Creative photos and essays from the San Juan Islands


Father McKay

Father McKay

While teaching a course on “Optimizing Brain Fitness” at the Village at the Harbour, I learned that by walking a mile a day you will decrease one’s chance of dementia by 50%! Since I live and work at the Village, an assisted living facility in Friday Harbor, I have an every day opportunity to see the result of dementia in real lives.

So when the chance to take up that walking in my daily routine, I welcomed my salvation from mental degradation. My walking partner, Dennis McKay, 71, feels the same way, so we attempt to goad each other daily to keep up the effort.

Elder McKay is a senior missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (read “senior” as simply older, for the Church is known for it’s young missionaries.) He and his wife Lorraine, from Vancouver Island (practically neighbors), are the parents of eight, which is the reason for the title of this post.

Dennis, a novice sailer at the time, once took his family on an odyssey sailing the Pacific Islands in a 53 foot steel boat. I’ve read most of such accounts as an armchair adventurer, and I admire any father who will strike out on such a voyage, for the memories of each and every participant are going to be priceless.

One of his daughters recently left southern California on a family sailing adventure of her own with her husband and seven kids, so the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree, which is a lesson for us all: We can just dream, or we can dream and do! The link to the daughter’s sailing adventure is: You’ll be amazed at this large family’s “getting out there” ways. Talk about memories!

I took this photo just a week or so ago, thinking the halo was appropriate for a friendly, funny, nice guy out doing what he feels is important; for his health, and for the Lord while on a mission. Thank you Dennis and Lorraine for spending time on the San Juan Islands.

P.S. For those inclined to make use of the 50% info above, I recommend the Parks and Recreation trail at the old gravel pit. It’s exactly one mile in length and Dennis and I usually cover that with a brisk walk in about 18 minutes, an easy fit into a busy day, and, with a walking partner with whom to discuss a myriad of topics, the time goes quickly. And you can’t beat the view of Dinner Island and Griffin Bay.


2 responses

  1. I loved this post. What fun it is to see my dad from someone else’s eyes. It is hard having him gone from our home and kids (they love him so) but I know he is doing what he loves to do. I am glad you appreciate him!! I loved the picture!!

    May 20, 2013 at 12:27 am

  2. admin

    I used this picture of my dad on my blog if you don’t mind. I just love the feeling it has (I think he is about the greatest person alive and love the halo effect) here is the post

    May 20, 2013 at 9:08 pm

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