By Guest Blogger Lori Dickens
I have the opportunity to be the next guest blogger on the Ridgeline Tour. I am Jim’s wife and have been one of Jim’s traveling buddies for just over 30 years. It has been an adventurous and joyful ride. I have had the opportunity to see many new places and have exciting experiences I would never have had without Jim’s vision and energy. The purpose of this trip was to see family and friends which is my favorite kind of trip.
Our first leg of the journey was a quick flight from Chicago to Cleveland. At the airport we rented a Cadillac which we would later use to drive further across country. Where is the Ridgeline you ask? Still in Bozeman, Montana. I refer you to blog post from July 14th.
We picked up daughter Emily and started the journey with a rooftop drink and a delicious dinner followed by the musical Hamilton at Playhouse Square. We have been told many times what a wonderful musical it was and I felt the hype set us up for possible disappointment. We all agreed, it was as good as we were told. Jim – admittedly not a musical guy – loved it. Thanks to the Bacons who shared the music with us in advance. Cleveland continues to surprise us with little pockets of coolness. As long as Emily is there, we will be drawn to the Rock and Roll Capital of the World.n
The next morning we walked to the CWRU soccer field and Jim stood in goal as Emily hurtled balls into the net with an occasional save by Jim. Jim has stood in goal for many years for Emily. The differences over time have been field location, size and strength of Emily, and ball velocity. What Jim lacks in agility he makes up for in bravery.
We next rolled across beautiful and lush Pennsylvania countryside to Philadelphia in our rented Caddy to the MacGibbon’s lovely home. In my opinion, Fernfield (home of Jamie and Glen) gives Tara (home of Scarlett O’Hara) a run for its money. After a drink on one of the many MacGibbon porches, we met The Simmons, and Dan Willcoxon for dinner. How awesome to reunite with these friends who I haven’t had the opportunity to spend much time with since the late 80’s and early 90’s. As it goes with old friends, you pick up where you left off. Of course, many of the old stories resurfaced causing loud laughter – much to the chagrin of the other diners.
The next morning we landed at the home of Momma and Poppa Dickens who greeted us with a warm welcome and big smiles. We were happy to have Jim’s brother Tim join us. Soon, in a flurry of texts amongst Tim’s family, we landed at Tim and wife Nancy’s house with nearly the complete “Philly Dickens” contingent present. We missed our nephew-in-law to be Matt, but are confident we’ll catch him when we return. We are keenly aware that a BIG motivator to gather was the promised appearance of the tiny and beautiful Miss Emma Brauchli Dickens – our newest great grandniece. We will ride on her coattails any day. She is a precious little bundle who tolerated being held by many different adults with great composure. The visit reminded me of a similar one Jim and I took in 1991 across Pennsylvania to meet Emma’s daddy, Michael. What a blessing to see the family grow in such a wonderful way and to have the opportunity to spend time together.
Same traveling buddy, same friends, same family with some new players that make it all even better. It is a new season of life for me and my traveling companion. I am filled with gratitude for all our many blessings along the road. . . no matter what car we’re driving.