Saturday, April 7, 2018

Advice From Friends

For my 55th birthday, Victoria and I invited some friends out to dinner.

We asked them not to bring any gifts, but to bring their best advice.
Proverbs 12:26a says “The Godly give good advice to their friends..".

Here’s the good advice (paraphrased from memory) my friends gave me:

“Retire to something and not from something and stay involved”

“Learn something new every day”

“Laugh much and experience joy”

“Realize you are moving from an accumulation phase to a distribution phase and turn assets into income”

“Listen to counselors, and your spouse is your #1 counselor”

“Serve others, consider short-term missions”

Pretty good advice for anyone, eh?

What would be your advice for a soon to retire 55-year-old?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

How's Your Year Going?

Do you realize we’re one-fourth (25%) through 2018?

Do you remember the hopes and dreams you had for this brand new 365 days / 52 weeks?

Are you following through on those things you said were important to you this year? If so, congratulations, keep up the good work! If not, I’d like to offer my obligation.

I recently completed a study called Unique Ability. That study revealed that my unique ability is to analyze and organize plans and processes so they efficiently achieve desired results. 

Stated another way, when I recently took the John Maxwell Intentional Living Quiz, my answers indicated that I’m a planner. The recommendation was that I should offer to help others who are not planners establish or revise a plan to accomplish what is important to them. 

So, do you, or someone you know, want some planning help? If so, I’d love to chat and see what assistance I could provide. Again, there is no cost or obligation for this....just contact me and we’ll see if there is a good fit.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016

Victoria and I wish you all the best as 2016 comes to a close. Here's a quick recap of our year...

We rang in the New Year at Christ’s Church in Bellbrook, Ohio, with our friends the Walthall’s.

In March, we enjoyed a two-week spring road trip to and from Corpus Christi, Texas, to visit Darren for Easter. More details of the trip can be found at this previous post. Darren has since relocated back to Florida for advanced helicopter training.

During the month of April, I started my 5th year supporting C-5 aircraft modernization programs for the United States Air Force. During the year I traveled to both Georgia and Delaware several times.

In July, Victoria celebrated one year in her private practice, VTS Physical Therapy, LLC. We marked the occasion with an open house and enjoyed spending time with her patients and supporters. The learning curve has been steep, but the climb exciting and worthwhile.

On August 20th, Victoria and I celebrated 28 years of marriage by somewhat re-creating our first date - we played racquetball. Let's just say that we were a bit more nimble in our 20s. However, we still know how to serve up oodles of hilarity and follow it up with a good dinner.

In October, over the Columbus Day weekend, we enjoyed a road trip to and from Boston, Massachusets, to visit Kayla. 

She was an awesome tour guide and showed us a good time. One highlight was exploring Walden Pond where Henry David Thoreau lived from July 1845 to September 1847. Thoreau’s experience there provided the material for the book Walden.

Throughout the year, using our recently vacated nest here in Xenia, we were able to host a dozen travelers through our Airbnb listing. It was fun to meet new and interesting people and to achieve Airbnb’s Superhost status.

As we write and post this update, Victoria and I are preparing for our trip to Paraguay, South America, to celebrate Christmas and the New Year with Victoria's family.

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas…

Friday, April 1, 2016

Day Eleven - Tupelo MS to Xenia OH

We awoke Thursday morning to the sound of heavy rain as storms rolled through northern Mississippi. By the time we showered, ate breakfast, packed up, and checked out, the rain had stopped, and clear skies were visible to the west. Our plan for the day was to drive the northern part of the Natchez Trace. Before doing that though, we stopped by The Elvis Presley Birthplace.

Of course, there was the house Elvis was born in...

...the actual building where the Presley family attended church services...

...the Memorial Chapel...

...the Fountain of Life that illustrates the years of Elvis’ life with thirteen upper waterspouts representing the years that Elvis lived in Tupelo and 29 lower spouts symbolizing Elvis’ life in Memphis...

...and, of course, the outhouse :-)

After completing our brief tour of the Elvis Presley Birthplace, we headed west through downtown Tupelo and entered the Natchez Trace Parkway.

After stopping at the Visitor Center and Parkway Headquarters, some of the sites we visited along the Parkway included Twentymile Bottom Overlook...the Parkway runs through the middle of the picture...

...the Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis & Clark fame) Monument...which is the actual gravesite of Lewis, who died "mysteriously" in this spot in 1809...

...Fall Hollow...

...and Baker Bluff Overlook...

We exited the Parkway at the Northern Terminus at TN Hwy 100 and began our Interstate travels again around Nashville, through Franklin, Bowling Green, Louisville, and Cincinnati. Our decision to push on brought us home a little after 11pm.

The purposes of this Spring Break Road Trip have been accomplished, plus a few bonuses along the way. We got to spend a long Easter weekend with Darren, enjoyed visiting with family and friends in MO, KS, and TX, and crossed off 2 of the 3 remaining states on Barak's list of 50. Now that Louisiana and Mississippi have been visited, only Alaska remains.

Thanks for following us along our journey.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Day Ten - Hammond LA to New Orleans to Tupelo MS

We awoke Wednesday morning in Hammond LA. Both Victoria and I liked Louisiana and especially the Hammond area. This is the view from our hotel window.

After eating breakfast and packing up the car once again, we headed south to the Big Easy. Upon arriving at the Visitor Center, we were informed how easy it would be to walk the entire French Quarter from there. We parked the car and made our way across many streets, including the well-known Bourbon Street... Jackson Square...

...over to Cafe Du Monde...

...where we got our obligatory bag of three beignets...

...and ate them while they were still warm on the Moonwalk with a beautiful view of the Mississippi River and New Orleans.

As we started to walk back to the Visitor's Center and the car it began to sprinkle. We made it back to the car without getting too wet and headed north out of Louisiana into Mississippi. We drove across Lake Pontchartrain on I-10, picked up I-59, stopped briefly in Hattiesburg (without seeing Hattie), picked up Highway 45 in Meridian, and ended our day in Tupelo MS, the birthplace of singer Elvis Presley. More about that tomorrow, I'm sure.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Day Nine - Houston TX to Hammond LA

Tuesday morning, packing up again and heading to breakfast at Cracker Barrel with Monika before escaping Houston.

We travelled without incident through Beaumont TX, Lake Charles and Baton Rouge to Hammond LA, about an hour north of New Orleans.

Once in Hammond, we checked into our hotel and proceeded to Tommy's on Thomas for my birthday dinner. I chose the Muffuletta pictured below. A traditional style muffuletta sandwich consists of a muffuletta loaf split horizontally and covered with layers of marinated olive salad, mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham, and provolone.

After dinner, Victoria and I walked a couple of blocks to Eddie's Famous Frozen Custard and shared their speciality, a Tangi Turtle. I was NOT counting calories today :-)

Wednesday's plan is to drive down to New Orleans for a brief visit and then head north into Mississippi.

Day Eight - Corpus Christi TX to Houston TX

Monday morning found us packing up and getting ready to leave Darren's place in Corpus Christi. A brief rain shower accompanied us on our departure.

We had a late lunch in Katy TX with Jeff & Shelly Dyk, old friends from our 1980s Wichita days. They were our "chaperones" on one of our first dates.

After our late lunch, we made our way to the home of Victoria's best friend from high school, Monika. This is where we stayed Monday night.

Tuesday we plan to make it from Houston TX to the New Orleans LA area.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Days Five, Six, and Seven - Corpus Christi TX

On Friday, Darren took us around to see the sights on "his" island, Padre Island, both the developed and undeveloped areas.

On Saturday, we picked up some brunch items at JB's German Bakery and the strudel and pastries were gone so quickly I only got a picture of the leftovers.

After brunch, we decided we would go see the #1 tourist attraction in Corpus Christi, the USS Lexington. It was an interesting tour of the WWII era aircraft carrier.

Sunday (Easter) was a day of rest and relaxation. Victoria and I attended Padre Island Baptist Church while Darren got some study time in. Then we did laundry and had our traditional Easter ham dinner.

Monday, March 28, we start our leisurely trip through more of Texas to Houston, then Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky on our way home to Ohio.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Day Four - Ardmore OK to Corpus Christi TX

After a refreshing night of sleep at the Lexington Inn in Ardmore, we headed south again on Interstate 35. It was an uneventful day of driving through Fort Worth and Waco and then we hit stop and go traffic in both Austin and New Braunfels. We arrived in San Antonio around 5pm and made it through the Alamo before it closed for the day at 5:30pm.

After quickly touring the Alamo, I introduced Victoria to the San Antonio River Walk where we walked most of it before sitting down for dinner.

While I've visited the River Walk several times starting in 1981 when I came to San Antonio for Air Force basic training, I had never been to the La Villita Historic Village. That's where we ended up for dinner, at the Guadalajara Grill.

After dinner, we headed south on Interstate 37 for our final leg of our journey to Corpus Christi. Around 9:30pm, we arrived at our destination, Darren's apartment.

Mission accomplished for the first half of the Spring Break Road Trip!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Day Three - Wichita KS to Ardmore OK

Upon arising from a great night of sleep, Victoria and I enjoyed breakfast with Victoria's Aunt Elvira. We departed late morning and made our way a few miles to Don and Paula Henry's home in Clearwater KS. Don mentored me in the early 1980s when I lived in Wichita KS. We met their daughter, Leah, along with her three children and had lunch with all of them. It was early afternoon by the time we said our goodbyes and headed south on Interstate 35 toward Oklahoma City.

When we arrived in Oklahoma City, I took Victoria to see the National Memorial. Here she is pictured with the Survivor Tree, a 90+ year-old American Elm which survived the blast. 

And here is a short video I shot of the Memorial from the same spot.

After we visited the Memorial we continued south until we made it to Ardmore OK where we spent Wednesday night. Into the state of Texas on Thursday!