Kevin Hines in Cedar Rapids

Hello and welcome to the blog tonight.  It’s Saturday night and it’s not been a fun day.  I spent from 10AM to 8PM trying to find Jenny.  She darted out while I was bringing groceries in this morning.  The feisty little tortie cat wouldn’t even acknowledge my voice despite heavy rain storms.  Eventually I found her nearby in some evergreens, soaked and scared.  She’s a handful and worried her Dad.  Thank goodness Jenny’s safe and sound.

Veteran’s Memorial and City Hall, built on May’s Island in the Cedar River.

Friday night was spent in Cedar Rapids at Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum.  The focus was on suicide prevention.  A number of booths were set up from various mental health related organizations; I enjoyed speaking with the counselors, hospital representatives, etc.  Having dealt with depression over the years the environment was friendly and supportive.

Kevin Hines

The main speaker was Kevin Hines, a man who once jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge and lived to tell about it.  The fall was 220 feet (25 stories) and Kevin reached a speed of about 75 miles per hour.  When he hit the water, damage was done to his spine and legs… but he survived.

Kevin’s humorous stories and powerful message about being bipolar, attempting suicide, etc. helped remind everyone of our own worth and how suicide is never a solution.  Kevin said his wish for each one of us is that we live out every day we are intended to live.  Check out his YouTube channel at:

Miss Iowa, one of the speakers, was as fun to listen to as she was pretty!

I was moved during this time, recalling recent events.  A few months I was desperate for money and a better work environment (not so hard on the body or mind).  I was not keeping up the bills, had to take a lot of abuse from a toxic supervisor (who recently got fired!), and was dealing with a body that was failing.  The emotions shut down one day and I was not sure if I really want to live any longer.  Removed to a safe place for a few days, the recovery was rapid.  Plans were made to find a better job with good money and benefits, more regard for the workers, and the work less physically demanding.  All of those dreams have come true and life has been getting better and better every day.  Hope goes a long ways and sometimes it’s all a person has to cling to!

So far the work trekking is going great.  I’ve been able to reduce trips into town and not prevail on friends at all yet.  Once it gets cold that will likely change a bit.  But for now a couple nights per week of urban camping are a fun diversion.  Jenny might go along this week as the crazy Iowa weather stabilizes a bit.  When that happens, there will be pictures, of course!

The new bridge lights in Cedar Rapids. At the time this was taken, the Cedar River was at major flood level.

Sadly, I didn’t get to go to several different events that were planned today.  Jenny eloping this morning did not help… but there will be other fun things to do before the snow eventually flies.  I’ve some ideas for an upcoming trip in the next week or two if Mother Nature is cooperative.  We’ll have to see what life brings.

Take care and thanks for visiting.  Happy Autumn!

Brad and Jenny
Jones County, Iowa


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