I have 3 followers of The Shaw Show. Let me dote on them a while. We'll start with my first follower: my cousin Joe Weeks.
Joe's birthday was yesterday, and I forgot to wish him a happy birthday. This really was pathetic of me, since he didn't forget to wish me a happy birthday two days ago when it was mine. Although we were born exactly 365 days apart, the leap year of 1976 caused us to have birthdays a day apart.
Joe and I represent the youngest of the cousins on my mothers (Weeks) side of the family. My mother was the youngest of 10 children, so it is not surprising that I am the youngest of the cousins. However, Joe's father, my uncle Jim, was the oldest of 10 children. So, it is rather interesting that he produced the second youngest of the cousins. Jim also produced the oldest of the cousins, older than my mom in fact.
Joe and I were born in the same Chinese Zodiac year (Jan. 31, 1976-Feb. 17, 1977), which makes us both Dragons. According to those place mats at the Chinese restaurants, which are far from accurate, I was a Snake. I thought I was a Snake for the longest time in my life. Honestly, my life didn't change much when I realized I was a Dragon instead. But, it was a fun realization.
Joe is an awesome photographer. He is an amazing thinker. Because of his wonderful ability to critically think about the world, Joe and I can sit and talk for hours. Joe is very family centered and cares very deeply for family. He is as kind a man as any I know. Thanks for following me, Joe.
Amanda comes next. Amanda believed in me. She is the reason I began serving on the board for the United Way of Adair County. I remember being floored by the amount of passion she brought (and continues to bring) to the United Way.
Amanda often tells me she is a big fan of The Shaw Show. She often refers to Erin and me as one of her favorite couples. She knows how to make me feel good about myself, and can put a smile on my face.
Amanda attended her last United Way Board meeting Tuesday, and it felt like the end of a legacy. She did so much for the United Way and will continue to do so behind the scenes. By inviting me to the board, Amanda indirectly gave me new goals to pursue, new paths to explore, and something very positive with which to fill a void in my life that I didn't even realize was present.
Thanks for being you, Amanda. You're superhuman with a super awesome blog.
Then there is Jonathan. I call him Chops, now. His wife is Scrappy. They were given these names on MBT3, our first major trip together. I remember sitting in the Steak 'n Shake on our way home, and telling both them that we wanted to keep them. We continue to reign.
Jonathan is ambitious, motivated, driven, and extremely talented. He has a system that keeps him supremely organized. He is very witty, and funny at all the right moments.
Chops has made me feel important to a degree higher than I previously imagined possible. He hasn't accomplished this through flattery either, but through action. I talk about brewing beer. He thinks he should try it, too. Then he tries it and makes good beer. I talk about riding my bike across Iowa, He thinks he should try that, too. Then he rides the next two RAGBRAIs.
Anybody can tell me, "hey, that's great, you rode your bike across Iowa.... good job." But what kind of friend hops on a bike, trains his ass off, and rides it with you? (He describes it much better here.) I pale in comparison. Jonathan has been in the top of my friend list for quite a while. Regardless of where life takes me, he will definitely remain there. Put 'er there, bro.
Thanks for being my followers. You're the best.