Americana- Off Shore Fishing With Dad

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Growing up and into my late 30’s we always took family vacations to the beach. When we did my dad, brothers and I would take a day trip with a Captained boat to go out and do some off shore fishing. My dad loved to fish and we often would catch the limit on about every fish we got into to. The last trip we took before my dad got where he could barely see and walk was on a boat called the Captain Stacy. We went out of Morehead City, NC into the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean about 25 miles off the coast of North Carolina.

My dad, two brothers and myself went on this trip. After about a three or four hour boat ride out into the Atlantic into 150-300 feet deep water we put our lines in and soon began to catch Dolphin (not flipper folks) but the actual fish called a Dolphin. We then got into some Amberjack which are big and strong and give one hell of a fight to get into the boat. We fished out the limit on both of those so we moved into some deeper water in search of some bigger game fish.

We put anchor down and suddenly things got hot again and we hit a school of Spanish and King Mackerel and hit the individual limit on both of them. I cannot remember I think it was like 5-7 per person and we had a good time tearing them up and getting them on board the boat. Mackerel is a bony fish that doesn’t eat that well so we gave them to the people who show up everyday at the local docks when the boats come in so they could eat them.

The day continued and we found ourselves surrounded by five or six other boats because we were hitting the fish hard and catching them like crazy on every cast. Other than a few that broke the line or fought off we tore them up that day. Late in the day before coming back in for the three hour return trip we hooked into a large shark. My dad fought it first and then one by one we took turns fighting that beast. It breached the water three times to let us get a hint of his size and power but we never could get it close to the boat.

The last time the shark jumped out of the water three hours later as it was still fighting the Captain got a good glimpse of it and determined based on his experience that we had hooked a 8-10 foot long Tiger Shark that likely weighed in the area of 400-600 pounds. He told us we would not get that thing on the boat and it was best to cut it loose and let it go. He also reminded us that it was getting late in the afternoon and we needed to head back before it got dark. The last thing he said was we really don’t want that full grown adult shark close to a 30 foot boat anyways.

It was big enough to pull the boat around and mean. One huge, lean, mean eating machine. So we cut the line and let it go. That shark won the battle that day as he proceeded to wear all of us out. One by one he kicked our butts and sent us packing and we are all healthy and strong men. My dad was older but was still a 6’4 340 pound mans man and the most experienced of us all and it wore him down also. Just as we were cutting the line my brother hooked a good size fish and as he was reeling it in and just as it was coming out of the water it got hit by another Tiger shark.

This one was not as big but was mean and about 6-7 feet long and he was a monster. He bit the 18 inch long fish in half and kicked his tail at us as to say better stay on that boat. As a kid I spent lots of time in the ocean playing, swimming and fishing for two weeks every summer. But that sunny day in July showed me a life lesson that we are humans and are meant to be on a boat and not in that water out there. We may be the ultimate predator on ground, but those big sharks are the rulers of the deep. They can have the deep water and I will stay my big butt right in the shallows where it belongs.

We lost dad in 2009 and man would I love to fight another big shark or just catch a few pond bass with him. One of these days we will fish again. Dad, thanks for the memories growing up at the beach. Thanks for teaching us how to fish, be men of faith and take care of our families like you did for so long. Happy fishing in Heaven dad!

Love, Hugs and Kisses in Heaven!

Americana- July 4th Fireworks, Family and Friends

My family has been celebrating the fourth of July for many years at a pool party with friends, family and lots of fireworks. My dad loved fireworks and would always drive down to South Carolina or have someone bring some back from the beach to shoot off at the party. He would sit on the diving board at the local pool we were members of and watch us boys (me and my brothers) fire off the fireworks. He took pride in his family, friends and that pool party. The highlight at the end of the night growing up was to see those booming fireworks going off.

Once dad got a bit older and could not set them off himself as I stated we would set them off and he and mom would sit and watch and celebrate. I can see him smiling now as the beautiful colors sparkle and bang in the air. My dad passed away on 2009 and we have continued to make sure this family tradition continues. My nephews have now become the firework setter off leaders. One of them is a fireman so he is the perfect person for the job. If he sets something on fire he can grab a hose and put it out.

I was helping them this time and we were spending some time talking and I looked both of them in the eye and told them that myself and their dads were getting a little older and will not always be here. I asked them to take it and run with it every July 4th. Family, Friends, Fireworks and food are a staple of my families July 4th and I cherish every memory made all of these years. I have been hit by random fireworks, ran from them, nearly got my fingers blown off and all kinds of trouble due to setting them off.

We celebrate a day that signifies life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the greatest country in the world. I am thankful for all of my family, friends and the fireworks and hope you had a great July 4th celebrating our independence. Americana is apple pie, holidays, baseball, fire works, summers at the lake, toys, traveling and so many other things. Enjoy and make your own Americana memories and tell your story. I hope you enjoyed the story of my dad, mom, our family and how important fire works is to us and our family bond.

Spirit Chronicles: The Dark Wave

I dreamed I was fishing in a very nice lake and was catching fish that looked kind of like a flounder but they had human like faces. I caught them one by one and they got bigger each time. I would reel them in, take them off the hook and throw them back into the beautiful water. My dad was with me and I do not see him very often in my dreams but the is one of my guardians and shows up when things get hard for me or something bad is about to happen. He was always a huge supporter of me and continues to be in spirit. I knew him being in the vision had a meaning that a storm or hard choice may be coming soon.

I continued to fish and and we baited the hooks and caught fish after fish. Then a huge wave appeared in the east of us and it was about one hundred feet high and very dark. It was muddy colored dark brown almost black and was getting bigger and bigger. I saw it coming in the distance and wanted to continue to fish but I knew it was time to step away from the shore and seek safety. Dad looked at me and I knew it was time to reel the bait in and get away from the impending wave. My dad does not talk to me in dreams, but I can sense and know what he is telling me when he appears.

As we walked away the first of two large waves hit and the shore line crashed with muddy water and it rushed towards me but did not touch my feet. It went around me because I was protected from that storm and the ones that are coming by my dad and God’s spirit. Another larger wave hit soon and it passed as well with no damage or feat from it. The water began to clear and I woke up. My dad is with me right now as I write this vision and dream to you. He us touching the top of my head and letting me know that he is here for me.

He was a strong man in life. He was a leader of people. He took care of my mom, brothers and myself. He now does the same in spirit. I am so proud of my father and the person he was. I am so glad to have him in my life daily guarding over me. Thank You dad for being my guardian, father and spirit guide as I continue to transform spiritually into the best Christian I can and use my God given gifts to help others as you helped me.

Matthew 6;33; But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

James 1:6; But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

Spirit Chronicles: Ghost in the Building

We have a small very old building on the edge of our property and today as I was mowing I sensed something in the building looking out the window at me. I stopped what I was doing, cut the mower off and sat there for a few minutes to see if I could see it again. I just caught a glimpse of something in the window the first time but that building is padlocked from the outside and has never been opened as long as we have lived here. Honestly, I do not know what is in that old building and was thinking about it as I drove past it mowing and cutting the high weeds around it down.

I started the mower up and continued to mow the rest of the yard. While finishing up the yard I could help but think about that old building and what I may have seen. Sure it could have been a critter of some type like a possum or racoon but this thing that moved was fluid and tall. No animal could move like that or cast a picture like that. The property was the former home of settlers and Indians so it is a very spiritually active site daily. I sense lots of things on the property and have written many stories about Old Town Road.

My wife flagged me down and told me it was getting dark and time to get inside and rest some for tomorrow. I parked the mower and continued to think about that building. I told my wife when I sat on the golf cart to head back to the house that I was going to go check that old building out tomorrow and see what was happening with it and what is in it. I feel that there is something attached to that building and it sensed that I could see it and knew it was there. It hid from me which tells me it is not the nicest of spirits or just wants to be left alone.

As I was driving back towards the house I got a very sudden spirit headache (spirit gives you a headache) when it comes at you really strong. I also felt sick to my stomach suddenly which shows me it is not of the light and a lost or wandering spirit. Then it hit me hard in the upper chest and throat taking my breath in the process. It hit me so hard that I had to stop driving and focus on stopping its attack. It came at me really hard and was very strong. I have been previously attacked on the property by an ancient Indian female spirit and she was mean and nasty and hard to deal with.

That spirit tried to choke me also and held my head in the pillow one night almost killing me in my sleep. Look at the story Attacked on Old Town Road for that one. Anyways, I focused up and told the spirit I meant it no harm and did not want to interfere with its business to leave me alone. It let up as spirit can only use a certain amount of energy at one time. I got back to the house, prayed and blessed the entrance of the house telling it to stay out and away. As I write I am still tired from the attack and the headache is almost completely gone. I will have to deal with this spirit at a later date but for now I will leave the old building on Old Town Road alone.

Spirit Chronicles: The Dancing Man, The Rock Cross and Feeding People

I was walking along a beautiful mountain road looking at all the wonderful sites. The trees were full of wonderful colored leaves which signified to me it was late fall because that is when the leaves change and is one of my favorite times of the year to visit. I came around a bend on this long and windy dirt road and there was a one lane bridge crossing a small but very fast creek full of big rocks and fish swimming around in the deeper pools. I was walking with someone that I didn’t know but felt very comfortable with like I had known them all of my life, maybe even before I was born. This person had a soothing and warm feel to them that made me feel good inside. As we entered the bridge I looked down stream and there stood a man in a white robe. This man was dancing around in the wild flowers and singing but no one else was around him.

I walked to the middle of the bridge and stopped to lean over the side rail and look at the water, the fish, the giant rocks and the wonder of the water just flowing like life. Turning over the sand, going around rocks, creating little rapids, big rapids and nice calm pools. Water relaxes me and I love it so the dream was making sense. I turned to ask the man with me a question and he was gone as if he had simply vanished. I looked around checking both sides of the bridge to see where he went but he was gone. I could feel his presence but could not see him. I then turned my attention back to the man in the white robe dancing down by the river in the blue, green, red and purple wild flowers. Those are pretty much my favorite colors so it felt good to see the beautiful flowing plants waving in the wind as it blew along the river banks.

The man was about one hundred feet or so from me so I hollered to him, “hey mister, what are you doing”? He looked up at me and smiled and said I am hear to make a nest. I asked him “why would you make a nest in the wild flowers and be standing there dancing”? He looked at me and said “I build the nest so I can store food and feed people”. As he was telling me this he laid a rock on the ground, turned and walked four or five feet on an angle and put another rock down there. I just stood and watched as I was trying to think about his response and then like the other side he walked across the middle of the first rock and placed on an exact angle as he did the other. It looked like he was building a fire pit but why build one that is a triangle shape and so far apart? Then he stepped back in the middle and walked about fifteen feet towards me and put another rock on the ground.

These rocks were big and heavy probably over 100 pounds and he picked them up with ease and placed them perfectly where he wanted them. Once he finished he looked at me and said see “I built a nest to store food for gathering my people”. Then the wind kicked up and the exact spot he had placed the four rocks in revealed the shape of a cross. This was a message from God that he was preparing a place and had built a way for us to find him. As fast as he was there he just walked off going behind some tall pines and he was gone. The place in the high grass was still there and evident to the eye. I woke up and wrote down this vision and began to take notes, pray and think about it. It then hit me that the river, mountains, colored flowers and windy road was my version of heaven and he was showing me to embrace it, look forward to it and to spread the word that God built a big giant T, called a cross and that is where he wants us to be with him.

Luke 12:19;

And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’

Psalm 104:14; You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth.

Spirit Chronicles: The Hairy Men and the Dog

When I was nine years old some friends and I were playing down on a small creek riding our bikes, looking for a shallow swimming hole and just being boys. We got deep into the woods and one of my friends had a huge dog named Cowboy. He was so big you could ride him like a horse. He was a mixed breed Collie and Saint Bernard and was very protective of my friend. We played all day down on the creek beds and as the early evening was approaching with the sun starting to go down in the west we heard a very loud growl about 150 feet from us. It was normal to be in the woods and see critters, animals and deer that the dogs would chase and fight with at times. But this growl was different, it was very low and loud and came from something I had never seen nor heard.

The growl became a yell and that alarmed us all and we took off running. It was getting dark and we were a good mile in the woods running on a creek bed. As we all started running I turned around to catch a glimpse of what I can only describe as a big “hairy man”. Cowboy attacked the thing and started fighting with it. This is where it got hard to believe or understand because Cowboy was standing on his hind legs and at 150 pounds he stood at least four feet high on his hind legs. Whatever he was fighting was on two feet and stood a minimum of six feet tall. We all called for Cowboy to come but he was engaged in a heck of a fight with this “hairy thing” right there in the woods.

We were running away and I looked back and this thing raised its hand and hit Cowboy one time and knocked him about ten feet away like he was tossing a cat. The thing then turned it glare towards me as I had frozen at that point, stopped and was just staring at whatever this thing was. It yelled really loud with a snarling growl and turned and ran up the hill and into the trees. It disappeared and I began to run as fast as I could away. I didn’t realize that my friends had all been gone for at least a minute running ahead of me. They didn’t see or witness everything I did so when I told them of course they gave me a hard time about it.

Several years later while hunting for deer and other small game in the same area I always had a feeling that something was watching me but I could never see it. I heard it moving in the brush, but could not find it. I stopped thinking and talking about after my friends busted my chops about it and tucked that memory away. I thought about it from time to time and have been infatuated about it for the rest of my life. I watch movies, shows and specials about Big Foot now because I firmly believe what I saw was not a bear (no bear in that area of NC) and I know the other animals that were in the creek bed area. Fast forward to 1987 and I am in the woods in the mountains of NC and as my roommate and I are riding down a dirt road heading for our deer stands early in the morning as the sun was rising.

I glimpse over to my right and on top of the mountain in a clearing I see what looked like the same thing. It was big and hairy and no human could be that big and that high up on a mountain. I caught a quick glimpse of it maybe three to five seconds and it ran off into deep thick woods. This being my second time seeing a “hairy man” it just made my curiosity even higher than before. Fast forward to 2021 and I am on the phone with a friend of mine that is very gifted in seeing things and I am asked about the thing I saw when I was young. That blew my mind and It validated what I thought the whole time. Until you see something like a big foot, odd creature, lake monster, cryptid or other unexplainable things you may be a sceptic You may say I am crazy and try to tell me what I saw. But I can say without a doubt that 45 years later I still can picture both “hairy men” in my head and will never forget the yell and growl that thing made.

Americana: Fishing The Local Creek

Growing up my brothers and I fished in small creeks around our house. We never found that huge fish much bigger than a small mouth bass but seen lots of them swimming in the creeks. We would gather our poles and tackle box and ride our bikes down to the creek a mile or so away trying not to bust our butts and wreck the bike holding onto a rod and tackle box while driving the bike. The one creek we fished was down a steep hill and if you were not careful you would wipe out going down that hill (it happened to me more than once). We would arrive at the creek and climb under or over the old electric fence and on occasion get zapped by it. Worst thing was to get zapped if you were climbing over it and unfortunately that happened a few times.

The fence was up because Mr. Cecil had land all along the creek where his cows stayed and he allowed us to go fishing as long as we left the cows alone. I love cows and know they are sweet animals, but when they feel like you are threatening their little ones or a bull is around they will charge you and can mess you up. We would walk for miles fishing every little hole we could find and stop when we saw a fish move in the water and generally not catch them. Nothing more frustrating that dropping a big old earth worm right in front of a fish that is spawning and they just look at it. We just knew for sure we would catch them but the chase was fun and frustrating at the same time.

Miles of walking with an occasional stop to just get in the creek and take a swim in a hole a few feet deep and walk in the water kicking it on each other. We knew where the good swimming holes were but they changed with every storm depending on how much flooding happened and how much debris got washed down stream. We looked for fallen trees because that was where the bigger fish would lay and wait for small ones. The fish in creeks like to congregate around fallen trees and root systems. We caught some good catfish and sucker fish in those holes. We had to be on the look our for snakes also. Where I grew up we didn’t have cotton mouths but the copper heads and banded water snakes were mean rascals and would leave a mark for sure.

The most exciting thing we saw once was a big bull frog got caught by a copper head on one end and on the other was a king snake. That frog made the most awful noise I had ever heard in my life as the two snakes fought for that big old frog. The king snake won the battle when the copper head let go after being wrapped up by the six foot long king snake. The frog bit the dust (literally) and the the king snake went after the copper head and that was a heck of a fight also. I am thankful for Mr. Cecil allowing us to fish his small creek and spend time in the summer and fall just being boys. Getting into nature and finding creeks and rivers is in my blood now. I desire to have a home sitting on a river, creek or at least have a small brook running through the property.

Fishing small creeks and hanging out with my brothers and friends was some of the best memories of my life. Take care of small creeks, keep the clean and go explore them. You will be surprised how nice they are and the wildlife that supports it. Fish, deer, snakes, racoons, possums, foxes, bears, coyotes and even an occasional big foot might just be seen near a creek way back in the woods. The big foot is another story for another day!

Coach B!

Americana: Why Carry A Pocket Knife

Rarely do I leave my house without a pocket knife. I have a large collection of them that have accumulated through the years from collecting and buying them. My daughters buy them for me on my birthday and at Christmas time. I see them in stores and shops and snag them up for a few dollars. I keep a knife in every car for several reasons and often as stated have one on me at all times. I cannot have one on campus at school so that is about the only time I will not have a knife in my pocket. I do not carry it as a weapon, but it can be used to defend you and your family if needed. I carry it to use as a tool for many purposes along with possible protection. Knifes are part of Americana, like apple pie, baseball, BB guns, old toys, antiques and sports. They come in all sizes, shapes, colors and decorative styles.

My dad loved knifes and so did my grandfather. They both had some old timers that I still have until this day put away to give to my kids one of these days. You can pay as little as a dollar for a good knife to have on you at all times. One of my favorite knifes is from the dollar store down the road from my house. It is well made and very sharp. I like to switch them like watches. I have a collection of about 20 watches and probably 100 or more knifes that I rotate weekly. Growing up in the country you learned how to use a knife to survive and as a life tool. Be careful with a sharp knife and learn how to handle one before using it. Knifes are a great gift for any guy, son, wife, daughter or friend. Many of them hold excellent value and some of the best knife makers in the world are made in America.

Below is a list of the things you can use a good little pocket knife for so put one on your purse, in the car and in your pocket.

1- You can use it to protect yourself and your family if needed. It may not do a lot of harm, but it can be intimidating enough to keep someone from messing with or attacking you. If your not a gun person, then put a knife beside your bed or in the car.

2- You can use it to cut wood and whittle things. Sitting outside in the fall or late summer and carving something out of wood is relaxing and can be very creative. Recently while cleaning out a garage I found several old boy scout projects I had carved out of wood many moons ago as a teenager.

3- You can use it to cut open a can of food or poke a hole in a can to get the food out. I remember going camping in college and using a pocket knife to open cans of Beans and Franks to cook on the fire.

4- You can use it to cut your hair or fingernails. Yes, that sounds crazy but it happens.

5- You can use it to cut your sausages, cheese and other food items up when you are at lunch, camping or hunting. You can also use it in the kitchen.

6- You can save a life in a burning or wrecked car by cutting the seat belt in half to get someone lose. A knife will cut rope, seat belts and many other things that can have you locked down.

7- You can use it to strip wire, cut wire, trim things and use as a tool on the job. A knife will also turn screws, make holes, cut slits in belts and other cutting reasons.

8- You can use it to get the dirt out your fingernails and food from your teeth. I would rather use a toothpick, but hey a knife works also.

9- You can use it to cut bait, fillet fish, skin an animal and survive. Going fishing growing up we always had a knife handy to cut bait, cut tangled lines, fix the small screws on the reel or fillet the fresh fish we caught on the pier or in the pond.

10- You can just carry it around for the heck of it and know that you have one of the best multi tools in the world at your disposal at all times day or night.

Coach B!

Americana: Four Wheeling Fun, Family and Friends

The old saying is that money cannot buy you happiness. But it can buy you a four wheeler and everyone I know that has one rides with a smile on their faces. My wife and I bought new four wheelers last year and have had a great time riding them on the property. We go out every now and then and just go for a casual ride through the woods, on some trails and down the road. Four wheelers are relatively inexpensive and can be maintained with regular servicing at a local shop or dealership. The weather here in North Carolina today was awesome with 78 degrees and blue skies everywhere. So we jumped on the four wheelers and rode around for a few hours enjoying the weather and laughing at the dogs as they ran all over the yard trying to keep up with us.

We rode the trails, seen a couple of deer and a cow. Yes, we saw a rogue cow from the neighbors farm that likes to break out of the fence and roam our yard eating flowers and plants. We got him moving back towards his farm and went on our way running the dogs for another hour or so. I got a little mud on me also and the four wheeler needs a bath tomorrow when I get home from work. My daughter and her husband have four wheelers and come over and we ride all summer long, especially on Saturdays. I have heard about a few small towns in West Virginia where you can camp and ride your four wheeler around town and all through the woods so that is now on our to do list of places to go and enjoy.

Four wheeling allows you to relax, laugh, get dirty and just have some clean fun. Four wheeling allows you to spend quality time with your family and friends. We have a pool and lots of people come over during the summer so we get them out and people swim , ride four wheelers, play volleyball and enjoy a nice fire in the pit. Four wheeling gets you out of the house and is a great cure for covid lock downs. If you live in an area where four wheelers are not able to be used, then go rent a couple of them and spend a weekend in the woods away from home. Four wheeling if done safely is fun, entertaining, active and a great experience.

Coach B!

Americana: Testing Your Patience- Me Versus a Weed Eater

Yesterday I needed to go and purchase a new weed eater to keep the yard work done. I have a gas powered weed eater that has seen its better days and a battery powered one as well. We have to maintain five acres of land and that requires lots of weeding, spraying and mowing. After getting about halfway through the weeding and the battery powered weed eater dying twice I got really frustrated so I decide it was time for a trip to the store to get a new gas powered weed eater. My wife had been telling me to go get one for awhile (don’t tell her she was right). I get to Lowes and go back and start looking at weed eaters and they have like five brands, gas powered, different motors, different attachments and all those hard decisions. So I enlisted the help of the expert nearby and a few other guys standing around like me doing the same thing, getting a new weed eater.

As we were all talking, comparing and giving one another advice two major themes came to light. 1- Weeding and maintaining a yard sucks. 2- The frustration of a weed eater or small engine is nerve racking. So I make the decision based on best price, best power, best line and best adaptation of the weed whacker. I bring it home brand new in the box with five gallons of pre-mix fuel oil and am ready to knock the rest of the yard out. I had accomplished part of the process by getting a new weed eater to take care of this big yard. I get home and take it from the box and begin to assemble it. I actually read the directions and put it together based on that 1-4 step process.

Bam, weed eater is assembled and fueled up. I again follow the directions on how to fuel it, prime the fuel line, check the line and follow the process to start it. Put it in position #1 and pull five times, check. Put it in #2 and pull three to five times- check. Put in #3 and pull until it starts. Once it starts let it run for two minutes without pumping the gas handle to engage the cutter. I follow the directions and after building a complete sweat, about passing out from pulling on the darn cord for five minutes I have no weed eater power. Now my frustration is setting in and my patience is being tested really hard. I once again as the directions say do the 3 step process and this time it almost starts.

I go to the internet for help now and see the hacks available to check it out. I check the fuel and it is good. I check the muffler and it is good. I check the carbonator to make sure it is set to factory specs. My wife is over there mowing away and I am trying to get this darn thing started. I continue to follow the directions without it starting so now I had said several choice words that I feel bad about saying (had to tell God I was sorry). I have gotten all red faced and pissed off over this freaking weed eater not starting. I am thinking, great now I have to take it back to Lowes, exchange it or get a return. So I sat it down and walked away for a few minutes. Came back after calming down from losing the war with the weed eater and followed the process one more time. Bam, it finally started and ran about 10 seconds but it showed me there was light at the end of the tunnel.

I tried to stay calm, patient and watch my tongue and about an hour into this battle the darn thing starts and ran like a charm. It weeded the yard like a monster and did a great job so I was thankful it finally started. The moral of the story is that starting and maintaining a weed eater or small engine is like life. You have expectations and ideas. You go head into it with hope, aspirations and focus. Then bam, life decides to take a different direction and give you a hard time. And during this time you might lose patience, get tired, frustrated and even get a few blisters (I have three today and they are sore as crap). We keep pulling the string in an attempt to start the motor of the weed eater and life motor. Walk away, clear your head and stay with it and eventually you will be able to weed out the issues of life just like that new weed eater gets rid of those unsightly weeds in the yard.

Patience, Understanding, Attitude, Focus, Determination and Dedication will get that weed eater going every time.

Proverbs 15:18; A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.

Coach B!

Americana: Pocket Full of Rocks

My youngest daughter Brooke has always been infatuated with rocks of all kinds. When she was a little girl she would come home every day from school and my wife would find her pocket full of rocks. She would have rocks in her pockets, her jacket, her back pack and anywhere else she could hide them. By the time she left elementary school I think we might have owed them a load of gravel rock and pebbles to offset all the ones she brought home. When we would travel to the mountains and go to a river she would collect rocks. When we went to a gem mine she would always find the best and prettiest rocks. When we began the process of selling our home recently we went through the garage and found two or three boxes of rocks she had saved through the years.

She would collect the rocks and out them into a tumbler to break them up and shine them up nice and pretty. Rocks are ancient and have been on Earth for millions of years and they have so much history in them. I love rocks myself and when we travel to the mountains I always go looking for rocks of different colors and sizes. Rocks are strong, hard to break and make a great foundation for buildings. Living a fruitful and fun life requires us to build a foundation on solid rock. In the bible there is reference to rocks and the solid foundation they lay for our lives, faith and family. I guess Brooke got her love of rocks from me as I was traveling this past weekend in the North Carolina mountains I took a bunch of pictures of great big giant rocks. As I found them and took the pictures, climbing on most of them to get the best view I could only imagine how many people had stood upon those rocks or touched them.

I saved those rocks for Brooke and someday she will take them home and hopefully share her love of rocks with her family and kids (when she has some). Brooke got married recently and when I spoke at her reception part of what I said was for her and Jonathan to lay a firm foundation as strong as rock and build the marriage upon that. Amazing that a pocket full of rocks can bring back so many memories of my girls when they were little. When I was a kid I would stand for hours on the gravel road I grew up on, take a stick and hit rocks until I was too tired to swing or the stick broke. Rocks are cool, have tons of history and are part of Gods great plan he had to share with us. Thank goodness for God, Brooke and her pocket full of rocks.

Coach B

Travel: Five Reasons To Visit the Mountains

Five Reasons to Visit the Mountains

Visiting the mountains for a day trip, a weekend getaway or for a vacation is a fabulous idea.  The mountains offer so many advantages that you cannot find in other areas of your state.  If you are not fortunate to have mountains then go a few states over and spend some time there.  I will be in the mountains this week over spring break and know I will be getting some writing inspiration from the visit.  My wife and I go to the mountains about two to three times a year to get away, get renewed and refresh.

I can think of many reasons why you should go to the mountains and visit, but will only list my top five during this brief blog post.  As I write we are packing our bags for a wonderful week away from stress, anxiety, kids, work, and all the other things that we do daily.  Just the wife and I chilling out, sightseeing and looking for some new waterfalls in the North Carolina mountains.

  1. Mountains are very old.  They are some of the oldest formations on Earth that were formed millions of years ago.  The beauty and history of the way they were carved out is a sight to see.
  2. Mountains offer some of the best and clearest water you can find anywhere in the world.  Mountain streams, creeks and lakes are beautiful and so pure.  Find a wonderful water hole, put your feet in that coldness and just enjoy.
  3. Mountains are the home to wonderful down home people.  Mountain folks are a special breed and are wonderful to meet and mingle with.  They are genuinely hard working family people that like the laid back style of living.  
  4. Mountains offer the best picture taking opportunity.  Everywhere you go there is a chance to catch an awesome sunrise, sunset, animals, scenery, trees, nature, and all the special things you will not encounter in the city or flat land area.
  5. Mountains just allow you to get back to God.  The mountains bring me back, take me down a notch and restore my soul.  They are like clay that has been molded by God and offer a glimpse at nature and God’s mighty works.

I hope you take a mountain trip soon.  Get some pictures, hike, see wildlife, meet new people and reset your inner peace in the process.  If I get stressed out, anxious or just need a break I head to the mountains.

Coach B!