Today I am grateful for our family, beautiful weather, long walks, youth sports, and His salvation.

I have discovered over the past few years that having an attitude of gratitude is a really good approach to living a healthy life.  There are already so many things in this world that can get us down, so we really need to make an effort to be grateful and positive.  A positive mindset and the positive energy that is a product of that mindset will lead to a healthier mind, body, and soul.  All three are interconnected, but it first starts with our mind and mental health.  We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can always control how we react to it.  Therefore, even on our worst days, we must truly make an effort to find the positive in every situation, I assure you that it is there if we look for it.

On Friday, we traveled west to Duncannon to Steph and Eric’s house, our one daughter and son-in-law, for the next stop on our journey.  We’ll be here for almost two weeks before heading back to Berks County.  It was colder than we would have liked when we first got out here.  Although, it was still warm enough for Youk and I to get out to walk for over four miles on Saturday.  I guess that we’ve already been spoiled by the warm Florida weather all winter.  My legs were quick to remind me how flat Florida is.  A four mile walk on the flat terrain of Florida is quite a contrast from the hilly terrain of Perry County.  Youk, even at 12 years old had no issues with adapting to the hills.  For me however, my lungs and legs immediately felt the difference, but it was great to get that fresh air in my lungs and pain of accomplishment in my legs.  Seeing the beauty of the new life of spring starting to overtake the old grip that winter had held on the area for the past several months was refreshing.  A reminder of the cycle of life.  It was good to be back in Perry County again.  So far this week, the weather has been beautiful.

I am grateful to be able to walk the hills of Perry County and take in its beauty with Youk.

On Sunday, we got to celebrate Easter with our family.  Something that just a few weeks ago, we weren’t even sure if we’d be able to do.  Although the circumstances of our early return trip to Pennsylvania were not ideal, we’ve certainly made the most of our visit back to the area so far.

Our spring plans had to change due to us waiting on some parts and warranty work to be completed on our rig, but being fluid and flexible is one of the great things about what we’re doing.

Our original plan was to head west across the southern United States to San Diego in mid-February and then trek back across the country to Pennsylvania just in time for Easter.

Our parts didn’t come in, those plans changed.

At that point, we decided on doing another Florida leg.  Traveling across and up and down the state for a couple of weeks.  We went from Melbourne to Orlando, to Debary, to Oxford, to Homosassa, to Tallahassee and then down to the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City.  We saw family and friends, met a wonderful old couple, went to softball and soccer games, visited a new church, snorkeled in the Homosassa River and boated out to the Gulf of Mexico.  We stayed in driveways, campgrounds, parking lots, a winery, goat farm, a river boat tour facility, and at the Strawberry Festival.

Our plan was to head back to Melbourne after the Strawberry Festival and just wait out our parts at my Aunt Sally’s.

Again, our plans changed.

We received the news while we were at the Strawberry Festival that a good friend of ours had passed away back in Pennsylvania.  We originally didn’t think that we’d make it up for the services due to the circumstances with us still waiting on this warranty work to be done.

We had a change of plans again.

We decided that we needed to get to Pennsylvania for the services on the morning of March 7th, a Sunday, and we were headed north by 10:00 PM that night.

We made great time and arrived back in Pennsylvania on Tuesday morning.  We surprised a bunch of our kids and grandkids by showing up at their bus stops, doors and places of employment.

I am grateful to have the freedom to be able to shift and pivot when plans have to change.  Not everyone has the liberty to be able to do that.

We were able to see seven of our eight grandchildren on Easter.

We’ve been able to spend some time with friends and family since we’ve been here, but nothing like Sunday.

We were able to get together with all of our children and grandchildren with the exception of one.  We will get together with her when we get back to Berks County.

I am grateful for more of the beautiful weather and our family.

I am grateful to understand the meaning Easter.  The meaning of sacrifice.  To give of oneself without expecting anything in return.  Jesus did that and conquered death in the process.  We should also be willing to make sacrifices for the betterment of others without expecting anything in return.  It’s called servant leadership.  We should all practice it, even if we’re not in leadership positions.  True leaders practice leadership skills long before they find themselves in leadership roles.

I am grateful for the sacrifice that Jesus made for all of us.

As our family members started to arrive, it was great to see everyone and their smiles.  Catching up with everyone and watching the cousins who hadn’t seen each other in so long pick up exactly where they left off was pretty special.

Sandy, Steph, Lillian, and Youk enjoying the sunshine. Three generations in one spot.

Yesterday, Stephanie, Lillian and Garrett all had off of school.  Eric still had to work, he’s still working remotely from home right now, but had to work nonetheless.  It was nice to have kind of a lazy day and just enjoy the weather and each other’s company.  I got a nice nap in and another three mile walk with Youk.  We were all able to eat lunch with Eric. Garrett, Eric, and I played 500 Rummy in the evening.  It was a nice, relaxing day.

I’m grateful for nice, relaxing days.

This morning, Youk and I got up early, got to see the sunrise and took another nice four-mile walk.  We started our walk by walking with Lillian and Garrett down to the bus stop.  It was chilly being so early in the morning, but very peaceful and serene as well.  It was a great walk to pray and be close to the Lord.  Youk was able to enjoy more of the new scents of spring along the way.

When we got back to the RV, I made myself an egg and cheese sandwich and made Youk some eggs as well that I added to his bowl of dog food.

As I write this, I’m sitting outside of the RV at my little makeshift folding table that I use as a desk occasionally.  Sometimes it is easier for me to write outside than it is for me to write while sitting in the RV.  Being outside in nature helps get the creative juices flowing for writing.  It’s peaceful and good for the soul.  I’m listening to the birds sing, and looking out across a cornfield which will soon have its soil tilled and prepped for the planting season.  It’s another sign of the cycle of life.  Youk is laying next to Sandy and they’re basking in the late morning sunshine.

I’m grateful for sunny, peaceful mornings.

This evening is a busy one at the Lingle household.  Lillian has her first Junior High Field Hockey game at 4:00 PM.  We’ll be there to root her on.  She’s been moved from defense to offense this season and she’s nervous about the change, but I know that she will be just fine.

She has softball practice after her field hockey and Garrett has boy scouts at 6:30 this evening as well.  Steph and Eric will be doing the typical parental juggling act of shuffling their kids to their activities while trying to stay sane and not miss a beat.  Pretty much the typical family lifestyle in 2021.  Our main objective for today will be to offer support for the grandkids, yet stay out of the way and not add stress to the parents.

If there is one thing that I do miss while we’ve been on this journey are getting to the activities of our grandchildren.  I’ve already missed too many of them while I was working 80 hours a week at the complex, so I really do cherish the opportunity to get to see them play.  We were able to see our grandson, Stephen, play in his first high school baseball game a few weeks ago as well.  That was very enjoyable.  It will be nice to see Lillian play today.

For so many years while I was involved in youth sports, I witnessed parents and grandparents getting so uptight when they watched their kids play.  I never really understood that.  They’re kids, it’s a game, let them fail, let them learn, but most importantly, just let them play.

I sometimes think that maybe I have a different outlook now because we can’t see them play every game than I did before, but that really isn’t the case.  I always just enjoyed watching our kids and grandkids play.  Perhaps that’s from so many years of coaching myself and understanding what a coach is going through.  I just love to watch them play.  I will cheer them on, but I will not yell at a coach or official from the stands.

Today, I am grateful for the opportunity to just watch them play.