– My wonderful wife. You light up my day, you give me energy to be my best, you were one of the first people to be there for me when I was at my lowest…you have inspired me to be my best now and forever. I love you more than words, will be there for you when you inevitably shine, and will also be there when things are a little rougher. In sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer babe.
– Mom and dad. Your love and support for me (and Elaine) has never wavered. You have defended me, and you have also provided perspective and sanity when things were chaotic. But beyond the events of the past year, you have simply been amazing parents. You have helped me believe in myself, you have shown me the world. I'm a bit of a late bloomer, but I will make you proud. I love you guys.
– Sister. If you told me last July that all the events of the past 15 months would happen, but that I would also restablish a relationship with you, I would have taken it, no questions asked. I didn't realize how much I missed it until I got it back. You were the first person I told about Elaine and I, and your support of our non-traditional relationship has given us courage when times are tough. Thank you, and I love you.
– Elaine's health. Medications almost nill. Hallucinations and voices GONE. Three years ago you were on the verge of your first visit to a hospital. Today you are healthier than you have been…well, ever. It's not all gravy and I realize there may be bumps in the road, but your good health is a wonderful, unexpected gift.
– Neptune Mountaineering. Out with the old, in with the new. It's a new clan of people I work with, but more importantly, a great group of people. Thanks for providing me with some amazing opportunities, thanks for giving my wife and I insurance, thanks for giving me the stoke I need to dream it all up again. Nep-tude is bullshit…there isn't a group of more genuine people alive.
– The young people. Not shockingly, the young people I knew and invested in while coaching and teaching – Sam C, Sam A, Mariah, Chelsea, Bekah, Wes, Barbora, Dyani, Brit, Keegan, Keira…I know I'm leaving some folks out and I'm sorry – who have supported our relationship have been awesome. You say I inspire you…truth of the matter is I get motivation from your energy and ideals more than you can imagine.
– A few old friends. Dave, Shenna, Erik, K.B., maybe a few others. Thanks for at least hearing me out and realizing that only two people know exactly what goes on in a relationship, there are two sides to every story, and life isn't always simple. Thanks for keeping me honest. Also the random unexpected supporters from out of the woodwork – Sheila, Carol V, random parents – Nuff said.
– Stella. You're a dog and you can't read. But you have meant a ton. I lost my old pack, and while I still miss them a great deal, you have filled that void. More adventures coming up wonder-dog.
– Mountains, skiing. We were skinning up a ridge line the other day, Continental Divide raging overhead, sky turning orange, about to drop in for some turns, when Elaine turned to me and said, "Hey, thanks for helping me find my soul again." Nah babe, that would be the mountains. They've done it for me over and over again, and they will for you too. We are mountain people.
– The past. You have taught me to think, to be loyal, to be more honest, to consider before you leap. You have shaped me and set me up well for the future.
– The present and future. The now is wonderful. Making every "now" moment exceptional will ensure a bright and loving future with shine.
Happy thanksgiving ya'll. In our neck of the woods it was a two-hour cross country ski on the Sourdough Trail in the woods with my girl (out of the cold), a wonderful Turkey dinner courtesy of the Red Lion Inn and the Harry Potter movie. Hope it was great for everybody – and I truly do mean everybody – as well. Good grace and happiness to all from the land of the windy caboose.