Life Some families like to spend the holidays indoors, cozied up by the fire with a blanket and a mug of hot chocolate — but I’ve got to tell you, that’s just not the Saxby way. No matter the season, Cheri and I like to keep moving, challenging ourselves, and experiencing new things. Early this month, we took our 10-year- old grandson, Jacob, on a trip to Nevada to visit Las Vegas and hike through Zion National Park. We flew into Vegas just after Thanksgiving to do some Black Friday shopping, then drove to St. George, Utah, and stayed there for three days. Cheri and I like to travel and hike all winter long, flying around the country to hit the best trails where the weather is good. It’s always nice to get outside, breathe the fresh air, and clear my head, particularly when the weather is dismal back home. That commitment to spending time outdoors is a big part of the “Live Life” philosophy Cheri and I embraced when we shut down our pizzeria to focus on Lynnpro full time. For the last few years, we’ve done our best to live in the moment and seek out new challenges. Recently, I’ve taken living in the moment to the next level by restricting my time on social media and shutting my cell phone off at 5 p.m. I’ve found that has freed up a lot of my mental energy, and I’m so much happier and more relaxed than I was before. Although Cheri is going to be laid up for part of this month following a minor medical procedure, we plan to use that extra energy to go on as many adventures this December as we can, ideally with our grandkids along.
OURHOLIDAYHIKE AND A LAS VEGAS LESSON
off without a hitch. Once, hiking with Jacob in Utah, he wandered down a gully, and we had to call 911 to find him (he was fine, thankfully), and another time, I climbed over a boulder and ended up stuck on the wrong side, a mistake that cost me four hours and nearly led to hospital bills when I took a reckless leap. Scariest of all, on one hiking trip, we came face-to-face with caution tape and a body bag. At that point, I think most people would probably have given up and said, “I don’t think hiking is for us.” But not my family. As soon as we got home, Cheri and I booked two more trips to help us get over the fear. I’m happy to take my grandkids with me on trips because I think they can provide valuable lessons. In the backcountry, Jacob learned caution and self- reliance, and, in Las Vegas, he learned to never give up on his dreams.
While we were there, I explained to Jacob that the homeless people crowding the streets — who concerned him because we don’t really see large populations of the homeless in Iowa — were no different than the rest of us except they were down on their luck. I told him that what they’re going through could happen to any of us, which is why it’s so important to hold on tight to your dreams and do whatever you can to make them happen. Seeing that understanding light up in his eyes was worth as much to me as the whole trip. ourselves into the holidays. Personally, I consider Christmas a time to reflect and recharge. If you want to take a leaf out of my book, don’t worry about how other people see you. Instead, ask yourself how your year went, how you wanted it to go, and how you can do better in 2020. Then, tackle your next challenge head-on. When we got home from Vegas, it was time to plan the office Christmas party and throw
As idyllic as they can be, it must be said that not every trip we make to the backcountry goes
Now, I’m not a big fan of the Las Vegas strip, but it can provide a great learning opportunity.
“In the backcountry, Jacob learned caution and self- reliance, and, in Las Vegas, he learned to never give up on his dreams.”
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