Tag Archives: Tradition

Coincidence or Fate

Not many know but this Dec 4th was two years since my father in law passed. A man who I admired for many reason. He lived most of his life from a wheelchair but that never held him back in the least bit. From opening and running several businesses and always making time for family no matter what. He loved the holiday and family much more which why I’ve chosen to do this post today.

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The past few months have been a constant reminder of how we all miss him but have decided to try and make a difference in our lives or the lives of others. As I previously posted this year the wife and I decided to create a tradition, one to honor his memory and let his spirit for the holidays live on. We’ve gone and bought two bikes and created a Facebook page called “Jingle Bikes for Kids”. The purpose for this page was to encourage those to take the time and consider donating a bike to “Toys for Tots” or any other charitable organization. After all the holidays are about the kids and who didn’t love waking up to find a new bike under the tree? He did love the holidays and all the joy it brought the kids.

On Friday Nov 30th 2012 the wife (who belongs to Yelp Elite) got an invitation to go attend a VIP party at Busch Garden’s (Christmas Town) an event that after going we knew it’s almost like it was designed for her father. The lit trees everywhere, Christmas carolers, sing-along train and many attractions are things he would have total enjoyed. Coincidence or Fate?

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Prior to going to Busch Garden we had extra time before the event so we chose to eat prior to going. Right next door to Busch Gardens is Mel’s Hot Dogs yet another place my father-in-law loved so we ended up eating there. This was actually the first time I had been there but I knew of the place. From the minute I walked in I knew why my father-in-law loved the place. See he was a huge Coca-Cola fan and the colors in Mel’s reflected that, not to mention the food is awesome. So after eating we made our way to Busch Gardens and proceeded to enter. Walking thru the entire time I kept thinking “If he were still here this is where he would have wanted to come for the holidays”. As we continued thru we came upon a row of what appeared to be small cottages which sold everything from Christmas ornaments to delicious holiday treats. The wife and I stopped at one to get a hot cup of cocoa and a cookie. While we sat there in soaked in the sights and sounds I couldn’t help but think of my father-in-law. I could totally see him sitting there in his wheelchair sipping a hot cocoa and eating a cookie while carrying on a conversation with Mrs. Claus. Yes….. Mrs. Claus was there walking around taking pictures with people, signing autographs and greeting all the little ones (who all were smiling from ear to ear). Continuing on we stumbled across a huge Coca-Cola sign there and once again we thought of him. He was an avid Coca-Cola collector and it showed. If it was Coca-Cola related he either had it at one time or still did. Walking thru the park we next stumbled upon the sing along train. We boarded the train which took us around the park at night. The train lit with lights and played Christmas music for all to sing along with. I sat back and watched as kids as young as five to people in their eighties all smiling and singing along. After getting off the train we walked back to the front of the park enjoying once again all the holiday sights and sounds. As we were leaving I couldn’t help but think of my father-in-law as the whole experience start to finish was something he would have enjoyed. Also throughout the night we saw many things that made us think of him and helped us remember why many people loved and admired him. So as my wife and I drove home discussing the events of the evening and how strange it was we couldn’t help but wonder. Was the entire evening fate or purely coincidence?

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Have you ever had a time where you felt like fate was the driving force in an event? Or do you feel as if it were pure coincidence?

The final countdown

With Dec 25th just around the corner we’re finding our schedules packed with all kinds of fun events. December 10th is the cutoff for our first annual Bike collection for Jingle Bikes for Kids and we have had a pretty good run for the first year. All in all we collected a total of eleven bikes to donate to “Toys for Tots” to help make some kids holiday a little bit brighter. For those who don’t know the story behind Jingle Bikes for Kids follow this link and you’ll understand why this was such a special project for us. This project started small as just Nanci and I buying two bikes and ended up with eleven bikes thanks to the kindness of those who were touched by our idea. For those who are interested in getting involved next year like and follow our facebook page.

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Trotting in Clearwater

Nine years ago the wife and I moved into our house in Clearwater, FL. The first thing we noticed was blocked off streets. We soon discovered that they had an annual tradition called the “Turkey Trot” which was made up of several races. They have a 5k fun run (not timed), Wingding 5k, Gobbler 1 mile and Turkey Trot 10k. For those crazy enough they have a challenge which consists of the 5k, 1 mile, and the 10k race as well. My wife and I went 9 years ago to watch the blocked off street by the house and cheered the runners on. We commented on how nice it would be for us to participate, but every year another excuse seems to have kept us from participating except for this year. We finally had run out of excuses and registered. The wife then mentioned it to her mom and she showed some interest so she registered and went as well.

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When we arrived that morning there was a nip in the air, and I was like why am I up on Thanksgiving morning freezing my butt off (well it was cold for me being a Florida boy of 25 years now). Then the more I moved around the warmer I got and had forgotten about being cold. The time drew near for our wave to start which started at 7:30 and it took us about 60 minutes to complete. I’m sure we could have finished faster but everybody was busy talking, laughing, sharing stories and swapping season’s greetings. The crowd was a mixture of people who were neighbors but many who had never met before.

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During our walk they had mile markers setup so we could monitor our progress and know how much further until we had to get to our finish line. Along the route which took us through some streets I had never been through on our walks in the past we ran across several families. Families that were sitting out in the driveways, smiling and cheering as a sea of people invaded their neighborhood and clogged their streets.

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Sadly enough before we knew it the finish line was in sight and we were crossing it. One thing was definitely for sure, fun was had by all and we have started a new family tradition. One thing that truly made me sad was the fact that it took us 9 years to finally commit to this fun filled event.

Has anyone else ever participated in the Turkey Trot?