Monthly Archives: June 2015

What’s Your Dream?


There was once a kid named Jim living in Texas. Jim loved baseball and had been playing since he was three years old. He dreamed of being a major league baseball player. By the time he was in high school he was going to a small town school that did not have a baseball team. But, he did not give up his dream. After he graduated from high school he tried out in the amateur draft as a pitcher (his fastball was 85 miles an hour). The amateur draft is an open tryout where anyone can just walk up and give it their best shot. Jim was the 466th overall picked, drafted by the New York Yankees. But Jim did not sign. Instead he tried out again the next year and was picked fourth overall by the Milwaukee Brewers.

As with all new ball players, he was placed on one of the Milwaukee’s minor league teams. He had several arm injuries and was released by Milwaukee and picked up by the Chicago White Sox. But still he was not able to rise above single A minor league. Jim retired from baseball and became a teacher.

While a teacher he also coached his school’s baseball team. Ten years after leaving professional baseball Jim was coaching a team that had several talented ballplayers on it. But the team was not motivated (baseball took a back seat to football in the community) and was struggling. Jim was encouraging them not to give up, but his players pointed out that he gave up on his baseball career. The coach and the team struck a deal, if the team would win the district title, Jim would try out for baseball again.

The team did something no baseball team from that school had done before – they won the district title. A man of his word, Jim tried out for baseball again. Men Jim’s age, 35, are not rookies. At 35 most baseball players are retiring. The scout was not interested in Jim, but decided to let him tryout so Jim could keep his promise to his team. What happened next was shocking to everyone specially Jim. Jim threw twelve consecutive 98 mile an hour fastballs.

Jim was offered a contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and sent to the double A Orlando Rays. After just a few games Jim was moved up to the triple A Durham Bulls. Shortly after that he was called up to “The Big Show.” Finally, 20 years after a young high school kid dreamed of being a major league pitcher, Jim pitched his first game as a professional major league baseball player. Jim stuck out his first batter in four pitches. Jim pitched in the major leagues for two years, but his arm injuries returned and he retired from baseball. At an age when men are ending their baseball careers not starting them, Jim went after his dram one more time and made his dream a reality.

What is your dream?

So, why is it a dream, why are you not doing it?

If Jim can do it, if I can do it – you can do it!

No more excuses, no more wishes, you are never defeated until you quit.

Now go out there and make your dream a reality!

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The H.L. Hunley … A Look At History


The first week of June, my daughter and I went to see the H.L. Hunley in Charleston, South Carolina. First I want to encourage you to see the submarine.

Second I want to let you know that this is an active and ongoing research and preservation effort that is on going with the H.L. Hunley. Because of the work being done on the submarine, it is only open to the public on weekends.

Here are just some of the photos we took of our visit. I will post more later over the next few weeks.

Elizabeth inside a full size replica of the Hunley.

Elizabeth inside a full size replica of the Hunley.

 

The $20 gold piece that save Lt. Dixon's life at the Battle of Shiloh. His fiancé gave it to him and he kept it as a good luck piece. It was found on him inside the submarine when it was recovered.

The $20 gold piece that save Lt. Dixon’s life at the Battle of Shiloh. His fiancé gave it to him and he kept it as a good luck piece. It was found on him inside the submarine when it was recovered.

 

The $20 gold piece that save Lt. Dixon's life at the Battle of Shiloh. His fiancé gave it to him and he kept it as a good luck piece. It was found on him inside the submarine when it was recovered.

The $20 gold piece that save Lt. Dixon’s life at the Battle of Shiloh. His fiancé gave it to him and he kept it as a good luck piece. It was found on him inside the submarine when it was recovered.

 

The $20 gold piece that save Lt. Dixon's life at the Battle of Shiloh. His fiancé gave it to him and he kept it as a good luck piece. It was found on him inside the submarine when it was recovered.

The $20 gold piece that save Lt. Dixon’s life at the Battle of Shiloh. His fiancé gave it to him and he kept it as a good luck piece. It was found on him inside the submarine when it was recovered.

 

Facial reconstructions of the last crew of the Hunley.

Facial reconstructions of the last crew of the Hunley.

 

Facial reconstructions of the last crew of the Hunley.

Facial reconstructions of the last crew of the Hunley.

 

Facial reconstructions of the last crew of the Hunley.

Facial reconstructions of the last crew of the Hunley.

 

Facial reconstructions of the last crew of the Hunley.

Facial reconstructions of the last crew of the Hunley.

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Why??? And Why Children???


That is the real question. Why is there sickness, disease, and particularly cancer? And why do children die from these? I had a friend that lost faith in God over this question. Near my home three children have died from the same cancer in the last year. There has been more death I have seen and heard about in the last few years than I could have imagined. Why? Why does this happen to children? Why does God let this happen?

The same former friend also thought I needed to let go of the death of my oldest daughter, it has been eleven years after all. My former friend could understand if my daughter had been a teenager or something because then I would have memories (my daughter was a newborn). I did not answer, but I should have. There are many types of grief. For the first year my grief was over what I had lost. But, all of my memories with her were from a 90 minute period of time and eventually, I came to terms with what I lost, that is when my grief changed. Now I grieve not over what I lost, but what she lost. It is not a grief that stays on the surface on a daily basis. But it is a grief that is sparked from time to time by events, sights, sounds, smells, almost anything at any time can spark it. The one thing that is constant is you never know when it will surface, or how long it will be until it surfaces again. When you hear someone say, “He/she would have loved that” and they are talking about someone who has passed away – that is the kind of grief I/they/you are talking about. It is the same kind of grief we feel whenever we hear of someone dying too young. We grieve because those children never got to play with other kids, learn to talk & walk, have a first day of school, a first date and so many other things that (depending on their age) they never got to do. Chances those children lost. The death of a child is the hardest to bear, the hardest to understand.

One more thing before I get back to the main topic.

I am not going to start writing a religious column. I do not discuss politics, finances, or religion on this blog, nor do I accept articles from people for this blog on those three subjects. However, I do want to address this one issue.

First, let me say I am a Christian. A Christian who was taught from childhood that God is all knowing and all powerful. My Sunday school teachers taught me that God could do anything. They were wrong. Let me say that again. My Sunday school teachers were wrong, God can not do anything. As a matter of fact the average human being can do things God cannot do. Human beings can lie, steal, cheat, kill, be greedy, cheat on spouses and a whole slue of other things that God cannot do.

There are many things that exists because of human beings and for no other reason, bad things. This includes diseases and sickness. Now people did not create cancer, and there are many very good people working on cures for various cancers and other diseases that kill people. These are people who WANT to cure these killers. But, there is big money in research and I am equally convinced there are people who do not want these diseases to be cured for their own selfish reasons. Those people do not want the money to be shut off or they do not want to lose they power they have because of that research. I also equally believe that the day will come when many of these diseases will be cured. This is my opinion I offer no proof of this and have no intention of even trying. I also do not believe those who are more concerned with money or power can stop a cure, but they can slow one down.

So, why does this happen to children – it is not fair! No, it is not fair. But so far I have not seen one thing from science or religion that has ever promised life will be fair, actually quite the opposite. Life is damn hard and damn unfair.

Worse than children dying of sickness we cannot yet cure are the men, women, and children who die every day of diseases, parasites, and starvation – things we can prevent. Every day there is people who die by their own hand because of depression. The suicide rate of veterans unbelievably high.

But, at the end of the day each of us has to answer this question for ourselves. Why? I do believe there is a God, but if I can do things God cannot do and I cannot prevent cancer then how can I blame God for cancer.

The answer I have given myself is this. I cannot save every person on the planet. But today I can help one person. And for today, making a difference in the life of one person is enough – for today.

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