Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Chicagoland Speedway 2013 Blessings!

Wow... where do I begin?  (If you click on a photo, it will open larger in a new window.)

On Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, I won tickets to Chicagoland Speedway for the weekend. I was so thankful to be able to spend some time at the track again this year. 
Just being at the track and enjoying the atmosphere, people, races was enough of a blessing for me—but God added some extra blessings each day. Here are a few highlights of my weekend at the Track. 

Friday, Sept 13, 2013
Arrived at the track and was able to get "my parking spot". This is the perfect spot as I can walk back to the car, or catch a ride in one the golf carts. That allows me to rest and ice my back throughout the day. 

Throughout the day, I enjoyed meeting people and watching the practices and qualifying. Since is was Friday, I had on my RED Remember Everyone Deployed Fridays shirt. And that drew the attention of some of our GREAT Heroes. Was an honor to meet them. 

I headed home early, since I knew that the next 2 days would be long. Arrived home and was able to go through my pain treatment routine several times before bed, all while smiling as I thought about the great day I enjoyed. 

Saturday, Sept 14, 2013
Once again arrived at the Track and was able to get ... well the parking spot next to "mine". lol Still a great spot to enable to be return to the car to lie down and ice my back throughout the day. 

On Saturday, I once again enjoyed the atmosphere, people and practices throughout the day. I was able to meet up with a "Twitter Friend" who works at the Air Force booth. Was great to meet Sharon, and also several of our Air Force Heroes. 
When I returned later in the day to say "hi" to Sharon again, she and the Air Force offered me an Infield Pass for Sunday! How awesome!! And I didn't think that my weekend could get any better. 
Sharon was even able to join me to watch the Nationwide Race Saturday afternoon. 

I arrived home, tired in pain... but smiling ear to ear as I thought about the great day I enjoyed.

Sunday, Sept 15, 2013
Woke up very sore and moving very slowly. So took a extra time for a few extra of my pain treatment routines, before leaving for the Track. 
Arrived at the Track and was now two spots from "my parking spot", but still in the front row and close enough to return to the car as needed throughout the day. 

Enjoyed the atmosphere and people again as I waited for the Infield festivities to begin. Including meeting Michael McDowell at the K-Love booth. 

Late morning it was now time to head to the Infield. On my way, I stopped the Air Force and 43 Air Force Show Car for RPDE  booth to say "Hi". (They are the ones who gave me an Infield pass for Sunday.) 

When I arrived at the Booth, a Recruit was there who needed to go to the infield but didn't know how to get there, so invited Josh to follow me. 
I was able to get Josh to the steps leading to the Infield, and directed him to go on, and I'd have them call for a golf cart, and take me the long way around. (I try to avoid steps whenever I can.)
Well, I finally made it to the Infield, and as I neared the track area, there was Josh with the other recruits and all the Air Force Officials. Josh thanked me for getting him the area on time, and told his Recruiting Officer that I helped him. That's when the Officer said, "Then join us!" So I was able to stay in the Infield—are you ready for this—DIRECTLY AT THE BOTTOM of the STAGE—waiting for their Swearing In Ceremony. 

But, due to the rain, they changed the order of events and Introduced the DRIVERS first! So, yes, I was AT THE STAGE, as the drivers walked across—I know WOW!
Then I was there for the MOST amazing Swearing In Ceremony of new Air Force HEROES! It was a GREAT honor to be there and hear the Oath and watch them as they took this step. WOW!!
After it was over, I was "stuck" as the infield was now closed, and I didn't have a Pit Pass. But not to fear—a HERO was there! I had my own private escort of an Air Force Master Sergeant through the Pits. What an honor to talk with him as we walked. 

Since the Race was under rain delay. I was able to return to my car, eat and ice my back for a while before the Race started. That was a much needed break. 
I went up the my "seat", which really I never sat in, as I was able to find perfect places to stand each day. Another blessing that God took care of well in advance. 

Enjoyed 101 laps of NASCAR racing before the rain delayed the race again. I waited for the rain to stop, for while, even got some pictures and video of the Jet Dryers! lol But I decided that when the delay was going be at least 2 hours, (turned out it was over 5!) it was best to head on home. 

I have to say, that although my pain level remains high, the weekend was amazing. Each day God added another blessing to an already amazing weekend.

God blesses us everyday, it's up to us to notice. I have to say that God SHOWERED His blessings upon me this weekend. Creating a positive day was so easy, as I simply enjoyed God goodness. 

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