Stayed last night with the VanderKaay family. Sandra saw my video on OneBillionStories.com and emailed to see if I needed a place to stay. Again, here is a family taking in a complete stranger.
Ted and Sandra are great parents. You can see it in how their kids behave. Both Katharine and Theo showed respect, listened, and best of all had good handshakes. Ted is a businessman who owns about 22 acres of land. When I asked him his "official " title, he said he grows flowers and left it at that. Ted has seasonal people that come to work for him. He goes above and beyond to provide them with good living quarters and pays them a good wage. His flowers are sold in the US, Canada and other places. One of his big buyers is Costco. Sandra is an OT by trade and now is a part-time adjunct professor at a college in Buffalo. But most of her time is spent with her kids. She is a jokester and is genuinely interested in people's lives as she asked me a lot of questions. Great family! I’m so glad I was able to meet them and for them to be kind and generous towards me. Sandra jokingly said in an email to her friends that I didn't take any jewelry, chattels, or other possessions. The timing was perfect as I was heading their way in a few days. And it also meant that I could sleep in a bed and see Niagara Falls from the Canadian side, which is the nicer side from which to see it.
After a fabulous home cooked meal they took me over to the town of Niagara on the Lake. It is a tourist town, but it seemed "genuine", whatever that means. Lots of shops and restaurants.
The falls of course were spectacular, much like looking at the Grand Canyon for the first time. There is a sense of awe and an appreciation for God's creation. I noticed lots of languages being spoken there.
The church they attend is St. Vincent de Paul, like ours in Denver. The parish has raised $90,000 to support a family from Syria. That is impressive.
I left this morning after Ted gave me a ride across the border. I rode 79 miles to downtown Rochester NY. Lots of nice small towns on the way. Rode along the Erie Canal. The Erie Canal runs from Albany on the Hudson River to Buffalo at Lake Erie. Originally it ran about 363 miles. The first use of the canal was in 1821 and was completed in 1825. It has 36 locks. A lock is a device that lowers and raises ships and boats between stretches of water.
Staying in a bed and breakfast tonight. My sister and brother in law Debra and Clark Million are providing this for me. They are flying here from Fort Worth, Texas tomorrow. Clark is going to ride with me for three days. I am so excited to see them. Clark is a strong rider so I'll have to be at my best. We will have a lot of fun.
Talk to you tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers and thoughts.