Candy once related to me how she met Grace and John. She worked at the County Star News in Shamrock, Texas at the time and was sent out to "interview a guy in an old car". She said she told her editor she really had to meet the deadline and didn't have time to "talk to another random traveler stuck in their little town."
The traveler stuck in the little town was Grace and John and Candy, through their interview, was deeply impacted by the lives Grace had touched. So much so ...that for years to come, she opened her heart and home to all of us traveling through. There was always a light on for DAC no matter what time of day or night, and always a cozy couch or bed to rest a weary head.
When Candy invited Ginger to Shamrock for their St. Patrick's Day festivities in 2013 we couldn't say no. Ginger had a bit of trouble getting there and Jim and Judy Wheeler joined us along the way. We always talked into the early morning hours even though she had to be at work the next day. She was overjoyed to see the turnout at the town's car show at the U Drop In that was featured in Disney's "Cars". She was happy that Ginger won a trophy, but it was the people that thrilled her. There were so many people surrounding Ginger and telling their stories that the announcers could hardly get the trophies out. Candy enthusiastically joined in "helping" and was beyond the moon when I let her drive Ginger later that night.
Two years later Ginger blew her new motor and we were able to make it to Candy's house where we waited for help from the Wheeler family again. Spending days with Candy were precious and we will cherish them forever.
We are sad to say we only have a couple of photos of Candy, she was always the one behind the lens. While we may not have physical pictures, Candy's love and compassion will be forever ingrained in the memories of all of those she met. Every one I've talked to in recent days all relate her impact on them even though they may not have met in person.
As a writer, Candy put her passion into words and made everyone feel as though they were the most important person in the world, when, in reality, she was.
For a short time, Candy served as the president of the DAC Charity until she became physically unable to focus on the position.
While cancer has claimed another precious life from us, we take heart in knowing we have an angel embracing us and while we are beyond sad, we take comfort in knowing a little part of her will always be with us just like she always held us in her heart.
From all of us in the DAC family, we miss you dearly Candy, and we look forward to those little whispers on the wind as we travel along.
We have no words right now, we're too shocked to think. Candy has been a huge part of our journey since John's first trip in Grace in 2011. We just stopped in Shamrock and found out that Candy left us last week.
We'll tell you more about this amazing woman when our shock and tears stop flowing a little. To say she'll be missed is an understatement. -SH
Y'all may be wondering why we've been a little bit in the shadows over the last couple of months. No, it's not because we don't want to be out spreading happiness, and it's not because of the "winter". We all know ice and snow or just a little bit of cold won't stop us. We've had to take a little bit of a driving break because of circumstances out of our control.
What have we been up to? Well, you can guess two things: 1) it involves people; 2) it involves cars.
"Mom and Dad"..., both cancer survivors, have been Syn's "other" parents since she was 17. Now Dad has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's related Dementia and we've been out helping Mom get him settled and making sure she takes care of herself too. We all know how caregivers tend to neglect themselves because they are too focused on their loved one's care. In usual fashion, we're doing what we can to ease Mom's stress and help advocate Dad's care too. These are trying times.
In the interim, Mom's having to consolidate their assets and "Jac" is one of those assets. Jac has been in the family since Dad purchased him new in 1987. When Brad (Syn's son) came along it was "his car" growing up. He always looked forward to spending time in Jac with his grand parents and Jac sparked Brad's love of automobiles.
We've purchased Jac to keep him in the family and are embarking on this "other side of life" journey to both get Mom and Dad settled and bring Jac home.
Alzheimer's disease is a new experience for us and one that is very hard to handle.
We've set up a page for our new and continuing adventures in Jac and hope to be able to drive him home taking Old Route 66 as far as it will take us before we head on to Arkansas. This journey is one of reflecting on the past while learning how to traverse the future. If you'd like to follow us on this bittersweet trek, a link to Jac's page is below.
No, we're not planning to ink Jac, but we will be talking to people about Alzheimer's and maybe get some words of wisdom from those who have been impacted by this other non-discriminating disease.
Bless you all and IROC-on. --Syn
On a day of giving thanks we find it pertinent to show appreciation to the first men (and dog) to drive a motorcar across the United States, from west coast to east coast...in 1903.
To read about the very eventful journey, check out the following link for Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson and his companions.
What an incredible journey they must have had!-SH...
So I mentioned to someone I had a funny story about this beautiful dog named Titan that I would share.
(Insert squiggly lines back in time)
John and Grace were stuck in Iowa and Ginger and I were taking my SIL to Wisconsin to see her mother hours before having a tumor removed from her brain....
We broke down just East of Waterloo, Iowa and were having to rebuild Ginger's heart from a donor motor with what we had to work with. You can't find parts for these girls at just any old parts store so we used what was usable and borrowed what we didn't have.
We tore down the motor completely and had it back in and running in 36 hours flat (almost around the clock).
Chris Griffith and Lori Puhr-Griffith invited us to stay the night at their house before heading back to Wisconsin and they both had to work the next day. Chris gave me instructions on what commands Titan uses and that he would be okay with me being there alone as long as I didn't go outside and try to come back in.
I forgot about not going outside and went out to grab some things out of Ginger. When I went back inside I was met at the door by Titan who at that point thought I was there to burgle the house, or maybe he was wondering if I would taste like squirrel.
Either way, he kept me at the door for almost an hour. I finally remembered two of his commands that Chris had told me and was able to reach the table just inside the den. Titan was okay with me being seated in a chair at the table but he was not about to let me stand up. Yes, I tried.
Fast forward three hours and I was still seated at the table, with my phone across the room on the couch, and squirming to relieve my full bladder from all the coffee I had drank. The phone was between me and the bathroom but Titan was between me and my phone.
So there I sat, anxiously awaiting any kind of relief. I had hoped maybe he would go to sleep but that did not happen. He kept a passive, watchful eye on me the entire time. He did his job. For FIVE hours!
One cannot imagine my relief when Lori finally came through the door. Titan was then occupied and I made a mad dash for the loo.
There are two certaintied: 1) if their house is ever burgled it will have been by someone who Titan knows very, VERY well; and 2) after these five years and a few more times staying there, Titan does remember me but always keeps a watchful eye on me.
We love this dog to pieces! (almost as much as we love Chris and Lori )
While preparing to leave Des Moines we were asked to stop by and visit Chad and Angie's family. We went for rides and then Ginger and I headed back home.
We always loving being on the road and having the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful people but it is also nice to be in the comfort of one's own home too. We got back very late and exhausted but Count Draco Arfula wasn't ready for sleep, he was ready for play. Who can resist that face?
Chad and Angie, thank you for taking a few moments of your time to share with us, it was a true pleasure meeting your family.
Keep fighting ladies! This process is a family affair and no one fights alone. Your strength and courage is inspiring and we will continue to share your love as we travel on our path.
It's has been our honor to spend our day with you. Thanks so much for the coffee! Also a huge thanks to Lori Griffith for joining us today. You rock woman! Oh, did we mention coffee?
We had the most incredible time with some wonderful women today.
We met Luz, her daughters Luzi Diaz and Carla, and Granddaughter Zoeliz. All are from Puerto Rico but have convened in Des Moines for a few days. Luz is on her second fight with cancer and she's fighting strong. Luzi lives in Switzerland and Carla in Des Moines, Iowa.
We were amazed at the wonderful rearing these women endured, all are bilingual and speak both English and Spanish fluently and are eager to lear...n more languages.
We also learned the conditions in Puertio Rico are as bad as we imagined. The infrastructure has failed. There is no electricity or "clean" water. The hospitals have generators but they go out constantly.
Luz is trying to transfer her care to Iowa so she can spend much needed time with her granddaughter and spend some much needed time resting in a clean environment. We're praying she is able to make the transfer.
In the mean time, we will continue to spread her love and message of hope to others we meet.
Bernice Bohusch, they love Glen's angels and will be carrying them along in their journies around the world.
Bless you all and we will pray for safe travels as you continue on your journey. Thank you for allowing a glimpse into your world and for the incredible Puerto Rican coffee! You sure know the way to our hearts!
We started the day with "Papa" Griffith trying to chase a new noise we developed Thursday morning that only clanks until the motor gets warm. Diagnosis from Dr. Papa Griffith is the throw-out bearing.
We ended the day trying to plug up some drafty holes in the firewall and tunnel thanks to Chris and Keegan Griffith.
We are honored to have three generations of Griffiths helping Ginger in one day!...
Now we're beat and getting some rest before we head back to Arkansas tomorrow.
Ginger sends her best for sweet dreams from chilly Iowa.
We started the day a little rough yesterday and stopped by McLeod's British Cars in Maumelle, AR before heading on up to Des Moines, IA to meet a sweet family. While waiting we took the chance to drool over some beautiful machines.
Ginger must have Picked up a few Lucas gremlins along the way. Her tach and temp lights stopped working and the heat blew cold (at least the blower works). Needless to say, it was a bit chilly, but we made it to Des Moines last night and although ...we are popsicles, we enjoyed the drive. We'll be trying to sort out some issues today.
Like most pieces of vintage British iron, the heat works in the summer and the air conditioning works in the winter. We don't want to imagine what John and Grace felt like in the hot desert and the snowy north. While he has related his experiences many times, there's no way a person can truly say they know what he went through unless he or she has experienced it themselves in Grace. We are glad we at least have a lid.
We've also endured our share of frustrating times (like the wiper motor quitting when it was sleeting) and although we will never emulate John's experience with Grace, we are still out here because of MY experience with Grace: the feeling of angels wrapping me in their comforting wings when I signed my daughter's name on Grace.
These are the experiences we hope to share with you as we continue to Drive Away Cancer. -SH
Five years ago we were on the Highway to Hope. We're still out here and still offering Hope, Peace and Joy. We are so thankful for all of you and everyone who has helped keep us going so we can "Spread 'MO' Love.
Bless you all
When the Saints start singing it is time for another to answer their call, to obtain his or her “official” Sainthood; not dubbed a saint by man, but one by God himself.
Our hearts are deeply heavy these days as we say another farewell, “see you later”, to another dear friend whose family has opened their doors to us countless times. We were contacted by Bernice Bohusch early Saturday morning to let us know Glen had truly earned his wings.
We meet a lot of special people in o...
What do you say when you don’t know what to say? When you know nothing you say can help mend a broken heart and nothing you do can fill the void left behind when there is an empty chair in the room?
We received word last evening that our dear friend, Ginny Baugues, has left us. Ginny and her husband, Howard, have been with us since the beginning. They have opened their home to us and have supported us with car shows and even letting kids into our Triumph world.
Their home is ...a stop-over on a long journey, a place of peace and refuge, comfort and companionship as we travel the lonely roads through this country.
Maybe that’s why Ginny was brought to us, and maybe she was “stopping over” when she and Howard came into our lives nearly six years ago.
We always laughed to the wee hours about any and everything and she always cooked an awesome breakfast. She knew the best places in town to eat, especially a massive chicken-fried steak that would feed at least four, or the best pie on the West side. We especially had a good laugh at Lowe’s when Ginny had tootled away on her cart. When we looked up, we saw her looking around for us a few aisles away. We called her and she still couldn’t see us. She looked up and down and all around when we were right in front of her. When she came toward us we all ran and hid on other aisles. It was a fun game of cat-and-mouse we have mused over several times. There was never a dull moment.
We were never lacking in conversation and each time we stopped over it was like we had never left. The guest bedroom was full of comfort and warmth, just like her kind and tender heart and she always made sure we had fresh coffee.
We’re very glad we got to spend some fun times with her this past summer on our way to Virginia via Chicago.
We’ll never forget the warm glow about her no matter what she faced, and she faced each bump in the road with courage and compassion.
She spent many countless hours in the passenger seat of a Spitfire as she and Howard set out on many road trips to car shows around the country. She knew there might be break-downs but she faced them as they came; that, after all, is life.
Ginny was always our angel by title, now she is our angel by Grace. While we will dearly miss her presence in the passenger seat or on that left side of that comfy sofa, we know she will be with us always as we continue our mission.
Howard, our hearts are filled with love and grief for you. There are no words that can fill that space within you, but your home will always be filled with her light and laughter. We will see you when we stop over and our ears are always open as you embark on this new “other side of life”. We are but a mere call or message away.