This Is What I Love To Do

Back in the day...about 3 years ago it was about how much time we could fit outside in a day. How far back we could hike as a family Bradach in tow in his hike pack. Fly fishing with Bradach again in his hike pack. Biking all over around the river....yes, with Bradach in a seat. I was so looking forward to the time when I could hike those trails with him by my side on his own two feet. The time never came and I'm not so sure it will come. Not to the extent that I ever dreamed of. However I do get days like the last two that are just about perfect. I have been having a run of good luck health wise in many ways. Whenever this happens I usually skip anything that might flare up my symptoms and grab my little man and do whatever I can for as long as I can and as hard as I can. I still have to do this with oxygen strapped to my back so my timing depends on how long the tank lasts. I also do have to be careful as to stay in cell range in case of emergency. There is no way I would let my little guy be helpless in some mountain somewhere.

Yesterday was a balmy 65-70 degrees outside with the sun blaring. I picked up my little man and took off for the hills. We drove up a canyon that has some awesome rock caves (too far for me to hike to, even though you can see them from the road clear as day). And an awesome creek with snow pack run off. We camped up this canyon a few times when he was little and I could run around more with him. Yesterday was just a day trip up. We found a few spots to pull off and go "hiking" as much as I could. We followed the creek and he saw his first water skipper. Reminded me of when I was a kid during my older brothers baseball games I would be in the ditch catching these critters. The water was too fast and he wasn't ready to get his feet wet yet. I did talk him into covering himself in the clay'ish mud that surrounded the bank. Again reminding me of my childhood. He thought it was fun but with his daddy's OCD he was ready to wash it off and happy to splash and stir it up with sticks. We followed butterflies and I showed him this and that.

On our way out of the mountain we stopped at a favorite place of mine. Its not too far away from "civilization" yet when you pull off the road you can find yourself wisped off to the middle of no where. In the pic you can see a pipe line running down to the bottom of the canyon. When I was younger I used to hike down in that area and then climb up the 60' cliff that Bradach and I were perched on in the pic. We would build a fire at the bottom of the canyon and I would usually toast some bread and heat up some soup. Something about soup over a fire just makes it better I guess. One time I was with two friends Zane and Adam. Adam and I decided to go swimming, Zane was probably the smart one :) Anyways off we went jumping off the rocks. It was a blast. A week later I was hiding a big black spot on my leg where my skin was falling off. I couldn't hide it for long, it was hot and shorts were a must in a non air conditioned school.

This skin sloughing was a result of what we assumed to be a spider bite from when we went swimming that day. A hobo spider or a brown recluse had gotten me. You don't feel their bites and I thought I could hide the resulting poison from my parents. Wrong....I was in the hospital for almost a week. I had great friends that came to visit me. The state fair was in town and only a few blocks from the hospital. I was stir crazy and I hung out with some wild kids (now all of them have college degrees and are respectable adults). However they distracted "nurse cratchet" snuck in some shorts to go under my hospital gown and a jacket for over. I had in a hep lock because I was on a timer of antibiotics. As they distracted her some of them formed a wall and I was on the other side. We walked to the elevator and I went to the fair! Gown, hep lock, hospital bracelet and some borrowed shoes. The fair patrons probably thought I escaped from the mental hospital here in town but I had a blast. I did get in big big trouble when I got back. I wasn't allowed to leave the hospital room unless to the nurses station to do my homework.

So I think this get away with what I can when I can has been a part of me as long as I can remember. I love life. No matter what it throws at me I'm a good catch and learned to get rid of it fast. I can't seem to shake this heart disease like I would want but a day out with my little dude is enough to lift my spirits. No problem is too hard when you have something bigger than yourself to help you get through it. Seeing my son grow and learn about life and nature is what I strive to do whenever I can.

My heart and prayers are with those that are finding themselves in bad weather and horrible situations from storms. God bless you all. You can fight for you and for those you love. Hang tough and I pray you stay safe.

Keepin' it Beatin'


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erinc@bradyheart.org

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