a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

sunday setup 9/9/12: close calls

This summer, nearly 100 Minnesotans got stranded in the Stratosphere — but not the one that astronauts explore. Rather, they got stuck in a carnival ride called Stratosphere, dangling 200 feet above ground in wobbly, open-air swings.

Of course, that didn’t discourage me or my dad from taking a ride. On the last day of the state fair, we plunked down 12 tickets and slid into tandem bucket seats. The swings ascended and twirled, revealing views of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the terrible ghouls that haunt Gibb’s Farm.

Before we knew it, our feet touched earth and we walked over to mom, who spectated from a bench.

“You’re back on your own volition!” she teased, referencing a common household saying.

We smiled, nodded, and gushed about the view.

_ _ _

In my family, risk-taking is a lifestyle. This zest for life stems from my dad — a man who has biked across America and run 10 marathons. He’s the protagonist and hero in my best stories, and he taught me to live courageously and pursue what’s right.

This Tuesday marks the 11th anniversary of 9/11. Though the tragedy burdens my heart, I’m inspired by those who have used it as a catalyst to honor heroes and promote peace. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation comes to mind — through road races, the organization has raised thousands of dollars to support firefighters and burn centers.

Everyone has had a brush with death, whether directly or indirectly. Each time it happens, it’s a wake-up call to live life to the max, just like my dad. So, this week’s posts will all deal with “close calls” and how they teach us to find new joy and purpose.

— JHK

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