Catching up! September 2017 Edition.

It has been a while since I have blogged. My life the last few months has gotten crazy, both at home and professionally. Sorry if you have been looking forward to my posts (I wish). I hate that I have not been more active in my writing. Anyway, life has had many ups and downs lately.

Clint gets his drivers license!
In the up department, my oldest son recently started driving. So far so good, no blood on the bumpers and no tickets, yet. But he just started, so there is still time for a major screwup. I know that sounds like a glass half empty way of looking at things, but all I have to go on is how I was at this age. Clint and I are very much alike, so I have to believe there will be issues. We pray not, but you know teenage attitudes, thinking you know it all and that you are invincible, can be a
Clint being baptized.
bad combination behind the wheel. But it is good that he can drive. We are proud of him for doing what he needed to do to get his license. This is a major milestone in his life.

Speaking of milestones, Clint accepted Christ as Lord and savior earlier this year and over the summer he was baptized by our pastor. Please keep Clint in your prayers as these teenage years are a very trying time. But we pray that with God's help, Clint will come through this time a man, ready to take on the world. 

Also in the up department, Clint has been doing a lot of work lately. He has been working with his Uncle Charlie this summer and learning small engine repair. He actually challenged me to a carburetor tear down and rebuild over the summer. Of course, he won. I know nothing about carburetors, so I lost by default.  Clint also mowed lawns for extra cash this summer. Over the last few weeks  he was offered a job at Bi-Lo and Walmart, so he is being very industrious.

Will in his football uniform.
Will has had a good summer and has been very busy as well. He decided to play JV football this year. They started practice  before school let out in the Spring and continued all summer. He even went to summer camp at WCU. He isn't a starter yet, but he has played in two games so far. We are so proud of him for kicking butt in school and on the field.

Jo at work.
Things have been wide open for Jo as well this year. She has been working for Park Ridge Health and finally got on a shift that she can tolerate. She had been working at the hospital on Sundays, which she didn't like because it meant getting up at 2 am and missing church. They worked with her and came up with a better schedule during the week at one of the doctor's offices. She is also really getting into natural products.  That means making some of her own products and using essential oils from Young Living. I have to say, I am
enjoying some of them
myself. Especially the Tea Tree Oil. It works wonders on zits. Yes, I still get zits.
Family motorcycle ride. 

My mother is staying busy. Along with teaching at Blue Ridge Community College she also offers computer support in the community. She also helps edit books for a few authors. I think she is busier now than when she worked full time. 

My sister and her entire family are living with my parents. My sister has had a rough year or so. She has undergone 13 surgeries on the same knee. For a moment we all were worried she might lose her leg. But the good Lord has smiled on her and she is recovering. However, she will probably require more surgeries. Please keep her in prayer. 

My new business card.
My job, clubs and hobbies have been keeping me busy. I am now working out of Asheville as a branch manager for Lending Path, but I still serve the real estate mortgage needs of Western North Carolina. We are currently in a small but nice office located in the Ridgfield area near the Asheville Outlets. We are going to be looking at bringing on a few other loan officers and staff over the next few months. It is an exciting place to work and a company that truly values their employees. 

Eating with Dad, Nate, and Clint.
As much as I can, I have been meeting with my dad for breakfast in Brevard, before heading to the office. I have been enjoying our time together. I miss the things we used to do when I was small, like taking fishing trips together. Mostly we hung out at the Island Ford bridge and probably lost more bait than caught fish, but those are great memories. 

My crazy family on the beach. 
Back in July we had an awesome family vacation at Sunset Beach. Thanks in large part to our friend Cynthia, who lets us rent her beach house. Mostly it was a low key trip. Mostly just relaxing on the beach. We love that area. There is a community pool near the house and the boys and Jo love to hang out there. But most of our time was spent on the beach itself. 

Mark 
I have been enjoying the few motorcycle rides I have taken this summer. It has been a wet summer, so I have not ridden as often as I normally do. But this year I haven't been the only one in the family to enjoy riding. Jo has been clocking some miles on her bike this year. We have gone on several rides together this year, she on her bike and me on mine. Will and I  rode in the High Country Warrior Ride in the Spring. A few weeks ago, Will and I rode over to the Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum. It was my second and his first time there. We had a blast and were actually part of a filming for Dale's Channel.

Last month I went to the Mile High Kite Festival and flew with the W.A.C.K.O.S. kite club. That was a lot of fun. I have been going to that festival almost since the beginning. While we were there, we spent a lot of time with Stu and Karen, two of our very best friends. They are planning on getting married in October. We cannot wait. Stu has asked that I be his best man. I am so honored. We are very happy for them both. They are a great couple, who are great together.

Photography wise I haven't done much this year. A few portrait sessions, some work for Chimney Rock State Park and a wedding. I have done a little bit for myself personally, like Will's first and third game, some landscape, and I am working on building a video library/vlog on Youtube. More on that later. Video is a challenge for me. It takes so much more time, and lately, I haven't had the time for stills. I have three weddings lined up in October and November.

 I also want to add we are so glad that my nephew Jacob is back home where he belongs. It has been good to watch his progress since moving home. I am sure he is going to do us all proud. We were blessed to be able to celebrate his 26th birthday with our family this week. We all had a great time. Jacob is living with my parents as well, but he just found a place of his own. He will be needing a few items to help furnish his place. If you have any items you wouldn't mind donating, let me know and I will get you in touch with him. 

In the down department, cancer, injuries, and death have been a part of our lives this past few months. Seems like Satan is on a rampage with this stuff and it has hit close to home. A sweet cousin of mine found out she has breast cancer and we are all praying for her and wishing for the best. She is being a trooper through it all. I have lost a few friends to death lately. These weren't people I was very close to, but it is still a reminder of how fragile life is. I am also watching some of the older members of my family struggle with pain and illness. It isn't easy. So lots of prayers are going up for them as well. I also experienced a profound sense of loss when I found out my cat Olive had passed away after a long illness. Death is so hard. Especially when you were not there for them in their last moments. It makes it so much harder to accept. 

Also in the down department, our Pastor Doug Tankersley resigned form East Fork Baptist Church at the end of last month. I miss him and his sweet family greatly. You will never find three people with bigger hearts than the Tankersleys! Awesome servants of God!

One last thing in the up department, we all enjoyed watching the Eclipse last month. I didn't get any great photos of the Eclipse, but it was awesome to see nonetheless. I did get some good crowd shots. We watched the Eclipse from the top of Sassafras Mountain. It is the highest point of elevation in the state in South Carolina and very close to our house. In all my years of going to Sassafras, I have never seen so many people up there.

Well, that pretty much catches you all up. I will try to do a blog like this every few months. Otherwise, I am going to try to do some single subject blogs at least once a month or more often. Until next time...

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