthday cake for me and my sister-in-law, Bonnie. Last night Cody and his mom and nephew played croquet in the yard and later we played cards. These are just nice people to be with.

I am really glad that Cody has had this opportunity to be with his family so soon after his palsy came back. We have had a great time and this has been a rejuvenating stop. However, what I mainly want to talk about today is the fact that while we are here I get to spend time with one of my heroes: my sister-in-law Bonnie.

I will not be going into her life story because her business is her own and I will not be violating her privacy here. What I will talk about is her adventurous spirit and her general bad-assery. Bonnie is absolutely one of the smartest, strongest and most amazing women I have ever met. She is a few years younger than Cody and mother of two teenage boys.

This woman is strong on so many levels. She also lives a most specific and no-bullshit life. Talking to her for five minutes it is easy to understand how well her directness and honesty serve her in her life everyday. She also has the biggest heart – I mean that she is kind and thoughtful not to imply that her heart is oversized in anyway, I am pretty sure it is not.

The circumstances of our lives are such that she and I only wind up in the same location about every seven years or so and that is just simply too long. I am honored though that we have the kind of relationship where, when we are together, it is like we have not be apart very long at all. It really is a privilege to call her friend.

I have used a lot of words here to express emotions and not say very much. I said I was going to keep it brief today. Right now I am taking up most of my mother-in-law’s table while she is working away making dinner for all of us, again. I just had to take the opportunity to say thank you to the whole Hyslop family. To Cindy and Larry for raising such incredible children and for welcoming me into the fold. For instilling in my sister-in-law /dear friend a fierceness that emanates from her in equal parts with an unparalleled kindness. I deeply admire her. For raising Cody to embrace adventure and also be open to the special kind of madness I bring to the mix.

I suppose my thesis today is really just a love fest. It is however also a note that despite the fact that we are in Nevada, this has been a great visit and we hope to see the whole family again soon . . . at the beach.

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