Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Savvy in 20 Years??

Savvy is 1 week old today (Australian time)! Seems like just yesterday.... It made me start to think about what her life might be like in about 20 years.... let's say the year 2030. I will be about 71, and she will be about 21...
  1. Will everything around her be wireless? Will she think it strange that we were once tethered to a wall?
  2. Will she have an additional unique number to identify her besides her SSN? Maybe a personalized IP address?
  3. Will she be driving a car that runs on gas? Maybe hydrogen? Will the number of cars be limited to a certain number per family? Will vehicles actually be "personal air born transportation devices"?
  4. What will the world violence be like in 2030? Will "bio wars" be the craze? Will Savvy want to be in the military? Will actual hand-to-hand combat even still exist?
  5. What kind of job will she have? Bio/Nano-technology? Environmental "green-collar" job?
  6. Will colleges all be on-line?
  7. Will physical shopping stores still be popular? Will she purchase everything on-line?
  8. Will she be able to Skype with me while she is driving down the road in her Toyota?
  9. Will there be any such thing as regional and/or local - or will everything be global? Maybe her high school spelling bee competition will be versus a school in China?
  10. What if she gets sick - will the doctor be able to customize the treatment for her based on her DNA makeup?
  11. Will it be popular to pick her baby's gender based on genetic manipulation?
  12. Where will she live? Will there be enough space for everyone? Will people be living in space? Will there be electrical restrictions when she tries to use her blow dryer - or water limits when she takes a shower?
  13. What will her world's politics be like? Will she have a world government drivers license? What world events will she witness?
  14. What will her personal values be like? Will she be more influenced by her worldly culture or her spiritual culture?
  15. And.... will she still want to visit her 70 year-old granddaddy and give him a huge hug?
Many things can happen and change in 20 years, but for my money, I'm betting #15 will definitely be there...
Look forward to seeing you in 2030 Miss Savvy...

Monday, July 27, 2009

I Like Skype!

It's almost like the real thing.... not quite, but almost. I don't know how they do it for free, but it's pretty cool and convenient. Skype is a computer-to-computer video conferencing application that allows you to see and speak to anyone in the world. When your wife, daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter are in Sydney, Australia, and you're in North Alabama, Skype is wonderful!

Sadly, at least for the next couple of years, this is the way we will watch Savannah grow up. But, not all is lost. This will give me a couple of years to get ready and to prepare to be a really good grandfather. After all, they really don't have grandfather grades or papaw pamphlets to teach
you the best way to grandfather your new g'daughter, especially starting at the age of two. I mean when I get to "hold and mold" her she will be in her "terrible two's". Right? How do I handle that?? It's like I'm gonna have to hit the ground running..... no warm ups..... I've never done this before!

Nevertheless, I will persevere. At least she will know me via Skype. She'll recognize my face on the computer. It might be quite a shock to her when she first she's me in real life, after two years on the "flat" monitor of the computer. She'll be surprised at how "round" I am..... OK, no jokes! Maybe I'll set a bottle of baby powder near me when I talk with her on Skype. At least my computer will smell like a baby while we're Skyping. Anyway, we'll try to make the best of it.

Actually, I just finished talking to the Sydney crew via Skype a few minutes ago. Everyone is progressing wonderfully! I also noticed in the background that there were some new additions to the interior decorating. You guessed it.... Tami has been shopping. I knew as soon as I was out of the country, she would "let loose"! I'm glad she's only staying 1 additional week, and not longer!

Now if Skype could alert me to credit card purchases..... that would really be impressive....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

"Goodbyes" are So Hard...

Difficult is an understatement. Heartbreak gets closer. I know there all kinds of levels of "Goodbye", but for some reason I really was not expecting the emotional response I had when I said goodbye to the new Windsor family in Australia.

I am pretty good at keeping my emotions under control... not counting Extreme Home Make Over and certain Hallmark commercials. I even held back the tears at Lauren's wedding. I really dreaded the moment I would start the long walk down the center aisle with her on my arm. I expected to be a blubbering idiot during that event. But, "performance mode" kicked in and I held firm.

Not so when I left Lauren, Daniel & Savannah in the hospital room as I departed for our hotel. Maybe it is something about a new grandchild, maybe it is the pure admiration I have for a daughter that labored and delivered without any complaints, maybe it's that I haven't seen them for over one year, or maybe that we won't see them again for several months. Not sure, but it sure was tough! My "performance mode" never showed up....

Tami stayed behind for another week with the new family. I'm sure she will be priceless as she cares for Lauren and Savvy. It was just as hard leaving Tami behind, even though I will see her in only 1 more week. It will be good to get home though, and see Jordan again. The only problem is that Jordan will be heading out of town tomorrow to spend time with friends. So, it will be Cody and me.... home alone.

The trip down under was wonderful. The weather was excellent, we toured several cool sites, Savvy finally arrived before I departed, and we got to spend time with L & D's friends. We even came to a decision on what I will be called now that I am a grand father..... "Granddaddy"! I call my grand father this to this day. He is in his early 90's. It will mean a lot to me to continue this name for the next generation.

Finally, I demonstrated one act of "real love" in my short time I spent with Savvy. Just hours before I left them, I offered to change her diaper (nappie). You guessed it.... she left me a gift to be remembered: a Poo! But, don't worry - it's like riding a bike. Without any preparation or instruction, I mastered the often unappreciated skill of changing a Poo-ee diaper with precision and efficiency. I hope to see her again soon. I'll change as many nappies as they want.....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Introducing Miss Savannah Hope Windsor!


  • 8 pounds 8 ozs
  • 20.4 inches long
  • July 23, 2009
  • 7:39 PM
  • Lots of dark hair
  • Beautiful skin
  • Fully functional lungs
  • Loving parents and grandparents
These are the stats I've been longing to write for almost two weeks now. Today is my last day in Australia, as I will depart in the AM. I will spend today at the hospital visiting my daughter, son-in-law, and new baby granddaughter. It's a great way to end a wonderful visit down under.

After a couple of hours of preparation at the hospital, Lauren started having contractions about 11:00 AM. She delivered Savvy almost 8.5 hours later. She had made very good progress throughout the day, but suddenly slowed when the pushing began. Lauren did not have an epidural. It was determined that the baby's cord was around her neck. (This happened to Lauren at her birth also) Savvy's heart beat remained strong, but this was
preventing the delivery. Once this was realized, the doctor was able to cut the cord, and the delivery proceeded quickly.

Lauren and Daniel both did extremely well. Daniel kept us updated and stayed with Lauren throughout. And Lauren demonstrated a passionate will to do whatever it took to deliver her first born as safely as possible.

There are many amazing things in this world, but none more so than child birth. I've been in the delivery room for the birth of my 3 children, and the waiting room for my 1st grandchild. Maybe the waiting room is tougher for me. But, nevertheless, it is a blessing to behold. On Tami's Facebook, you can see pictures of Savvy during her 1st 2 hours after delivery.
Savvy really is beautiful! She is bright-eyed, alert, with big feet, beautifully colored skin, and lots of hair. She has more hair than me..... I'm dealing with it.... I'm thrilled that I was able to see her in person before I return to the States. I'll never forget it....

Thanks for following us & checking in......

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

OK... We Need to Talk!

OK Savvy, we need to talk! Tomorrow your Mom will be induced and you should be with us sometime on Thursday, July 23, Australian time. Mom & Dad will be at the hospital at 7 AM in order to be first in line to begin the process of bringing you into the world.

You've been too shy for too long.... it's time to show your pretty face. But I have one request: Don't make it too tough on your Mom, OK? She's been preparing for your arrival for many weeks, trying to ensure you are as healthy as possible.

So, it's time for you to do your job.... just "fall forward"! Someone will catch you!

Your Mom has tried hard and has been advised on various ways to prompt your arrival....
She's done all of these except one..... can you guess which one?
  1. Eat Pineapple
  2. Sit on a washing machine
  3. Eat spicy food
  4. Drink soy milk
  5. Skip down a road
  6. Lots of walking
  7. Jumping jacks
  8. Walk on a sandy beach
  9. Massage
  10. Speed bump at 40 km/h
So far, you are still playing hard to get. So, tomorrow we're getting serious. After all, I depart from Sydney on Saturday morning. I want to see you before I go..... Sleep well tonight. Tomorrow is your birthday. See you soon young lady!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Very Impressive Thing...

Lauren is in the final days of her pregnancy. Today is July 21st, Tuesday, and we have yet another beautiful sunny winter day in Australia. Cool enough for a sweatshirt, but warm enough to actually get a slight sun burn. I am loving the Sydney winters! LW continues to persevere through the final days with a grace and patience that is quite impressive. I can imagine myself complaining quite a bit if the roles were reversed. But, she smiles and waits....
There are many impressive things I've noticed in the 10 days that I've been here. I've seen the grand international downtown of Sydney, the passion of Hillsong Church, the mildness of an Australian winter, the comfortableness of a laid-back culture down under.... But none have been more impressive than the circle of friends that have surrounded Lauren, especially in these final days.

Tami & I have been blessed to get just a short glimpse into the support group that truly has touched the heart and life of our daughter. It has been our pleasure to meet strong and faithful young ladies such as Jennie, Bel, and Kellie. Jenny happens to be from North Alabama - close to where we live. She met her Australian husband in AL, moved to Sydney, and has been a wonderful friend to Lauren ever since. Bel is a native Australian and has been a blessing in Lauren's life since Lauren first visited several years ago. She actually flew to KY and attended L & D's wedding in December 2006. Kellie has a one year old daughter and has been a great source of encouragement, as well as advice for our soon-to-be-Mother. There are many other friends, both for L & D, but these three seem like special friends to me. Thank you girls!

Since Tami & I will be on the other side of the world, I will take comfort in knowing that this close circle of friends will be there during the good times and bad. I personally, appreciate your generosity, encouragement, and love for Lauren Windsor. I am grateful...

Would you be worried?

Our son, Jordan, has been home alone since July 10.... Do I sound worried? Would you be? Since we are still waiting on Savvy to arrive here in Australia, let me bring you in on what I know about the 21 year-old living alone in Madison, AL.

Of course before we departed via Delta, we gave Jordan several instructions regarding the dog, the flowers and plants, the security system, the sprinkler system, the mail, the vehicles, the potential visitors, the food, the money .... and a few others. He said not to worry - he would be fine.... Maybe it's not him I'm worried about..... (Did you see his name anywhere in the list of instructions?)

Now, the first night we were in Australia, Jordan sends me a text message saying the ceiling in the kitchen is leaking and there is water on the hardwood floors. Apparently there was a big storm in the area with strong blowing winds. He also took it upon himself to confirm that it was rain water, and not a puddle via the dog..... not sure how he did this, but nice work JB!

It wasn't long before he informs us that two of his buddies from Lexington, KY, were driving down to stay a few days with him. Hmmm, why didn't they ever visit while we were home??
Anyway, we actually have seen his face and his friends via Skype a couple of times. It "appears" everything is in good shape and the young man has full command of his surroundings. I think he has even cooked several of his own meals, cleaned the kitchen a few times, and done his own laundry. Wow, can't wait 'till we get home to see if this trend continues...

Maybe you expected a single, young American male, that's home alone for 2 weeks, to be doing "guy" stuff: cussing, spitting on the floor, smoking cigars, playing cards, running around half naked, foregoing sleep, watching Desperate Housewives....., OK, maybe that's too much. But honestly, I'm really not worried. Jordan is a very mature, stable, conscientious young adult. He has demonstrated many times how well he can perform in a crisis, and execute per given instructions. I'm not worried.... I'm sure everything is fine. I trust him completely!!

Besides.... I have about 5 people secretly checking in on JB.... you know, just in case something like a roof-leak occurs or a half naked 21 year-old is seen chasing a black flat-coated retriever around in our back yard.... you know, just in case. Love you Dude... See ya soon.... We'll text you when Savvy arrives!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Beautiful Day in Downtown Sydney!

It's Sunday night, July 19, and this ends our 8th day in Australia. Tomorrow Lauren will be 5 days past her due date. I plan to depart on July 25 and Tami on August 1. Savannah continues to be a shy one.... We had delayed a visit to downtown Sydney, thinking we would go after Savvy arrived. But this AM Lauren said "Let's go to the city!" If it happens, it happens. We would be almost 1 hour away from her hospital if it did "happen". But, it didn't - not so far.

We had a wonderful visit in Sydney though! We visited Darling Harbor, the Fish Market, the
Opera House, and the Harbor Bridge. Yes, we hit all of the tourist locations, including Australia's tourist icon, the Opera House. Tami took 336 pictures in all. 336! We have always called her the "mama-razzi". (paparazzi) She is a camera crazy person! She takes pics of anything! Random people, flowers, rocks - you name it and she is snapping it. She loves the digital world of photography....

Lauren has been such a trooper. She is napping now in our hotel room, while Tami and Daniel are attending the Sunday night version of Hillsong Church. I suppose she is a bit fatigued. Once we got there, we tried to limit her walking by renting a Water Taxi to take us directly to the Opera House via the water. It was a great idea, and turned out to be the highlight of the day.

Tami will post pictures of our outing on her Facebook soon. I hope you'll check them out.
Everything is ready for the big event. Today I realized that when they tell us her weight and length, it will be in metric. So, I have already found a web site that converts from metric to something more familiar. No worries, Mate - we are ready!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dear Savannah.....

Dear Savannah.... We are still awaiting your arrival.... to see your face...... to hold you in our arms and wonder at your new beginning. I suppose it is only days away now. Everyone is anxiously awaiting your birth - your Mom and Dad most of all.

It's been a really long time since I have been this close to the birth of a relative and remembered what these last days of pregnancy were like. Every moment of every day and night pass with us wondering if this will be the beginnings of birth pains. Your Mother has longed for your arrival with a blessed assurance and confidence from the beginning - for over 40 weeks now. Your parents know and understand that bringing you into this world requires commitment, courage, patience, perseverance, and love. Love can cover many things. You, my dear, will bring out the best part of love in your new family.

I personally, look forward to the day when you and I can bond in a way that only a granddaughter and her grandfather can. It may be when we are going on an outing to a park.... maybe having a tea party.... maybe reading a Bible story..... maybe taking a Sunday afternoon nap together.... I'm not sure when or where it will be, but I am longing for it to happen.

The people closest to me know that I reserve the word "awesome" for only one thing: God. I don't use the word to describe pizzas, golf shots, weather, outfits, haircuts, pictures, or pay raises. I use the word to describe God alone. But, maybe just this once, I will deviate for a moment and describe my new granddaughter and her long awaited arrival as.... awesome!

Savvy, we are so much looking forward to meeting you. But, take your time... it will be worth it! It will be simply... Awesome. I love you already.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Does "Late" Run in the Family?

Now there's a question!! Let's see, has Tami ever been late for anything? Ever? Let me answer it this way.... Do Australians use turn signals? Is hair over rated? Does Caitlin drink Starbuck's? YES! And from what I hear, it might run on Daniel's side of the family too.

We are still waiting on Savvy's arrival. She is 2 days late as of this writing. Not too bad in the big picture of life, but Lauren seems to think a bit differently. Tami, on the other hand, is rarely on time. You know how it works..... if we need to depart at 8:30, I tell her to please be ready by 8:15. That gives her an unknowing 15 minutes of "buffer" time. However, she's figured out my sneaky tactics. She expects me to build in buffer time now.... it's just a matter of how much.

Seems Miss Savannah has the same "I'll take my time" gene. Anyway, we are a patient lot, right Lauren? Lauren? ......

Today we visited a couple more baby stores... yes, a couple more! Funny how Tami is never late when it comes to baby store shopping. I think Lauren and Daniel have almost
everything they need at this point..... only missing one item......

We also ate lunch at yet another cafe-type establishment. It was very good, and very BIG! I ordered an egg salad sandwich.... I got an "egg & salad" sandwich. Check it out.
In this restaurant, it seems everything was big. (Look "behind" me)....

Tonight L & D will have dinner with some other friends that are here from Cincy, OH. Their friends are dropping off their
son to attend Hillsong College. Tami & I decided to skip the dinner and give them some time on their own. At least that's what we told them. Honestly, I just believe we really couldn't get there on time.....

Noticeable Differences

Since we are still waiting for Savvy to make her grand entrance, I thought I would write about several observations I've seen and heard in Australia that are different from the States..... here we go:

  1. Vehicles drive on the left-hand side of the road
  2. I have to carry around a Centigrade to Fahrenheit conversion table
  3. Diapers are called Nappies
  4. McDonald's is called Maccas by the locals
  5. Gas is called Petrol and is cheaper on Tuesdays
  6. The Australians always use their turn signals
  7. Stop signs are rare - "round abouts" are everywhere! Turn signals are critical here...
  8. Elevators are called Lifts
  9. Bathrooms are called Dunnies or Loo's
  10. Signs on the Dunnies state "Gents" or "Sheilas"
  11. Everyone wears a scarf during this season - men & women... not me.
  12. French fries are called Chips
  13. Ketchup is called Tomato Sauce
  14. You must have a unique power adapter for all US made electronics
  15. No one has a tan, but everyone loves the beach...
  16. Bacon is sliced thick - not thin strips
  17. Most shops close at 5:30 PM except on Thursdays, when they're open longer.
  18. It's hard to find auto-drip coffee. Espresso is everywhere.
  19. Coffee shops are everywhere also. It's mainly a cafe-type environment.
  20. You almost never see a pick-up truck. Lots of Toyota cars though!! Dude!!
  21. Grocery store shopping carts have 4 wheels that swivel. I was spinning mine 360 degrees in the store... you could tell I was from "out of town"....
  22. Cookies are called biscuits.
  23. A parking garage is called a Car Park.
  24. Carry Out food is called Take Away food.
  25. And, Gum is called Chewy.
Lauren continues to do well. She is upbeat, although she tires quickly. We spent the day in a quaint little town called Windsor. (ironic) We walked, shopped, ate, drank coffee, rested, took photos, and enjoyed the sunny afternoon. We can't venture too far away since she is expected to go into labor at any moment. It's funny.... when folks talk to Lauren and ask her when she is due and she tells them she was due yesterday, almost 100 % of the time you can watch them all take one step backward. I tell them, "No worries Mate, we're ready. I have a car, full of Petrol, right over there in the Car Park. We have an overnight bag full of Nappies, Biscuits, and Chewy already on board. We'll make it to the hospital in plenty of time as long as she doesn't have to stop at Maccas and use the Loo on the way". By the way, the Biscuits are for me...

Thanks for all of your comments to the blogging both here and on Tami's Facebook. Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What's On The Bottom of Your Shoe?

Well I've got kangaroo poo on the bottom of mine... Yep! However, we don't have any baby poo yet. Miss Savannah is still playing hard to get. Maybe it's a preview of the youngster's future character.
Today we visited a koala and kangaroo park near where Lauren and Daniel live. It was pretty cool actually. Honestly the kangaroos were actually running around the park loose. You could simply walk up to one and pet it or feed it Cheerios (that you could purchase for 1.70 AUS Dollars). You really did have to watch where you stepped.... Lauren did great though! We continue to try and walk around with her during the day time and rest in the evenings. By the way, the koala's were cute, but frankly looked like they were on drugs. They just sleep in trees. That's it! Sleep in trees.... no movement.... no personality..... no sounds .... nada! The kangas were much cooler, even despite the roo poo!

We also visited an Outback restaurant. The US-based Bloomin' Onions are much bigger than the Aussy versions.

Today is July 15 in Sydney and it's almost over. Lauren is a bit disappointed that her daughter is playing hard to get. But Lauren is not
complaining the least bit. She is trying to keep her spirits up even though it's obvious she is ready to hold her new child. I'm quite proud and impressed with her.

It's very clear that Lauren is anxious and ready. This is a scrap piece of paper that I found after she left our hotel room. She had been doodling while she was talking to us about the previous day's events. Looks like Savannah is #1 on her mind....

I hope she delivers soon - we are all looking forward to meeting the young lady. She is a blessing from God already.
Tami painted this piece before we departed from Alabama. I'm ready to move from the kanga poo and on to the baby poo.... Hope to see our granddaughter soon!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Driving Down Under...

For the first time in my life, I am driving on the left-hand side of the road. I've ridden in vehicles that were driven by someone else, namely in Japan, but I've never been the driver - until now. Aside from the obvious fact that you are now on the opposite side of the road, there are several other key differences. Several times now, I've walked to my rental car and gone to the wrong side, only to realize the steering wheel is on the right side of the car. After looping back to the correct side, I enter into the driver's seat. This alone has proved to be difficult. It's amazing how tough it is to enter from the right side and get beneath the steering wheel, when you've done everything from the opposite side for the last 34 years.

After finally getting in, you quickly see other differences.... everything is opposite!! The rear view mirror, gear shift, mirror adjustments, hand parking brake. Only the gas and brake pedals are the same. But the most frustrating change is the turn signal and wiper blades levers. They are opposite also. I can't tell you how many times I intended to activate my turn signal, only to wipe my windshield, once again. The Australians are passionate about using their turn signals, so I've cleaned my windshield quite often. Tami snickers each and every time....

Actually, I've done quite well. Tami's job is to say 2 words every time I make a turn: "Stay Left", "Stay Left". A helpful reminder is never wasted. Honestly, only once or twice did I almost make a wrong turn.... I'm claiming that I did it on purpose. Just trying to scare Savannah into the light.... we're still waiting..... Let's hope I don't have to drive to the hospital in a hurry..... If I do, stay out of the way of the guy in a white Toyota Camry with his wipers flapping in the wind...

Shopping in Australia...ugh...

Shopping! What did I do on Day 2 in Australia? Shopping!! Sure... Tami said we were simply walking around to encourage Savannah to finally make an appearance - but I'm not buying it. Lauren and Tami were having too much fun. At least Tami was.... She loves a sale...

We went to an outside mall called Rouse Hill. It had a myriad of stores and eateries. The walking was good for Lauren.

Before that, we went to the doctor with her this morning. She is still doing well. The Dr. said it could be any time now. Wow... water breaking at any moment.... think about it.... should I put plastic down in my rental car??
What do I do if this happens?? I really don't know. It never really happened to Tami. Do I drive straight to the hospital? Do I start filling out the damage inventory form on the rental car?
How much time do I have? It's just the beginning of labor, right? I have hours and hours, right? It's been over 2 decades since I drove Tami to the hospital while she was in labor. Grandparents aren't supposed to remember these things. This is Daniel's job. But, what if it happens on my shift....? Wish me luck!

We had dinner at an Italian restaurant named Biviano's tonight with L & D. I thought the spicy food might speed matters along. We'll see. I am predicting July 17 for the birth date. Lauren isn't thrilled with my prediction, but time will tell.

By the way, Tami & Lauren didn't buy anything when we went shopping today. I guess it really was simply an attempt to help Savannah along. Maybe the 1st time that Tami has shopped and come away empty handed....

Sunday, July 12, 2009

We're in Australia!

We arrived in Sydney, Australia about 24 hours ago. Since then we have collected all of our luggage, exchanged US dollars for Aussie dollars, driven on the left hand side of the road in a right hand side Camry, checked into a Crown Plaza hotel that charges $25 per day for internet access, attended a church service at Hillsong Church, had BLTs with new friends in the country-side, watched Lauren & Daniel open a suitcase full of baby clothes for the granddaughter (Savannah - not here yet), and fell asleep about 9:30 PM local time. All-in-all, a pretty full day right off the plane.

We are still waiting for Savannah to arrive. Lauren has another visit with the doctor today. We'll join her. Tami is excited to participate in the process, albeit a bit late. Lauren looks great. Maybe the prettiest pregnant lady I've seen. Her due date is either July 12 or July 15....some controversy over this. Any way, it is July
13 locally, so it could be any day. But, I am only here for 2 weeks. So, to quote the wisdom of "The Cable Guy", she needs to "get 'er done!"

We flew from LAX to SYD in a 777 plane that had new pods in business class that allow you to completely recline horizontally. It was a huge improvement over the traditional seats that I've used in the 35 trips to Japan. That enabled us to be in much better shape upon arrival at 7 AM. The weather here is much warmer than I expected. It feels like a football Friday night in the Fall. Quite pleasant during the day, while a bit chilly at night. Much nicer than the mid-90s that we've been experiencing in North AL.

I'll be posting pics of the new baby and our activities as we progress. Thanks for checking in.

Friday, July 3, 2009

"Five - Four - Three"

Today, these are 3 pretty cool numbers.... 54.3 miles on the bicycle this morning, starting at 5:30. I visited Madison, Athens, Decatur, & Moorseville in the almost 3.5 hours in the saddle. The last 9 miles, heading North, were the worst. I was pedaling straight into a strong wind. At times I dropped to single digit speeds. Of course, maybe it was simply because I was already fatigued, or maybe it was the bowl of butter pecan ice cream that I had at 9:00 last night. Nevertheless, I made it!! A new Personal Best.

It was really a beautiful ride this morning ... 67 degrees and sunny. It was beautiful to see the sun sneaking through the trees as it continued its climb. No cars, no other riders ... just me and the road in the early morning. I always enjoy the beauty of the back roads of Northern Alabama.

Speaking of beauty, we are only a few days away from boarding a jet to Sydney, Australia, to see our new grand daughter, Savannah Hope Windsor. She will be beautiful! Do I sound proud already....? We haven't seen our daughter and son-in-law in a little more than a year - except via Skype. Seeing Lauren and Daniel will also be a thrill.

It's my first trip down under - Tami's second. It will be smack in the middle of winter when we arrive. Boo!! But the warmth of a new family member will make it all worthwhile. I really can't wait to see the three of them.

Jordan will stay behind and "man the fort". Mom and Dad will be on the other side of the world....Freedom!! I can hear him chanting, and yelling now... I suspect that he'll be doing things that M & D might not ever allow.... cussing, spitting in the floor, lounging half naked on the couch watching who knows what from Netflix, etc. We'll check in using Skype to keep tabs on the place. Maybe I'll ask him to walk around with the laptop so I can see the actual state of affairs... Actually, Jordan is a very mature and capable young man.... except for the lounging part....

While in Australia, I'll probably be blogging often. I'll include plenty of pics of the new young lady. Trust me, she'll be beautiful - inside and out - just like her Mom...