I’m coming up on one of those milestone birthdays; I will turn 40 in a few days. It’s only natural to reflect on how you’ve spent your time in this world. So what have I done in 40 years?
I have lived in two states and visited 12 others. I have lived in Georgia a total of 31 years and Kentucky the other nine. I have visited Alabama, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Missouri, Kansas, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and California.
I have visited one other country, Germany. Teresa and I spent ten days in Germany at the end of 2007; we arrived December 24th and flew back on January 2nd, so I have rung in the New Year on another continent. We took in a Christmas village, drank hot chocolate and watched ice skaters, visited a Gothic style cathedral and rode a tour bus to Triberg in the Black Forest. Thanks to my father-in-law shipping his pickup truck over, I have been on the Autobahn in a Ford F-150.
I have eaten frog legs. They really do taste like chicken. Thanks to the international student population at OBI I’ve also had kimchi, calamari, borsh, Ethiopian flatbread and probably some other things I can’t remember.
I ride a motorcycle. The smallest motorcycle I’ve ridden was a Honda 90, the largest was a Suzuki Intruder 1500. I traded up a few years ago from a Honda Shadow 500 to an 1100 but have never ridden an American made bike (i.e. Harley).
I’ve driven 2 Volkswagen Beetles. The old ones; if it ever comes up I know how to find reverse.
I was on the debate team all 4 years in high school. In 1994 I qualified at the state level to compete at nationals.
My first day on my first job I made the front page of the local paper! They were doing a story on local business owner John Thorton and wanted to take a picture of him out in the mill.
I drive a bus. If you learn to drive a full size school bus in the mountains of eastern Kentucky you can probably drive anything anywhere. After all the training and testing it’s easier to stay certified than it would be to get it back so I still take a CDL physical every 12 months.
I graduated from high school, college, and will soon complete my second seminary course through the SBC Seminary Extension program. I have a BS in History/Political Science and graduated from the teacher education program at Shorter.
I taught high school for eight years (World History, U.S. History, geography) and one year of middle school math.
I was in the senior play in high school, took one semester of theater appreciation in college, help direct while student teaching, and was later the assistant director for 19 high school productions (working not only with actors but also lights, sound and stagecraft).
I worked for one year as an assistant carpenter and nearly a year doing HVAC. I’ve been on the roof of Memorial Hall at Stone Mountain (where the laser show is projected from) and in places inside Emory University Clinic that most people don’t know exist. Have you ever eaten at the KFC on Turner McCall Blvd. in Rome? I framed that building.
I now pastor a small church. I was licensed to preach, ordained as a deacon, ordained to ministry and later called to pastor in that order. I have married two couples, preached one funeral and recently ordained a deacon.
I published a book in 2014 and now write a weekly religion column for the local paper (the same one I appeared on the cover of at my first job 24 years ago). I’ve been a blogger since 2008.
I have had three jobs in food service: Shoney’s, Chick-fil-A and for a short time Schroeder’s Deli in Calhoun. I enjoy cooking but not working in the foodservice industry.
Teresa and I have been married 18 years and have one child.
I have played on two church softball teams (with apologies to Trinity Baptist. That ten year gap was too much and I lost it). But when I caught for Pleasant Hope we actually had an undefeated season!
I have seen the Braves play baseball at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium and Turner Field. I’ve seen the Georgia Bulldogs play at Sanford Stadium. I’ve eaten at the Varsity in downtown Atlanta and at the one in Athens.
I’ve seen The Beach Boys and Rush in concert, and a few years ago Mercy Me, The Newsboys and Zoegirl all in one show. (Met Josh McDowell that same weekend.) Saw Lonestar at Cowboys in Kennesaw.
I’ve left some things off this list (like playing guitar and swimming in the ocean) because there’s just no way to say everything. But I think that speaks to the fact I’ve done lots of things and am willing to try new stuff.
WHAT HAVE I NOT DONE?
Well I’m pleased to say that I’ve never broken a bone or spent a night in the hospital. I’ve never had my tonsils, appendix or anything else removed.
I came this close to skydiving. During a special promotion you could take a 90 min. class and make one tandem jump for $100. I really thought about it.
I would like to walk my daughter down the aisle and give her away someday, but I’ve never written a bucket list. I’m open to suggestions; what have you got?