Busy Busy Busy!
Wow, I can’t even believe that it is mid-April already. As began to write this, I peeked back into my files to see when the last time I wrote and was astounded to find that it was nearly two months ago! Time sure does fly when you are on the road, and that is exactly where Doug and I have been nearly every week for the past two months. Busy doesn’t even begin to describe how we have felt, so I tripled that word for the title of this blog (okay, and maybe paying a little homage to the title of the Duck Commanders book “Happy Happy Happy”).
The end of February featured back to back to back speaking opportunities in Winona (1.5 hours away), Wausau (3 hours distant), and Spring Valley (a mere 20 minute drive). What made these talks a bit more challenging, however, was the 8-10” of snow that blanketed the area the night before. A rapid drop in temperatures and blustery conditions the following day created packed ice and snow on the roads, so the drive to and from Winona that Friday evening was miserable. Unfortunately, it was still a bit dicey at times the next day as we travelled to central Wisconsin. Thankfully, the Lord kept us safe and we enjoyed our fellowship with the various groups.
A quiet first week of March gave way to a fast and furious pace over the next four weeks. We journeyed thousands of miles – by air and land combined – to destinations such as Tucson, Las Vegas, the Milwaukee area, and Boston. In early March I had the honor of being one of 20 workshop presenters at the Set Apart Women’s Conference in St. Paul. It was a blessed two day event in which I had the privilege of meeting hundreds of women from eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Hot on the heels of this were two more engagements – a keynote for local political leaders at Trollhaugen ski resort, and a presentation to the faculty of the Osceola school district.
Next on the agenda we headed west for some relaxation in the 70 degree sun of Tucson, AZ. My husband is quick to remind me that we did have some work to do; I had the opportunity to sell my book at the Tucson Book Festival. But it was sure nice to escape the lingering cold for a few days. More engagements awaited us upon our return to the land of perpetual winter; a two day presentation to members of the Menomonie Countryside Cooperative segued into the fourth of four speaking opportunities to leaders of Thrivent Financial. The drive to and from the Milwaukee area was made more special by the fact that I was able to spend time with a dear friend of mine who is also a professional speaker.
Next on the list was a return trip to the desert southwest, this time Las Vegas. You may be interested to know that by this point our two cats were getting a bit perturbed by our escapades across the country. One night I came into the closet to pick out some clothes to wear only to find Jewel lying on top of my red suitcase – which I had decided to just leave out since I was using it every week – in rebellion, almost as if saying to me “No, you can’t leave again!” Well, sorry Jewel but we did leave, although this trip was only 36 hours in length. Since our return Doug and I have decided that if we ever speak in Vegas again that it will last a bit longer than a day and a half. Neither of us gamble, but a mere hour and a half warming under the strong desert sun is just not enough for me (in fact, I think that may be a Tasha Schuh record low when it comes to vacation sunshine). Again, Doug is very astute to point out that it WAS a working trip. Speaking of which, the work involved a keynote at the international conference of ForeverGreen/FG Xpress, a company that promotes health and wellness through several wonderful products. Again, I was overwhelmed and blessed to have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people from countries such as France, Austria, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Columbia.
Believe it or not we still weren’t finished! Five days later we boarded another plane, this time headed for the east coast and the historical city of Boston. Similar to the previous week my speaking engagement was that evening, but UNLIKE the trip to Las Vegas we added a couple of extra days to explore the city. Doug graduated with a degree in History from Michigan back in the late 90s so he was absolutely thrilled to have a chance to see some of the relevant sites that played such a key role in the early years of our nation.
Back to the speaking aspect for a moment … it was amazing! I spoke on the campus of Boston College University to an organization called Minutes for Memories, a group founded for the purpose of helping create lasting memories for young people who have sustained long term injuries. I was humbled to hear about the great things they do for kids in and around the Boston area, and to meet the selfless people who give of their time and abilities to make sure the memories are special. We were excited to get a tour of the city, which included several buildings from the Revolutionary era, the campuses of Harvard and MIT, Bunker Hill (the site of the first battle of the Revolutionary War), the route Paul Revere took on his famous ride, and Fenway Park (which my husband pointed out as being the oldest ballpark in America). An added bonus to our three day hiatus to “Bahston” (yes, there is a definite Bostonian accent) was the fact that we missed out on nearly 6” of snowfall, most of which was melted by the afternoon of our return. One final overnight trip awaited us a few days later – a four hour excursion to Mayville, WI. I spoke to a packed St. Andrew’s church, a crowd consisting primarily of youth. I mention at the beginning of my book that everyone has a story, and I am honored that some of the kids from Mayville shared theirs with me last week.
Can I just say again how humbled I am to have so many opportunities to not only share my story with others, but to meet such amazing people? In 2013 I spoke 74 times and this year is certainly on track to rival, if not surpass, that number. As fun and exhilarating as the past two months have been, however, my husband would agree with me that we are definitely ready for a break from the road. We do have a few engagements forthcoming, but nothing that will involve plane travel or overnights away from home – Lily and Jewel (our two cats) are very happy about this!
I do want to mention that we are working on a new look for our website, and are hoping to go live with it by mid-May. In addition to the updated appearance, there will be other features: new video samples, photos, information for event planners, and a store featuring various products we now sell (coffee mugs, 16oz. chiller cups, t-shirts, beanie hats, and of course my book). We are very excited about this and look forward to its debut next month.
Thank you for your patience through this busy time for us, and for taking the time to read my latest blog installment. Both Doug and I wish you a happy Easter!