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I'm Baaaack!

I thought I was being so careful, but someone found out that I had hacked Shelli’s blog. And they asked me to hack it again and give a quick update, so here I am. . .

Before I update you about Shelli, though, I thought I’d share an update on me. I noticed that Shelli’s last post was about the Gardner Girls Gathering, so I wanted to tell you about my weekend activities as well. Since the girls took Shelli away for a few days, it was the perfect opportunity for me to complete a service project I’ve been wanting to do for weeks—fix up a road that leads into the camp where we stayed on the Grand Canyon ride (it wasn’t the fire road where Shelli had her accident).

We noticed how terrible the road was when we arrived at the camp—four big mud holes that made the drive into camp pretty ugly. The land is forest service land, and we knew the forest service didn’t have the resources to fix the problem. So I told the ride manager that I’d come up one long weekend and take care of the problem.

Well, we all know I’ve been pretty busy taking care of other very important things, so the Grand Canyon project had to wait.

Until this weekend.

I headed down south on Wednesday, and worked Thursday, Friday, and Saturday—it was glorious and wonderful—for several different reasons. It always feels great to do hard physical labor, it’s wonderful to be involved in a service project, and it was definitely quiet. On Thursday, eight or nine cars came down the road. On Friday, four cars drove by, and one came by twice, so that doesn’t count. Then on Saturday, only one truck drove through! When I turned off the tractor, it was completely silent except for the breeze coming through the trees! Nothing more sublime than that. . .

A friend from Kanab hauled in seven loads of road base and gravel and then left me in solitude. Between loads, I took the harrow I had brought and drug up the meadow where 90-95 campers and trailers camp for the ride. Filled in the ruts and holes so it looks nice.

The winter weather will compact the dirt down and in the spring that meadow will look pretty.

I took a few pictures, including one right before I headed home Saturday evening. Shelli always tells me that to be interesting, a picture has to have people in it. I tried to ask a few deer that came dashing through camp if they’d take a picture of me, but they wouldn’t stop—pretty nervous with the deer hunt, I guess.

Eventually I settled for this photo of my working buddies off in the distance: Bertha (the Chevy Duramax), Bubba (the trailer), and Juan Puablo (the John Deer tractor)—ya gotta name your vehicles, don’t you? They were great workers and great weekend companions. . .

So, enough jabbering about me. . .

Let’s get to Shelli.

She’s doing exceptionally well.

We went to the doctor yesterday and hetook some new X-rays, and based on the results, he gave her permission to put full weight on her right side. That means she can start learning to walk again. Today, her PT put a belt around her waist and she walked for the first time in weeks.

She texted me afterwards (I wasn’t at home at the time) and told me that there would be a new woman at home waiting for me when I got home. . . hmmm. . . she was feeling pretty thrilled about finally being able to walk.

Other than that, things are pretty routine around the Gardner house. It takes us about an hour and half to get ready in the morning—even though she’s walking, there’s still a lot of things she can’t do on her own. I have to be honest, the last eight weeks have been kind of nice in a way because it’s slowed Shelli down to the point where I can actually keep up with her! She’s chomping at the bit now and is starting to get a little spunky on me, wanting to get up and go, and I can see that I’d better start getting back in shape again!

We are both grateful that so many prayers and well wishes have been offered in her behalf—we are convinced that they’ve had a huge impact on her speedy recovery. Her spirits have been consistently  high, and she’s so positive—to the point that it’s been rather frustrating to those of us (meaning me) who aren’t quite as positive.  And honestly, we (meaning me) wouldn’t have it any other way!


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Reader Comments (29)

We love it when you hack Shelli's blog Sterling!! As much as we love Shelli's updates, we love hearing from you too!! Maybe you could take up hacking as a part time job, just to keep us all entertained!!! Looks like you had a fabulous weekend with the troops :) I'm sure they appreciated your hard work. Great job walking Shelli!! Baby steps, baby steps!
Love to you all,
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMel Sharp
Hi Sterling & Shelli love the photo of you both. Sterling looks like you and your friends had a wonderful weekend. I know your hard work will be appreciated by all-keep hacking love the photos. Shelli so nice to see you up and looking good you keep up your hard work Take care Talk soon love to all your family Teresa xxx
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTeresa Brown
So grateful the prayers are being felt!! Sterling, you are a great example of selfless service! Thanks for hacking in and sharing this! Have you considered starting your own blog???? (Go for it! You'd be great!)
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Davidse
LOVE this update - what an amazing service project to do and what an impact that will have on all who visit there... SO happy to see that Shelli is coming along in leaps and bounds and is given the all clear to start walking - this is a HUGE step...keep on keeping on :-) Sending hugs for your continued super fast recovery :-)
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Wills
Sterling, your road repair story brought back such memories. We had 80 acres in Wisconsin and beavers would dam up a creek along the road into our property. The county, and those who owned land along the creek were constantly repairing places where they had forced the creek over the road, washing it out!
I'm so glad that Shelli can get back on her feet, literally. Prayers coming your way, that every step brings joy, health and healing.
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJackie
What a great service project to work on that road. Very good of you. And yay that Shelli can walk! Hooray!!!
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLori
Sterling, you are a dear! I love it when you hack Shelli's blog. So glad you got time with your "working buddies" while Shelli had a girls weekend. I know everyone who uses that road will appreciate the work you put into it and the camp site. So happy to hear Shelli is able to put weight on both sides now and to begin walking again. I wish I could just hug you both right now - cyber hugs to you both. Joy and peace.
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJill K. Harris
Sterling love the picture at the top of the page so happy you are included in her new blog topper picture. Love to hear from you anytime you write so well and make us feel like we are really there. Love the pic of the deer too. They are so sweet we have some in our yard occasionally. Glad to hear Shelli is on the mend and doing so well.
Much Love,
Debi Pippin
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDebi Pippin
Love the updates and the hacking :)

Eight or nine "cards" passed by on Thursday, huh? LOL You are definitely one of us!

Continued prayers for all of you.
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMary Lee
You two people are the best. Very caring, giving , putting others ahead of yourself. Taking care of that road out of the kindness of your heart. What an awesome person. Someday I hope to be more like you two and hope that others follow. What a great world we would have.
Thanks for the inspiration.
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterl
Thanks for the update Sterling. Had to smile. Glad Shelli is doing better and with each day she will improve more. You are so great. Prayers are with you yet. God Bless you both and rest of the family.
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTracy
It is always good to hear from you Sterling, almost as good as hearing from Shelli :). Sounds like everyone had a wonderful weekend filled with things and people they love.

I have to share what happened at my church Wednesday night. When the pastor asked if anyone had anything good that happened that they'd like to share or a prayer request one of our young teenage boys raised hand. He then turned to me and asked how Liam was doing. He said that when I put him on the prayer list at church he added him to his own prayer list and prays for him daily. That warmed my heart that even though I don't know Liam this young teenager felt it in his heart to prayer for him daily.

As I've said before I'm not one of your demonstrators but your blog is such a blessing to me. Thank you.
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVicki Lane
I love when you are a hacker!! Please don't stop hacking. It is nice to hear from you as well! Thank you for the updates and for the gorgeous pics. Glad to hear you are able to do things you want/or need to do as well. You remind me of you uncle, he named his vehicles like you do! Soo glad to hear the both of you are doing well.
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCindy
Thanks for hacking into Shelli's blog, Sterling! I loved hearing about your weekend and of course about Shelli's progress with walking! You both are such an inspiration! Prayers for you both as well as for Liam and his family will definitely continue. Looking forward to the next update, too!
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Hunt
Love the stories. Beautiful pictures. So glad you and Shelli are doing well. It's such a blessing and I do agree that prayers do work their miracles in their own time. May Shelli continue to heal a little each day. She's already come such a long way in a short time. God Bless you all.
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
Thanks for sharing your story, Sterling. Your name is so fitting. Loved the picture of Shelli taking steps - she's so brave and inspiring.
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWendie Waldman
I love it when you're the hacker, Sterling! Well done on the road fixing! Still sending hugs and prayers for a complete recovery for Shelli soon! xx
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCathy
Thank you for sharing/hacking ! SO wonderful to see Shelli back on her feet. X
October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth Shannon
Stirling (aka hacker) - how extraordinary to give when it would seem so much was temporarily taken. As Shelli mends, so many others do as well.
October 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichele
GREAT post for many reasons! 1! - Shelli is walking!!! Hooray! 2- I love to hear from Sterling. This is an especially great post. I am touched that Sterling would take the time, effort and money to do this service. With all of your resources it is heartwarming to see him actually doing the physical labor. It seems he is a contractor by trade and someone who enjoys solitude. So I'm sure this was enjoyable but I am still impressed that he took the time to do this project on his own. Also, I was thinking that this accident has probably prevented him from doing his usual fall rides so it's nice he got a needed break.. Your entire family work so well together and I appreciate your example. Continued prayers for all of you. - Especially Liam and Shelli.
October 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentershh
Thanks Sterling for sharing such an inspirational story about you and everything that you must do to keep life rolling along and working so hard at keeping everyone happy. The task that comes when taking care of loved ones is not an easy one and I am so happy for you that you were able to get out and do something for you that made a difference for a whole lot of people. I can see why you and Shelly are together, isn't that her logo "Let's Make A Difference" Anyway I truly enjoyed reading all about road repair work and most especially to see Shelly adapting to the situation. I wish her the very best and many blessings for continued improvement with her PT.
October 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHelen Stosky
It's good to see, I am sending you to France a lot of courage. I hope you will return soon and that everything that will be a bad memory and you can quickly resume your new passion for horses. Kisses, affectionately Laurence
October 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlaurence
i'a so happy to see you walking !!! wow amazing you(re so strong !! come back as soon as possible and thanks to Sterling who gave us news of you

i send you a lot of courage too from France
October 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterValérie Pinault
Thanks so much Sterling for the wonderful post. I absolutely love the new hairdo Shelli is supporting in these pics. She looks fantastic and she's walking! Wow. She's a fantastic person with a wonderful attitude. Healing takes time as we all know and she's doing what she should. Look at how far she's come. Love to hear about the family too. Looking forward to the next post.
October 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Grabow
Welcome back ... we missed you! I REALLY hope this means you will be hacking..er visiting more.
Thank you for taking care of that road. I'm not likely to ever use it, but I know how much work it is to maintain the road to our Scout camp and it looks like your road!
Give Shelli a big hug and kiss for us...and our congratulations on being able to try walking again...pretty soon she'll be running you off your feet, lol. Continued prayers to all of you and your family... especially Liam... Sterling. God bless.
October 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Deline

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