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During the summer we (Richard and Linda) accept very few speaking engagements so we can spend more time with our children and grandchildren. Now that the leaves are falling we’re back on the road, meeting families all over the country who are raising strong families but want to do a little better.

In Toledo, Ohio we met with some creative, dedicated families in the Young President’s Organization who entitled their evening with us “The Parent Trapeze”. We thought how appropriate that was considering that parenthood is often like being on a trapeze usually with a partner. The courage it takes to “fly”, “hand off” and experience the exhilaration and the failures on a precarious trapeze far above solid ground is so similar to the experiences of parenthood. It was fun to explore!

There we also enjoyed one of the finest small art museums in the U.S. which includes a glass museum unique in all the world we traveled on to Boston and New York where we visited with children and grandchildren and then on to a delightful group of parents on the seacoast of Connecticut. There we enjoyed a fabulous sunset by the beach as we talked about the importance of Lifebalance. We all re-committed to prioritize our families in this fast-paced world and remember that the most important things that we would ever do would be within the wall of our own homes.

After a two hour ride back to Kennedy Airport for a 6 a.m. flight the next morning we returned to Salt Lake City to participate in a Rally for Mitt Romney, who has been a friend for twenty years. Our son Eli had been working on the effort 24/6 for the past two months and we were happy to be part of a good family’s quest for the presidency that requires more than anyone should have to give, to try to make a difference. How we appreciate people who are brave enough to venture into the cut-throat arena of the political world!

That night we co-hosted an fund raiser for Ascend Alliance, an organization that we’ve been associated with for many years that encourages expeditions to third world countries where our “spoiled” children can see and work with kids who live in thatched huts and drink dirty water. As mentioned earlier in this blog, members of Valuesparenting contribute seven and a half percent of their membership and dues to a foundation that gets funds to these happy but desperately needy families.

Our most recent trip last week was to Jackson Hole Wyoming where an incredible group of women have formed a committee called Our Common Cause. It is composed of women from all religions who organize and sponsor two events every year. A nativity scene from each religious group is displayed in town center at Christmas time and in the fall they do a seminar for parents. We were the lucky ones who got to be part of that wonderful event for hundreds of committed parents held at the high school. It was fascinating to talk to not only the local ranchers and school teachers but lawyers, doctors and businessmen who had “immigrated” from all around the country as well as a delightfully happy couple from Iran with three small children who told us about their arranged marriage.

Our travels never cease to inspire us as we see so many families doing their part to strengthen the most important unit of our society…the family! Not an easy task, but so crucial. Precarious and difficult indeed, but also a lot of fun, which reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved piece, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up,
totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming WOW, WHAT A RIDE! Anonymous

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