2014 in a Nutshell, Travelling
Gotta love America. It is the only country I know of you can leave a place 2 ½ hours before midnight, drive two hours and get home after midnight and then call the place you left and wish them Happy New Years and then find out it still isn’t midnight where you left. Driving into the New Year was fun and I had not done it since I quit trucking in 2004.
This year just passed was one of adjustment for me. In October of 2013 my income overnight quadrupled. Not only did it quadruple it did it tax free. Being a good little Christian the first thing I did was to tithe on that money. Then I had to figure out how to do it in a way that the Lord would approve and it would bless lives in a way that would truly help people. Initially I gave to three ministries and they are all good ministries but while I was helping in some ways. It soon became clear to me that there were plenty of people in my area that were falling through the cracks and needed assistance and I decided that with my share of the tithe I would try to help remedy that situation.
I give my 10% to the church like I should. Several years ago I felt truly blessed and started tithing at 20%. I realized for many years I did not tithe and I owed the Lord big time so I decided if I gave 20% sooner or later I would be even with the Lord. That way I put the burden on him. I mean if I don’t live long enough to get even then it is not my fault.
Even tithing that much I still had plenty of money for projects and for traveling. This year I went to Zephyrhills, FL via Savannah, GA. I spent the better part of a week watching skydivers. If you follow the highlighted link it will take you to a story of how I got into skydiving and why I love it. I got out of skydiving when I compressed my back on my very first civilian jump. That was sad, as a friend and former student of mine offered to make me a partner in a commercial drop zone he had started in Rolla, Missouri.
Anyhow my back is pretty well healed now and I was checking into starting jumping again. When I asked about it, they said step on the scale. The manager said no problem. You just need to lose about 80 pounds first. I had lost 90 before I had my heart attack so I know that is doable. Problem was I had found about 50 of those 90 pounds over the last 10 years. Now I have a goal though.
I also went to a writer’s conference in May which I go to every year. Then in Sept I went to the United States National Parachuting Championships in Ottawa. Illinois. A short side trip to Para-Gears Offices in Skokie, Illinois on the north side of Chicago cost me a $100 for stretching a red light. They had it on video. I actually stopped and then drove right on through the light before it turned back green. Too much time in the sticks of southern Indiana I guess.
From there I went to a National Veterans of the Vietnam War event in Kokomo, Indiana and spent a day with about forty thousand Vietnam Veterans. It was a really neat thing and it is my goal to go to the whole event next year. It lasts about four days. It just happened that while I was there I got to take in the Indoor Sk
ydi If you would like to see what that is like check out the video on the link.
From there I went to my grandson’s graduation from Basic Training at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. Irony was I graduated from Basic Training thirty nine years earlier to the month in Ft. Knox, Kentucky. I went from graduation to Sanford, North Carolina for a get together for the new National Skydiving Museum which I found out about while I was at Ottawa. After two days of watching high intensity skydiving events and seeing my first swooping contest my travels took me to Ft. Lee, Virginia. Once there I met with my grandson who went there for training from Ft. Jackson. I went to Rigger School to learn to pack and maintain parachutes at Ft. Lee back in 1966. After a short visit that got rained out I moved on to Norfolk, North Carolina. Spent a day there saw some lighthouses and crossed the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel Bridge on my way to Ocean City, Maryland which is where Mile 0 of U.S. Highway 50 is located. Definitely need to go there in the main season. The rooms are a lot cheaper in the off season, but lots of the places close once the tourist leave.
Then I drove across U.S. Highway 50 to Washington, D.C. and spent two days there. I managed to spend another $100 on a10 minute overage on my parking meter. Traveling can get expensive if you don’t pay attention. After trying to go to the National Library I was about frustrated with D.C., it is not the city it was years ago. Really enjoyed going to D.C. years ago, but that fire went out.
Left Washington and after a brief stop in Arlington National Cemetery I managed to drive U.S.50 all the way home. Hopefully I will get to finish that trip all the ways to the west coast this summer. Going across 50 allowed me to go through Marietta, Ohio where my Great, Great, Great Grandfather had a land grant from Thomas Jefferson for his service in the Revolutionary War. It is amazing that just five generations takes me that far back in our nation’s history
So I had a great year traveling and while I don’t think I did anything wrong, I don’t think that is what the Lord Blessed me with ten more years of life for or gave me the financial blessing he has poured out on me. Spending all that money affected my blog output. I only had twenty-seven posts this year which is less than half of my previous years. My goal is to improve the blog in 2015 and have some guest posts by other writers. Also to learn to listen to what the Lord is calling me to do. This was basically a year off, which is not a sound use of the time the Lord has blessed me with. Much of the year was spent learning what my comfort zone is and trying to go back to my past. That is not what the Lord has called us to do though. We need to move forward.