As of 11/24, Dan is working for his neighbor doing roofing. I will help as much as I can before school starts.
I have reapplied and been accepted to Slippery Rock University. I went there this past weekend, registered for classes, talked with financial aid to try to figure out options and loans, submitted NCAA paperwork for the track team. I will red shirt in the spring and train with the team. In the fall I hope to be ready to be a “multi”, for the heptathlon for indoor and decathlon for outdoor. Right now the plan is to major in physical activity and coaching.
In December there should be a news press release in Baltimore County about the trip.
Have a great Thanksgiving.
I really want to thank everyone who did so much to make party AWESOME. Dan and I really appreciate it. I think there were about 110 people in all.
A special thanks to:
Aunt Steph for making desserts (5 kinds)
Aunt Katie for the sugar cookies
Aunt Holly for the pumpkin brownies
Ms. Helen for the cake
Mimi for chips, dips & veggies
Ms. Amy’s friends for all the other appetizers and blue and green cupcakes
Ms. Amy for the white cupcakes, candy buffet, drinks and slideshow
Cameron for DJ’ing
Mr Jack for the balloon animals and magic
Ms Eileen for the projector (saved the day!)
Patrick, John and David for all the help with food, set up and clean up
Dad for the pasta dishes, salad and bread, linens (Hasslinger’s Golden Clipper Catering!)
Mom for finding the room, decorations and candy buffet glass, disposables
To ALL those who came, who sponsored us, who gave to the WSA and who prayed for us!
Getting re-adjusted to real-life… I am sure I can speak for Dan as well – It is good to sleep in a bed and be warm! Some things we will never take for granted –
FOOD, warmth, showers, conversation & the ability to talk with strangers. Ya never know that stranger could be your lifeline, or you could be theirs!
The last day… We rode from Ligonier PA to Parkton, MD. 170 miles and 22 hours later we were home!
Dan wanted to surprise his parents and they were SHOCKED when he walked in the door Wednesday morning at 5:45!
When I got home Wednesday morning at 6am, I introduced the pups to Dad’s dog Buzzman, a HUGE 8 month old German Shepherd! It only took 5 minutes for Buzzman and CB to start running in circles around the inside of the house. They LITERALLY have not stopped running circles in 6 days. CB is not very housebroken, he needs some work! Hitch is OK. She was really scared of Buzzman at first but now she is kind of running the house. Hitch and Buzzman have almost exact facial markings, funny to look at them side by side.
Anyway, after we introduced them, I talked with Dad, took a LONG shower and went to bed. About 4pm I looked and could not find my wallet. Looked EVERYWHERE. Unloaded the stoller, looked through the laundry, could not find it! All the contacts I made, Hitch’s ID, my ID, debit card etc. Called Dan, he looked through everything, Nope, he didn’t have it either.
Dad took me to the MVA on Thursday to get a new licence so I could drive.
Dad got a call Sunday morning. Half of the conversation was – “This is him… he is my son… how did you get my number… someone will call you back”
(Mom was about to have a cow only hearing this! Jake and I are home but Rob is still at school in Sarasota…)
The other half of the conversation was something like this – “Hi this is Kim. I am calling from (someplace near Chambersburg PA)… Are you related to a Kevin Payne … I found his wallet on Rt 30, everything seems to be in here, his ID cards, bank card, cash … I had looked on the internet and Facebook for a Payne in Parkton MD and saw that you lost your dog in May and the flier had your phone number…”
So the journey ends with another miracle!!!!! Thank you soooo very much Ms Kim!
We received this email…(and another family reached, this one so close to home)…” I live in the (the) area and look out for a neighbor that has Williams Syndrome. He is 24 now and I have know and cared for him for about 6 years. He’s always stopping by and I thought it would be neat for him to meet others with WS. He knows he has it, but he’s not really sure what it is” I think they are coming!!!
While we were at SRU I realized how much I missed it so went to admissions and re-applied (mom and dad were shocked!) I talked to Coach Bill and he said I have a spot on the team. (I was really bummed when I could not train in the fall of 2013 because of a broken collar bone). The plan is to redshirt in the spring semester 2015 and train hard over the spring and summer. Hopefully I will be in shape enough to compete next year as a decathlete. I register for classes today.
Aunt Barb and Sr Ada came to see me at SRU on November 1. Here are some pictures of the visit.
As promised, here are some numbers of where we slept-
Thank you MD Line Service Station!!! Kinda cool!
I will post some pics and stats later. Mom is a numbers person so she will slice a dice a million ways from Monday (whatever THAT means! her and her sayings, we 3 have no idea what 99% of them mean).
For now, after riding 22 hours straight (only short breaks), 170+ miles total and about half of them through the Appalacia Mountains, all we want to do is sleep. Dan got home first and surprised his parents. I wish I would have seen their faces! Mom and Dad were waiting up for me. Arrived at about 6:05-10, something like that.
Sometime tomorrow the paper will come to interview us. No news cameras on arrival. Something about elections and upsets has all the cameras and reporters doing other things.
Dan and I would like to sincerely thank Mr Rod and Ms Sara Putman. They are Evan’s grandparents. They arranged a hotel room for us for Monday night. Evan is soooo cute!!!!
We were only maybe 15-20 miles from where they live and we are soooo sorry we did not see them. Totally our fault. We were just so focused on the long ride ahead. No excuse for not seeing them though. We really appreciate what they did for us!!!! We really do not live far from them (by car) so I hope to meet them in person on trips between home and SRU. Hope all goes well with you this week Ms Sara.
Dan and I decided to make the last day one to remember. We did not share the plans earlier because we didn’t want to jinx it. We will travel the furthest and the most time on the road in one attempt now to get home. I am thinking it will take about 24 hours to go the last 170+ miles. Why so long? First because it is chilly and second and the main reason is we are in the Appalachian Mountains. Have you ever driven along 30 around Somerset or Bedford? Pretty steep hills. Not as high, not nearly as the Rockies, but it is steeper I think. We stopped a couple of times to rest our legs, lift them. It helped temporarily but between the hills and the cold they are cramping on both of us pretty regularly.
We are looking forward to coming home and sitting in a hot tub! Sorry mom(s), we will have laundry to do. We will load it if you can help put it in the dryer, we will probably be asleep by then.
Thank you everyone for all you have done for us. Some have hosted events as we passed through, some have hosted us for a day to a week +, some have provided lodging like last night or meals, some helped with shoes and the new bike in OK, some with meal funds, some with reaching out to media as we passed through, some not even affected by WS have opened their homes or have helped with repairs, therapist, mailing things home etc. I don’y want to leave anyone out, there have been so many many great people who have made this journey possible. And THANK YOU for your prayers, encouragement and emotional support! THANK YOU!
Enough of of that, we need to get back to what we are doing and finish strong.
Brandon is the bomb dot com! I really loved meeting him, his brothers and parents in July. Brandon is a younger version of Jake. It was really great to spend time with him when I was missing my bro! Brandon, hope you had a great Halloween! Did you go as a pirate?
“Brandon had eye surgery in August to correct his lazy eye. Started high school and loves it. His favorite class is dance with all the cheerleaders. He went to his first high school dance with his big brother Bradley and has gone to every home football game.”
It was really really cold today and really really windy. It is a very scenic ride, trees still have some leaves and are orange and yellow and red. Some of the leaves that have already fallen let us see the hills and valleys better. Really the best of the fall, except the wind.
Thanks to Aunt Barb we were able to get a hotel room Sunday night near Ligonier. It was sooo cold so we are soo appreciative we did not need to sleep in the tent!
I will catch up on pics soon.
We can FINALLY see home!!!!! So where do we live? Do you see Harrisburg? And the orange line for 83 that heads south? And the dotted line where 83 crosses into MD? We each live about 4-5 miles from that “intersection” just a little further into MD.