Wednesday, July 2, Day 3July 6, 2014
Journey Along the Erie Canal II – Week 1 – Doug’s ReflectionsJuly 7, 2014
Genesis 2:2 – “…He (in this case we) rested on the seventh day.”
Week one is complete, and it has been all that we had hoped for and more. I cannot recap the whole week, but I’d like to observe a few things that are much different than last year.
This has been an extremely emotional week for us. While last year had emotional ups and downs, this year has been even more powerful for me. First, the support from NYSARC under chapters has lived up to everything we had hoped for and more. We have seen hundreds of people with disabilities in the first week!
We have done six flag ceremonies-which entail attaching a county flag to our state flag which we will present on the capitol steps July 11. This is been great to see old friends from last year as well as make new friends. We are excited to meet other chapters in this upcoming week. I was especially happy to see Gloria from Seneca County.
Last year, Gloria was one of the first people to meet me one morning and promptly stole my coffee, saying she hadn’t had a couple coffee yet. She thanked me, came back five minutes later and took my second cup of coffee saying she hadn’t had a cup of coffee yet. I have smiled about that moment for the last 365 days, and don’t you know she was the first person to greet me at our event on day five.
We had wonderful reception at all of the ARC’s on the western part of the state. I will recap all of it in the second Journey Along the Erie Canal e-book!
On the positive emotional side, it has touched me how strong friendship is. Doug Hamlin has become a great close personal friend as well as business partner. To watch him push his hand cycle across New York State is beyond inspiring! Last year, he had improper equipment. This year, he has great equipment and has trained to the best of his ability. Doug is a perfect example of what Ability and Achievement can mean to all people.
I am equally impressed with the friendships that we have on a daily basis, that have touched our Journey. Andrea’s friend Leah came out to join us for two days with a broken thumb and biked nearly 100 miles. My college roommate Scott and his wife Sharon friends for over 20 years joined us. And of course, anyone that knows me knows how much I care about Jivi Govender and Sue Cashier. They continue to make their home open to our family and I can’t express in words my feelings.
As happy as I am to share these friendships and love, I was so saddened to hear of the loss Jivi and his family had to endure this week. I have spent over 25 years at Camillus Country Club, from the member guest tournament, playing rounds with clients while I was at the TV station in Syracuse, just getting lost by myself for nine holes and driving around with my children on a cart. CCC will always have a special place in my heart. On Friday morning, Andrea and I drove up to see the remains after the fire. I am still in shock. My heart goes out to all of the Camillus Country Club greater community as well as the Govender family. Just so you know, the course is still open – go play!
On a final note, we are excited for week two of #Journey2014 and we invite everyone to come out! We have had great support from our corporate support organizations in person. Realty USA, Price Chopper, MVP Healthcare and NYSARC have all been with us. New York State Canal Corporation’s Brian Stratton and Sharon Leighton biked with us. NYSARC has been a strong partner and NYSID has provided us the opportunity to share our video stories.
And, we have even come up with plans for 2015 and 16. We will always keep the Erie Canal and NYSARC in our summer plans, and we may add a plan to conquer the United States in 2016. Stay tuned…