The First Ascent of Mt Everest – When I met my wife

The Day I met my wife: There she was – sitting in the far corner booth being the center of attention for more than one of the guys at the table.

Allow me to set the scene; After church services, there were so many bible college students that headed for half price appetizers at Applebee’s that we would often ask for the smoking section knowing that we would fill it up and leave no room for smokers in the restraunt.  And even then, the people not from our church or college were often approached with the gospel at some point in the evening.  Even with the college’s “don’t go out to eat unless you have enough money to tip well” policy, I’m sure the local staff hated Wednesday and Sunday nights; we didn’t drink, we only ordered off the half price menu, and we stayed until 15 minutes before curfew and start demanding the check get there in a hurry so we wouldn’t be late.  A 20% tip on a $6 meal won’t put your kids through college.

I was only 18, a freshman in Bible College, over 500 miles away from home, trying to fit in this new world of mine.  To be honest, I’m not even sure I knew who I was exactly; so in a way I was meeting myself as much as I was meeting anyone else.  I was rather unpopular in high school, even though I played football and Track and Field, and was in the top 25% of my class scholatically.  But here, I had a clean slate.  No one knew me from high school here and it was a chance to invent myself as anything I wanted to be.  I chose a funny all the time, overbearing occasionally, always social, usually outgoing, obnoxious at times, and spiritual deep at times personality.

Back to the scene, I happen to be one of the guys making Stephanie the center of my attention.  I couldn’t tell you who else was at the table other than ‘the competition’ – two guys both spending quite a bit of their time with Stephanie.  One of the two guys was obviously making her feel uncomfortable.  The other guy was looking more and more like the hero saving her from the first guy.  I was on the side lines; I felt she was out of my league.  A conversation with the hero made me believe they had been dating for a while anyway – which wasn’t true, but I didn’t know any better.  Over the next year, she dated the hero (who turned out to be a zero – forgive the cliche’).  We did become great friends, spending a lot of time at a momument between the boys and girls dorms.  It would be another two years before we were married – but well worth the wait!

Look for these Moments in future posts for the series:

  • The Day I got married
  • The Day my Mother Died
  • The Day my Father-in-Law Died
  • The Day I interviewed with American Express

The First Ascent of Mt Everest

You may have noticed that today was the anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest.  It caught my eye when I hit the google homepage and got me thinking.  Mankind has made many advances over the last 100 years – we’ve invented cars, airplanes, computers, and television.  These are wonderful inventions and improve our lives – on a daily basis, but there is something life-changing about a personal feat like climbing Mount Everest that is very different than inventing a new device.  As I think about my own life, I consider some of the moments in my life that have made a real impact (my personal Everest moments):

The day I got saved: I don’t know that date and I’m not even sure how old I was, but it was after a church service one night.  I was sitting in the back of the Ford Taurus on the passenger side, looking up at the moon and stars, playing with the nylon hairs where the door handle goes into the door panel.  I sat there in prayer – not the formal “Our Father” type of prayer – the simple child’s conversational prayer when I thought, ‘LORD, I know you are real, I know you gave your son for my sins, but I don’t know if I have ever asked you into my heart – so, just in case I haven’t – please save me and come into my heart’.  I still talk to God this way and my life would be entirely different had it not been for that night, in the back of a Ford Taurus.

The day I decided to go to Bible College: It was raining and I was stuck at the house without a lot to do.  I was bored with what was on television and had already seen the movies (VHS) that we owned but I had not yet watched the WHBC promotional video that my pastor’s wife had given me several days (maybe weeks) before.  I put it in and hit play.  I had never watched a Breakthrough broadcast before, I had never been to World Harvest Church before, and I had no interest in Pastor Rod Parsley either.  I had seen him on Christian Television before, but nothing that made me feel that I should look at his school or church – besides, WHC was located in Columbus, Ohio – and I wasn’t interested in Ohio.  A few minutes into the video and I felt a deep-in-my-soul drawing to WHBC.  I didn’t know then that my future career in IT would begin there or that I would meet my wife there.

The day I left home:It’s an 8 hour drive from my parents house in Stanley, NC to my new dorm room in Columbus OH, it took me over 12.  I packed a couple of suitcases, some towels, a pillow, and a few blankets.  Not to be sent out on my own, my mother drove her white van with the front plate that read “Prayer changes things” right behind me the whole way.  I drove my 1968 VW tan colored bug named Biscuit.  The first delay was when my rear passenger side tire started making some sort of noise.  We pulled over in Virginia and found a parking lot where I could try to determine what the issue was.  A lug nut post had come lose from the threading and was actually working its way into the brake drum.  The next big delay was when the car overheated in Ohio about an hour and a half from our destination.  I was able to safely park it in a McDonald’s parking lot, move my things to my mom’s van and we went on without my bug.  When we finally arrived, it was dark, the day had been much longer than expected, we were all tired, and I noticed the blue lit WHC sign that my mother called soothing was only half lit.  I never moved back into my parents home and I never moved back to NC.

The Day I got Stephanie’s phone number: It was a Sunday.  I had known Stephanie for a couple of years and I had already graduated from Bible College.  I had a lunch date planned with a friend of mine – an old girlfriend to be honest.  But then, Stephanie found me in the foyer of the church.  She was excited to see me since we hadn’t seen each other in a while.  We had been close friends the first year of Bible college, but never romantic in the least.  After a little bit of small talk, she wrote her number on my hand.  I met my old girlfriend in the parking lot and told her about my Stephanie-reunion.  I even asked her to write down Stephanie’s number for me so I wouldn’t lose it when it came off my hand.  I think that was rude of me since I was having the girl I used to date and was on a current lunch date (albeit just as friends) write down another girl’s number for me, but had things gone differently that day – I might not be where I am today.

I could go on, but its late and I think I’m going to save them for a second post… until then…

Singing in the Rain – part 2

So if  you read my first Singing in the Rain post, then you know I have been dealing with my old mortgage company in Ohio, my landlord in AZ, and the tax man from washington – ok, I don’t know where the tax man lives – can it could be a woman for all I know – regardless, I’ve been dealing with all three.  Well, I wanted to give an update.

I sold the condo in Ohio – it was a short sell and I did blog about it in a post called “Sold!”.  If you don’t know – a short sell is when you sell a property for less than you own and the mortgage company takes the loses.  Its bad for your credit, but not as bad as a foreclosure.  That is done – and I’m finally rid of it!

My landlord situation was simply that my landlord was selling the home and asked that I either allow strangers to come through the home on 24 hours notice to look at it while it was on the market and to be prepared to move out within 30 days of a sell.  My second choice was to move out.  I choose option number two.  We found a new place – its very nice, but more expensive.  I will post pictures after we get unpacked – we moved this past weekend (which should be a seperate blog entry, but I don’t know if I will get one up or not…)

And last, the tax man.  I’m not done with this one yet (or should I say, they aren’t done with me yet?).  Anyway, I called the IRS and simply told them I needed more time to gather the information they are asking for because I was in the middle of a move.  They gave me a 30 day extention.  I’m still not sure if I will end up paying the $5k they say I owe – I personally feel very strongly that they are wrong and I hope I can prove it.

Until next time…