It was that time of year again. Memorial Day. And it wouldn’t be Memorial Day without a weekend in Coudersport on the bike.
This year the weather gods smiled on us and granted us sunshine and warmth. The bearded guy even managed to get off early (thanks boss!) and we were able to drive in daylight. A few of our group arrived early and set out on an afternoon ride. Unfortunately, there was an incident which sent a couple of our merry band home before the weekend even really began. That took the wind out of our sails for a bit the next morning, but after a few corners we got our mojo back and the ride on Saturday was one of the best ever.
The ride through the national forests and parks is so beautiful and tranquil. Winding through the tree-lined roads, past streams and look-outs. On this particular day, as we meandered … ok, more like careened … we were showered with delicate, yellow butterflies that fluttered down on us like confetti. Aaaaaand …. sometimes splattered all over our visors. In spite of the carnage those bright, sunny creatures made me smile.
A late lunch and we headed back to the Laurelwood for some socializing and sipping. After a delicious dinner Paul was kind enough to gather the band and together we sang a few songs, struggled through one or two, and just had a blast.
Thanks, again, everybody, for a great time with fantastic people! Here are a few pics from the “back seat”
Aaaand … we’re off!
The remnants of the carnage ….
No helmet … and SHORTS!
Remember the haunted house from 2 years ago? Well, apparently the ghosts have been evicted. Can’t wait to see it all done.
Alissa & Johnny are the sweetest! Johnny is shy and quiet. Alissa is bubbly and chatty. Together they just make you smile.
I’ve known Alissa since she was a little girl getting into mischief with my daughter, Jodi. I still remember the summer Alissa, Jodi and our son painted the inside of my in-law’s shed pink. And how proud they were of the finished product. Good thing dad has a sense of humour.
Alissa is sweet and bright. She likes to dance and can always make you smile. She’s dealt with a lot in her life and still stays positive through it all.
I met Johnny when I photographed his sister’s wedding (Courtney & Ryan). Alissa brought me in for that wedding and when she introduced me to Johnny it was very obvious that they were in love. Though Johnny is quiet, I’ve learned that he is caring, intelligent and friendly. He’s the kind of guy every mother wants to see her daughter with and wants her son to be.
We met at the beautiful Maple Meadows Farm where we were greeted by Lori and the family dog. What a gorgeous spot! The flowers were blooming, the sun shone and the horses were friendly. Such a tranquil, lovely place to spend a day. I can’t wait to see it all set up for the wedding.
Finally, we cooled off with a little soft-serve from the Dairy Queen up the road.
I, again, had the privilege of photographing the Leaders’ Prayer Breakfast. This event inspires me every year. The messages each of the speakers share with us are amazing, uplifting, heartbreaking, heartwarming and true. We heard about how early we are affected by our environment and the impact that can have on our mental health. We were brought to tears by a young woman who’s story went from the darkness of suicidal thoughts to a bright future because of the help she received and a faith she clung to. We heard a police officer’s experiences working with people on the street dealing with mental health issues. We heard about the Westview ministry to women in the sex trade. And we heard from our Mayor, Walter Sendzik, and the partnership he is seeking between the city and the church to reach out to all people in need.
There is so much need in our city. Many churches are helping. Many are not. Not because they don’t care or are not good people. They simply just don’t know how.
There are 330 churches, synagogues and temples listed in the Yellowpages located in St.Catharines. Imagine if all of them were doing something to help our city address the needy in our city. As of 2016 the population of St.Catharines was 133,113 with 15.6% of that population suffering from a mental illness. If the average church has 150 attendees and all of us agreed to help address the needs of the mentally ill in our city, there would be 3 helpers for each person in need!
As you enjoy these pictures from the event, I challenge you to think of just 1 way you could help someone in need today.
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