Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sheepdog sabbatical update #2 and Thanksgiving

Man, it's hard to believe it has been over a month since my last post and brief sabbatical update. The time has sure flown by. I guess it's because I've been busy, busy, busy. So, with the Thanksgiving holiday upon us tomorrow, I felt like this was a great time for another update.

First, back on August 19th, I ran an article about T.A.P.S. and the Marine Corps. Marathon. I shared about my friend Steve Mitchell and him running the marathon to honor his son Seth and raise money for T.A.P.S. in the process. I received an e-mail from Steve on November 2nd in which he shared the results of the marathon. His team raised over $14,000 for T.A.P.S., placing 2nd in team fundraising. Of that total, Steve raised $12,000 himself placing 3rd in individual fundraising. The total raised by participants in the Marine Marathon to benefit T.A.P.S. totaled over $200,000 !!!! Steve also improved his time completing the 26 miles in 5 hours 33 minutes which was 27 minutes faster than his 2010 time. The Sheepdog would like to offer his congratulations and thanks to Steve, T.A.P.S., and the other marathon participants for all they do to help the families of America's heroes who have given all for our country.

Second, in my last update, I shared that the work on my new project was going rather slow. Well, I'm happy to report that things are now starting to come together. The two key pieces I mentioned in that update are now in place, and I am confident and encouraged that things are moving in the right direction. My initial goal was to roll the "project" out with a big announcement by the end of the year. However, in order to to it right, I now believe that a more reasonable goal is to do so during the first quarter of 2012.

Third, the Sheepdog has taken some time to have a little fun. Back on October 17th, my buddy Gary and I did some fall turkey hunting. About 8:30 that morning, we stumbled upon a flock of about 15 birds. I shot the one closest and the rest flew off. We quickly recovered the bird and sat down over in a hedgerow. We let everything quiet down and settle for about 15 minutes, and then I began clucking and purring. An hour after shooting the first bird, the same flock wondered out of the woods in front of us again. They started toward the three turkey decoys and then stopped, turned around, and headed back toward the woods. They knew something was up, but it was too late. I dropped the last one in line just before it got into the woods. Yum, yum. Gonna be good eating. That was a neat day. My first turkey double (see pic at right). As I sat there in the field looking at those two birds, I could feel my heart pounding, and I thought about my donor, Kent. He and the Lord's Grace had made that day possible. I didn't take it for granted.

As Thanksgiving arrives tomorrow, I ask - what are you thankful for ? What do you take for granted ? Since it's my fifth Thanksgiving since my heart transplant, the first thing I'm thankful for is each heartbeat and breath, and ..... I don't take any of them for granted.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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