At the beginning of March 2018 Geri, I, and our son went on a 3 week long memory making road trip. The road trip took us of through many states: South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho & Washington. We left Bismarck when it was snowing and we came back to Bismarck when it was snowing. We took many pictures and shared them through social media as best we could.
The vacation came as a result from Geri being hospitalized during the middle of February. At the urging of her doctors we planned our trip in a short period of time. After 3 and half years of fighting this darn illness we never did have a real vacation and we thought it was time to do something that did not pertain to Geri's illness. We say illness because we do not want to use the "c" word. Its a word that we don't use very much around our house so we use a substitute word.
So when Geri was discharged from the hospital towards the end of February we started getting ready for our trip. We wanted to leave as soon as possible. From when she was discharged to the time we left was about 1 week.
Our travels took us first to Sturgis, SD to visit Geri's aunt Deb and uncle Marv. They were so gracious and kind. They sure knew how to cook. They kept us well fed. We stayed the night there.
The next morning we continued our journey onto Deadwood and a scenic drive through the Black Hills. Geri has a beautiful recollection of her childhood and the time she spent with her family around the Black Hills. I sure to do love to listen to the stories she tells.
That same day we continued to Gillette, WY where we stayed the night.
Following our stay in Gillette we went and toured the Little Big Horn Battlefield in Montana. We recollected the significance of the battle and said a prayer. From there we proceeded to drive to Bozeman, MT. We spent 2 nights in Bozeman. Me and Geri love Bozeman. We fell in love with the city the first time we seen it together. We were both in Bozeman on a trip 3 summers ago.
I should mention during this entire trip the scenery was AMAZING! It was so therapeutic for all of us to be in and so close to nature. After we left Bozeman we drove to Coeur d'Alene and stayed the night. Geri and her sister, Ann, both love this area especially the lakes.
From Coeur d'Alene we drove to Seattle. Seattle is where Geri's sister lives. It was so beautiful to see Ann and Geri embrace because it has been a while since they seen each other.
We spent a little over 10 days with Ann. We had such an amazing time. We were able to see many parts of Seattle that tourists don't really see. Ann was our tour guide and she knew the best places to see and all the best places to eat. We had some really fresh seafood. And when I say fresh I do mean fresh.
It was really tough to leave. Geri and her sister are really close. Siblings share a strong bond as most of know. It was evident when Geri and Ann were saying their goodbyes.
We intended to have a memory making road trip..............................we certainly DID! We have pictures to prove it. Now that we have been home Geri is now on hospice at home. It is really nice to have a nurse come in to check on her and make sure everything is good. Geri is a fighter and she continues to fight. She will not give up. Geri has so much love to share. We continue to fight right along side her. Thank you dear family and friends for all your support and prayers. Know that you are all in our prayers. God Bless each and everyone of your families. Love Geri & Bill!!!!
"Cents of Community" is a phrase that came to mind when I visited some local businesses in the Bismarck-Mandan community during the last full shopping week before Christmas. Visiting all these businesses was really accidental. I use the word accidental lightly because I don't believe things are accidental so a better word to use is providential. Let's start over. Visiting all these businesses was really providential. As a business owner one of the most challenging things is getting traffic in the door or to get traffic to visit your business website. In the case of Bountiful REI'S there is no actual store, it is entirely based online.
Bountiful REI'S will be 3 months old on January 7th. Back to the providential comment made previously and the difficulty of any business to attract customers brings us full circle. I spent two late mornings in a row going from business to business asking to leave business cards on their counter in hopes to attract people to visit the Bountiful REI'S website. In return I took a business card from each place I visited and mentioned I would give their business a shout out on the REI'S of Hope Blog and Bountiful REI'S Facebook page.
The simple interaction with each local business owner and their employees was more that just an exchange of business cards and a warm thank you. Each visit was different and unique. At each business I would introduce myself and explain that Bountiful REI'S was a clothing company started in honor of my wife and her cancer battle expressed through designs and art. Hope and Family is the message Bountiful REI'S is all about.
After the introductions and explanations were done I didn't turn around and walk out the door, something incredible happened, something life changing, and all I can explain it as is that it was Providential. We moved passed business owner talking to business owner and just started talking as regular people, Our conversations hardly involved any talk about business. All the people I talked to showed genuine interest in what I was trying to do with Bountiful REI'S.
The more I pondered each interaction and what I was going say about each different experience and conversation I had with each business one word came to mind: COMPASSION. All the people I met showed me compassion. The compassion wasn't only because my wife has cancer it was much more than that. We all share and believe in a community of compassion. Where do we learn about compassion and other values? We usually learn them as being part of a family. Family consists of not only mom, dad and siblings but it can include the neighborhoods we grew up in, the small towns where everyone knows everyone. Family also includes the communities where we may go to college or where we may choose to raise our families. Family also includes the states that we grow up in and even the countries we belong to.
The "Cents of Community" felt around the Bismarck-Mandan area is alive and well. I am happy to say Bismarck-Mandan is a part of my family. As a part of the Bismarck-Mandan family sharing with everyone a message of Hope by sharing my wife's story through this little internet company that was started is my way of contributing to the "Cents of Community". It only takes one person with Hope to change the entire world.
I would like to thank the following businesses for allowing me to place business cards on their counters and to thank them for showing me how wonderful it is to be a part of the Bismarck-Mandan business community family. Please support local area business by going down to these fine stores or checking out the stores online. I pray for continued success of these following businesses and there continued growth in the community and state. The last two businesses at the end of the list are where Geri and I work. Geri works at TTL and I work at Bismarck Motor Company. I cannot say enough and thank our employers enough for how they have been so willing to work with us and help us through this time in our lives and what Geri is going through.
1. Susie Q's Antiques & The Dakota Store; 411 W Main St, Mandan, ND 58554; Owner: Sue Hoffman; phone #: 701-751-0568
2. AID, Inc. Self-Help Center & Thrift Store, 314 W Main S,t Mandan, ND 58554; Executive Director: Patti Regan, www.aidincnd.com, phone #: 701-663-2122
3. Dakota Promotions & Printing; 320 W Main St, Mandan ND, 58554; Marketing & Production Specialist: Ashley Wooledge, www.dakotapromo.com, phone #: 701-471-6895
4. Brea; 306 W Main St, Mandan, ND 58554; www.breaboutique.com
5. Magic Photo Art; 120 N 5th St, Bismarck, ND 58501; 701-222-2932 ask for Dan or Claudia; www.magicphotoart.com
6. Soul Interiors; 110 N 5th St, Bismarck, ND 58501; 701-527-2522; www.mysoulinteriors.com
7. Kittsona; 117 N 4th St, Bismarck, ND 58501; Store Manager: Brittany Jalbert; phone #: 701-400-2642; www.kittsona.com
8. Magnolias: Ladies Apparel & Accessories; 105 N 5th St, Bismarck, ND 58501; Owner: Robyn Lawler; phone #: 701-224-1314
9. Kept, Modern Farmhouse; 216 N 4th St, Bismarck, ND 58501; Owner/Buyer/Designer: Madonna Wald; Owner/Buyer: Summer Czeczok; phone #: 701-751-2434
10. Coulee Creek, 222 N 4th St, Suite 203, Bismarck, ND 58501; 348 Main St, New Town, ND 58763, Owner: Melanie Luger; Bismarck Store Manager: Teri Johnson, phone #: 701-425-8493, www.couleecreekdesigns.com
11. MHA Satellite Office; 107 W Main St, Suite 200, Bismarck, ND 58501; phone #: 701-751-2928. Spoke with Daryl Bearstail.
12. Bismarck Motor Company; 1100 57th Ave NE, Bismarck, ND; 701-258-1944; www.bismarckmotorcompany.com
13. Tubular Transport & Logistics; 1901 Northern Plains Drive, Bismarck, ND 58504; www.tubulartransport.com
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!! HAVE A BLESSED FILLED DAY!!! GOD BLESS THE WORLD WITH HIS LIGHT AND TRUTH!!! 🎁🎅👪🌎🎄
Good morning everyone. I caught the flu. After some rest and medication I'm feeling much better. Praying for Geri that she dont catch anything. With her low immunity it would be a bad thing if she caught the flu. The doctors did give her some medication as a precaution. Please pray she dont catch the flu. Thank you everyone for your continued support and prayers. You are all in our prayers. If anyone has anything to share or knows of anyone that is in need of prayers let us know. God Bless.
Good day everyone. Just a status update on Geri's fight. She has started a new chemo that she takes at home. This chemo will help with her cancer and hopefully the tumor on the left side of her brain. This new chemo has the ability to break the blood brain brarrier that most other chemo treatments cant. We will be going to Mayo Clinic again in January to consult with doctors about the possibility of having surgery to remove tumor/lesion on the left side of her brain. A gofundme account has been set up for Geri.
Anything helps and is appreciated. We will keep you all in our prayers. Thank you so much. God Bless.
Good afternoon everyone. Just wanted to let everyone know that we now have a blog that we will use to give updates about Geri's fight and developments about Bountiful REI'S. Thank you everyone for your prayers and support.. If anyone needs to bring attention to anything please leave a comment or if you need prayers said please let us know. Have a great day. God Bless.
Geri and Bill will post periodic developments about Bountiful REI'S. We will also post updates about Geri's continued fight. We will also post about others that may need prayers as we do know other people fighting cancer and things can turn from day to day. Everyday is a blessing.