If you are looking at the blog and the posted dates, you might be wondering why I haven't posted in some time. I actually have, but not in this blog. You can check out the new page SMILE on this site, and that is why I write today.

I don't write to get you to go to this new page, but to point out that God's work is never done. When you think that you haven't done a thing, God reminds us that he has been using us all along. It doesn't mean he is having you tell others about his blessings, but instead he is blessing you. Some may question how I see having Parkinson's as a gift from God, but everyday I know he has blessed me because he uses me to inspire and share his gift of love. 

A few weeks back, my wife and family took a few days to venture away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We made our way to the northeastern points of Minnesota. We lodged at a ski resort, minus the snow, turned off the phones, gathered hardwood for the evening fire, and opened our minds to God's country.

This trip started as a desire for my wife and I to take a vacation. Our first inclination was to go to the "magic kingdom" but our plans changed when the kids wanted to join us. We gave up the alone time for family time. God blessed us with a real magic kingdom.

The pictures from this trip show you amazing vistas. High up in the hills you see the changing fall landscape. Below our perch the bubbling stream of water slides along interrupted by the call of an eagle, the roar of a bear or the howl of a wolf in the distance. To the south our view of the great Gitche Gumee.

Our last day of this adventure found us trekking to the tip of Minnesota as it meets Canada and a reminder of God's magnificence. Nestled less than twenty-six miles from the border, sits the Naniboujou Lodge (Naniboujou is the Cree god of the outdoors).It was found in the 1920's as an ultra exclusive private club and some of the founding charter members were Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey and Ring Lardner. We stopped there on the way up to Grand Portage and the Grand Portage National Monument - a site of the North West Company and the closest view, from Minnesota, of Michigan's Isle Royale. On our return southward, we stopped across the street from the lodge at Judge C.R. Magney State Park.

Once in the park, we begin our trek to Devil's Kettle, the end point to one-half of the fork in the Brule River that drops eight hundred feet in eight miles before emptying half of its water into Lake Superior. Quickly my stepsons and daughter-in-law hiked to the kettle upward nearly 1 1/2 mile. Near the end of the climb found a staircase of 175 downward steps that wound around the rocks before venturing upward once again toward the Kettle. It was at the top of these stairs where we would meet the kids who had already made it to the Kettle, slipped into its freezing waters, and were seeking to remove the chill and their wet socks.

They understand that I don't move as fast as I used to. They were okay that I was going to be taking longer to finish my portion of the hike and very appreciative as I placed the car keys in their hands. Heat was just minutes away for them while majesty was still ahead for my wife and I.

My wife hiked with me instead of moving ahead. Her comment was she was enjoying the romantic nature of the walk; I knew that she also was doing it to ensure that I wasn't falling and injuring myself. The view of the Kettle was awe-inspiring. But that wasn't all that God had planned for me. The whole walk had many treasures. 

Parkinson's slowed my walking pace down but opened my eyes to see. Upon one of the many stops to catch my breath, I convinced my wife to stand in front of me. I slowly moved her towards what I had been seeing. Only in pictures do you see forest floors carpeted in green moss and decaying timbers that laid down as if to sleep. Here the photo was real life. We were enjoying nature's slideshow.

Through my guidance, my wife could understand how my life has changed. For a brief moment, my wife saw what I saw and felt the gift I was given. It was done with God's helping hand. God was giving my wife a part of me.

"It is more blessed to give than receive."
Acts 20:35