Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Note From My Boss ...

Feel free to share~

A note about Kate Bade and her work with Hannah.

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Joel McDaniel and I was Kate's boss for the last nine years. Not only have I had the pleasure of having an employee of such high work ethics, but I have gotten to know Kate and Hannah by way of living in the community and greeting them both at numerous occasions and events. You see, Kate does not simply work her job, Kate LIVES her job! She has made taking care of Hannah her life's mission and has made such a world of difference for this special beautiful child. Yes, she is paid for her work, but the work she does with Hannah is worth 100 times her pay. Kate dedicates and donates most of her own time to Hannah, teaching, caring, and living Hannah's life with her.

This trip she would like to take with Hannah is not a vacation for Kate, but an experience, a once in a lifetime experience for Hannah to see and touch the oceans, the nature, the people. Kate will plan get together with others like Hannah and share their experiences, all while documenting this beautiful story through pictures and words. A huge ice bucket challenge if you will. She will spread awareness of this disease called Autism, and touch people's hearts and souls on the way.

Taking care of Hannah is a tough job. A job that takes all of your attention as she is dependent on Kate for every simple little task, tasks we all take for granted. Kate has told me she will take her on this trip with or without donations. She will spend every dime she has to make this dream happen for Hannah and for the others whose lives will forever be touched by this beautiful duo.

I am reaching out to you all at this time to ask for a small donation if you can spare it. The Rock HHC, employer of Kate, has started off the donations with a $500.00 gift. I challenge all other business' to match our donation. Help make this possible for Hannah. Whatever you can do will be greatly appreciated! God Bless to you all and Godspeed to you Kate and Hannah.

 More info and donation options can be found on the link below:

Paypal is accepted or checks can be mailed to:

Affinity Plus
 C/O: Autistic Imprints
 535 East Highway 2
 Grand Rapids, MN 55744

#autism #travel #exploreminnesota #autisticimprints #exploreunitedstates

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


It's not always clear, which path to take.
It's there in front of me, I can't see it.
But I feel it.

My best moments of clarity have followed my worst moments of feeling lost.

Hannah and I go walking sometimes.
She walks slower than I.
And if I walk slower
she walks
even slower.

I'm learning to adjust my pace.
I'm learning to feel the space

between the leaves
of flowers and trees.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


It is your Divine right to experience as much life as possible.

What are you waiting for....

Monday, July 14, 2014

I will show you the world

It's a wide wise world out there child. 
I will show you. 

Trust me....
No need for words 
in places where spirits are free.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

This too shall pass

Always ...

                    do storms pass. 

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways

Friday, June 27, 2014


The most beautiful things can be found where you least expect them.

In moments that are challenging she reminds me to find the beauty in them.

These are Showy Lady Slippers. Minnesota's state flower. Typically found in roadside ditches.  It pays to pay attention.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Nourish and Flourish

I didn't see it when I photographed it,
I only knew I needed her here. 
I look at the tree and you?

    I ask are you  choosing what nourishes or depletes you. 

And now you see it too.And now you see it too.

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's unconditional

There are things yet to be said...that's what I call this picture.  We had a bit of a scare last night. Her father choked on a piece of meat during dinner.  Had trouble dislodging it. By the fifth heimlich we got it out.  I'd be embarrassed to say it took more. It's just not your time to go buddy.   Your daughter has things to tell you ...and every  day I wonder what would she say. 

Hannah's father drives very far just to come home to see her at the end of the day.  As often as he can.  It means he must also get up extremely early to go back to work. 

I put the two of them at one end of the camper.  Hannah was so excited she couldn't sleep. I could feel the camper rock every time she jumped the bed.  She jumps high. She jumps a lot.   At some point, it had to be after midnight,  I went to get her worried her father wasn't getting any sleep, I also wasn't because of her jumping on the bed.   He said it's okay, " I can sleep through it, I just love her so much."  With renewed patience and a motherly "Hannah it's sleep time so lay your head down on the pillow" I went back to my room.  She quieted down. 

Love in action. 
That's what it's all about.

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

Friday, June 20, 2014


...strong, persistent desire or craving, especially for something unattainable or distant.

I know this feeling.

The moments I am able to help bridge the distance for her,
and ease the longing...those are the ones that mean the most to me.

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Art of the Heart

At a time when race and sexual orientation are sadly still issues for some...

We remain...
Hand in hand.

We stand beside
Those who have been pushed aside.

The uniqueness of a human being,
is a special thing.

It's the art of the heart that matters.

One Peace. One Love. Always and all ways.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I love you

 A little story, I promise it's worth the read.

We went rollerskating last night. Most weeks... lol I'm too old or uncool to skate next to, she afterall is a young adult now. I get it. I do. She's at that age she wants to go off on her own. Much to my surprise she held my hand the whole night.

At one point I got off the floor, encouraged her to skate on her own like she normally does.

I stood there watching her. She hesitated, looked back and slowly went off by ...herself. Just as she was about to go around the corner .... she turns around and starts skating back the opposite direction, not looking anywhere but straight ahead. The other skaters didn't phase her, not even when a couple of them nearly skated into her, she just brushed them off and around her. She remained focused never once taking her eyes off me .... reaching the place where I was standing waiting and watching in amazement, she took my hand, pulled me out onto the floor to skate with her. and didn't let go of it the rest of the night.

It was the loudest, most profound I love you ...
I have ever heard.

I know there are a lot of parents who would give anything to hear their child verbally say "I love you". I risk alienating many of you by saying I don't need to hear the words come from her mouth. Everytime she reaches for my hand, or rests hers on my shoulder I know. More often than not, I think words are over rated. Hannah lives in "action" and her actions speak loudly.

How many times in our lives have we said actions speak louder than words?
I have. In fact I say it a lot. I can only hope my actions speak as well as Hannah's do.

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Perception ...


“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is - infinite."
~William Blake

The world is so much bigger than we realize.
I often wonder how Hannah processes what she sees.
I shake my head when people desribe autism as "limiting".

I have always suspected "we" are the limited ones

One love. One Peace. Always and all ways. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Each time ...

... we face our fear,
we gain strength, courage,
and confidence in the doing.
~Theodore Roosevelt

That is the very essence of what we do each time we try something new.  
Each time her confidence grows.
Each time she reminds me to grow.

She holds the world in her hands ... I feel it every time she holds mine.

One love. One peace. Always and all ways.

Monday, May 6, 2013

I held ...

... her hand going down the rocky hill.
I let go so she could climb to the top by herself.
She was hesitant.
I encouraged her to go.
She looked up and started to climb ...
one step at a time.
She did it. 

So can you.

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I want ...

to be in her head
   for just an hour ...

I'll bet we've all said that.

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

Here's your sign ....


This ... is a real sign. I'm not sure when they put it up. 
I haven't driven down this road in a few months. 
Much to my surprise there it was. 
Very cool Grand Rapids!         

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

Fenced in ...


Years ago I took this photograph of Hannah.


I still hope for the day the fence that keeps her locked in comes down.
Her fence isn't her choice.
How many ways do we keep ourselves fenced in, 
I wonder ...

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

She can ...


I hold to this.  Firmly.

HANNAH ITASCA COUNTY FAIR with chuck and humter 041a 

With a little help and insistence we got her on that pony. It has been years since she's been on a horse.  She loves them, but somewhere along the way she became afraid to ride them. No. Nothing happened to frighten her. Not that I am aware of. Not in my care. The hardest part was keeping her from running away before we ever even got close to the pony. I'd taken her the night before just to watch. This time we were going to "do" before she had too much time to think about it. Isn't that so true for most of us, we think too much, talk ourselves out of taking those first steps towards something, a fear perhaps we should face? Our friend asked if I wanted him to walk along side her as she rode, I said no. We show her what to hold on to and once the pony starts moving and we see she's alright we step back. We did. And she was. Now I wish I'd have gotten the shot of her smiling while riding. We both were. She was proud. She knew what she'd just accomplished. I was proud. I knew it too. It happens that way for Hannah.  Whether it's a horse, or a room, or a door, she's fine riding or going through,and then suddenly she won't.  It takes time, encouragement, patience and perseverance, holding fast to the expectation that she can.  Sometimes it requires a little creativity, but we get there, one way or another we get there. And usually in her own time.  : ) As always, she gives me pause for thought ... Where am I not stepping forward in my life, what fears am I not facing?     

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

A Father and his Daughter



Sometimes words are not needed ... this would be one of those times.

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

Roll with it ...

Hannah reminds me to do just that ... every single day.


She's the best teacher I've got.

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways. 


The Girl With The White Balloon

you remember the movie ...         The Red Balloon . 
Remember the story? You do? Good. Then you'll understand this photograph.


"The Boy and the Red Balloon" is a first in a series of children's books inspired by my son, Kian. He, as with any child, is the epitome of unconditional love . With love, one will overcome any hurdle. It is the story of a journey the Balloon takes to understand as it interacts with interesting characters along the way. Yet, it has many layers that deal with emotions, simple understanding of surroundings, dealing with defeats and triumphs but never giving up. The message is quite simple: BELIEVE.
~Albert Lamorisse

                I get asked from time to time about my approach with Hannah. 
As in what is's simple. I have always believed that she "can". 
We do things she couldn't or wouldn't do because I hold to that belief. 

I expect that she can. 
Because I know she can.

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways. 

Not often ...

  ... do I get to spend time with Hannah and her father Roger in my boat.

The light was incredible.

 It's that kind of light, she shines on all of us.


"To the ignorant, sharing your life with an affected child is a hardship to be pitied. 
Oh there are challenges, to be sure(levels and degrees of affliction involve great pain) 
and trade-offs in a life of choices but I have never met a family that didn’t consider it a blessing, 
the child a teacher. The happiness of the child is perfect almost like they see things we have lost.
They are the opportunity to become a better human being, not a small thing."
~Tom Moran

One love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

Someone once told me

... when you don't know where to begin, start in the middle.
The past is back there,
the present is now,
and the future is yet to come.

I think that makes this the beginning.

Prairie Lake, Loons, Fish, Hannah 080a   

It never ceases to amaze me, the things Hannah reacts to. 
Her legs go straight, her eyes get bigger than the sun when she's happy, and something moves her.
As it sets, we go through our phrases, her first one ... buh bye moon.
You and I would say hello moon.

Perhaps it's all the same, the sun setting and the moon rising.  

  One love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

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