Vacation is over. All in all, it was good, including nine minor league ballparks in eight days (see the complete list in the following post), but never as good as those that I've taken with the red-headed princess over the years.
I spoke with her Sunday afternoon as she was on her way to Cedarville, Ohio with the Lift Ministries team to work their third of four summer Christian youth camps.
June was busy, although many of you think that my life is always busy.
I made a trip home to see my grandmother in central Pennsylvania the first full weekend of the month.
It was the first that I had been home since my grandfather passed away on April 2nd.
Before Waverly left for four and a half weeks, we ran the Calder Twilight 5K together in Beaumont one Friday evening (saw Richard and Amie James there) before working the Sylvan Beach Triathlon and Duathlon in La Porte the next two days for Walt and Lisa Yarrow and Jay Lee.
I ran a 3-hour race in Abilene for an event in my 99th Texas city or town followed by announcing the 17th annual Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Triathlon for Andy Stewart.
I followed that with a long trip to Lubbock to primarily cheer on and support Bert and Krista Blevins as they both competed in the Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon.
Quietly and behind the scenes, they both have been a source of encouragement all this year, especially since my sister passed away on January 17.
It was the least that I could do to return that love and support to them for what they had done for me.
I did to get to run the Polish Pickle Run 5K in Bremond the day before - with many friends, primarily those from the Seven Hills Running Club in Huntsville - as well as seeing the new ballpark in Midland later that day.
Then it was the Baytown Bud Heat Wave on the Fourth of July before heading off on vacation later that afternoon.
One of my best friends, Bill Dwyer, and I had a chance to catch up to and from the race as Bill helped me and Robby Sabban and his team for the fourth straight year.
A special shout-out to Leanne Rosser's husband, Jim.
After an issue with the reader mat was resolved early in the Bud Heat Wave (so if I didn't call your name, that's why), Jim held the lap top - facing me - for probably a good half hour.
A pilot for Southwest Airlines, I got Jim to chuckle when I mentioned that we had "great support from Southwest Airlines here at the finish line".
I don't know of too many people that would have gone to that trouble to do that for me.
There's a lot in there that I missed.
I have a lot of half-finished race or trip reports that I need to complete and share, but this will have to do for now.
So what's coming down the pike? A lot.
I will be at the 36th annual Lunar Rendezvous Run 5K in Clear Lake on Saturday morning.
It is what Robby and I are calling the first race in the "Friends of RAS Summer Race Series", which includes Outrigger's on the Bay 5K in Kemah on Saturday, August 2 and then the Beneeezy Purple Monkey Run 5K/10K in Alvin four weeks later.
I'm trying to get Waverly to run Outrigger's with me before she heads back for her sophomore year at Liberty University. (So if you're reading Waverly, you need to let me know!)
Bill is putting together her a plan to be ready to run the Virginia 10-Miler with me on the last Saturday in September. I can't wait.
She'll be running her first half marathon in nine years on New Year's Day at the Texas Half Marathon in Kingwood.
I'm also looking to finally get that 100th Texas city or town on Saturday, July 26. I just don't know where yet. I'm leaning towards Moulton, but we'll see.
A new bed that Waverly got for her birthday is being delivered the day before or on that day so we'll see.
Additionally, another one of my very best friends, Rick Cook, took care of my Dad with a couple of new pairs of shoes at Fleet Feet Sports in Shenandoah on Saturday.
Not that he's going to start running any time soon, but Rick's unparalleled sense of humor I know was a welcome, yet temporary respite to my parents in their grief of the loss of my sister.
I have much to be thankful for.
God didn't promise us that every day would be easy, but there are all kinds of promises that He has made to us if we are diligent to know and understand what they are.
Something that I know that I need to do a better job in realizing myself.
Back to work in the morning!