Looks like…

…I am into a quarterly updates with this blog. Finding less time to take pictures and the motivation to sit down, process pictures and write a post. My wife says that I am all about my bicycle and photography has taken a back seat. Well, there is some truth to that, but photography is still important to me. Hey, just going through a cycling phase and having a lot of fun with the people I ride with. Finding there is a sort of addictive element to climbing the same hill or mountain faster than the last time you rode it. Some will find this crazy, but I know some others will understand and even relate to it.

So, we have been busy with several guests and happy to say, more to come in October. Not much around trips lately, but we have several planned for the last quarter the year and first half of next year. For now, here is as brief summary of the past three months.

Salvation Red2

My wife volunteers with the Salvation Army and was very busy helping with the Paint the Town Red Auction event that provides most of the monies to fund the Salvation Army’s Women’s Auxiliary Greenville Chapter. Many ladies put in a lot of work making this event a success. Happy to report that they raised more than last years event. The place was packed by the time the auction started; picture above was taken before it was open to bidders so it does look sparse. Way to go ladies!

 

Another activity the Women’s Auxiliary helps with is a monthly dinner to those in the shelter. The theme this time was Mexican and great it was. Here we see some of the volunteers cooking and getting ready for the crowds soon to come.

 

Some of the volunteers and …????

 

Our daughter Sarah and her boyfriend Jeffrey visited us in May. Of course we had a great time with them, even though it was a very brief visit.

 

Sarah and Jeffrey

 

Whenever in Chicago, a must stop for us is Smoque BBQ Restaurant. We think they have the best brisket we have ever had. We were attending a wedding close by so we were very happy to be able to visit Smoque’s once again. You can see the address right on the awning.

 

No bread for us…all meat, coleslaw (nice vinegar version) and beans. Bread fills you up unnecessarily, prefer eating more brisket instead. Take a look, moist and very tender…yum. Highly recommended!

 

Corey and Brooke’s wedding was such a beautiful event. We have known Corey since he was eight months old. We have seen him grow into a wonderful and caring young man. We felt very privileged to attend their wedding ceremony.

 

Corey … you may now kiss your beautiful bride…and so he did!

 

the happy newlyweds!

 

Tula, Charlie and Maci hamming it up for the hired photographer. Attention getters extraordinary lol.

 

Us right after the wedding.

 

Ok, so sometimes I take pictures for what may appear to be crazy reasons…this maybe one of those times…, but maybe not.

 

Barry and Cathy, good friends we met in China visited us in June. They really liked Greenville and we had a chance to catch up after the last time we saw each other in Suzhou.

 

We had to show Barry and Cathy out mini Fenway Park; home of the Greenville Drive, the Red Sox’s Single A baseball team. Notice the mini Green Monstah!

 

We also had Alison and Devyn visit. We were thrilled to see Devyn’s little bump; she is expecting her first baby…YEAH! She looks a lot bigger now – well, that is in Devyn’s proportions.

 

We were finally able to take a picture of the very elusive white squirrels we have around our neighborhood. Many just did not believed us, now we have proof. No, the squirrel’s color has not been Photoshopped.

 

July 4th! My sister and her two granddaughters spent July 4th with us.  We had several days together and we enjoyed their visit; Valentina and Victoria had fun. In this picture, we see Valentina posing for her picture. In the past, Valentina hated her picture taken, so I figured I would have a tough time taking her picture, but not this time. As soon as I pointed the camera at her, she would say…”wait” then strike a pose and say…”non”. we all laugh and laugh at her complete unexpected behavior. What happened, we wondered that changed her attitude toward pictures? Regardless, we all had many good laughs about he new-found modeling poses.

 

We took the girls to the Greenville Children’s Museum; they had fun, but I think I enjoyed the place at least as much as they did (if not more)…they have a very cool construction sections where you can use an electronic driven crane to move building blocks – fun.

 

My sister with her two beautiful and very active granddaughters.

 

Billy Graham Library – Charlotte, NC

We finally made it to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, NC. What a place, if you plan on visiting you need to set aside at least two hours, three to four would be best as the place is really full of great information about Mr. Graham. The house you see on the left is were Mr. Graham was raised. This is not the original place, as the house has been moved twice (brick by brick, and board by board). On the right you see the barn like structure where Mr. Graham’s library is housed.

 

Billy Graham as I will always remember him. I remember seeing one of his tele- evangelistic meetings in Peru. His message was translated into Spanish and it was very powerful; as most all other that I saw after that.

 

 

A few years ago I read one of Mr. Graham’s autobiographies -“Just as I am” – highly recommended. His life was filled with purpose, but he was very aware that he was truly no different than any other human being. In view of this, he took several precautions and assembled a group of men he was accountable to at all times. I truly admire Mr. Graham and thank God for sending men like him to share His message around the world.

 

 

 

A very unusual picture of Mr. Graham. Just a regular guy like you are I.

 

The most striking thing for us, was the library was all about the gospel – not only about his life. Yes, it had Mr. Graham memorabilia, but the central message for anyone going through it was to get a comprehensive explanation of what the Gospel is and what it will accomplish to those who accept it.

 

 

In one small exhibit there were several letters addressed to Mr. Graham by children. All of them had unique ways used by the sender to address them. One said ” Sent to Billy Graham. Do not know his address. Make sure it is sent at once” the hand writing clearly indicated that the sender was a small child. This one was my favorite… notice on the right…”In case of Rapture (never mind this letter)”

 

At the Home Front

Phase three is finally under way next to our home. We enjoyed thick woods for over a year right next to our house, but now the woods are gone and the work is underway to start building the roads for phase three.

 

It took almost three months to get everything in place before the black top (base cover) was added. We will be next to a construction site for quite a while…bummer, but we knew it was coming so we will live with it.

 

Jocelyn and her (at the time) boyfriend Kyle visited us in July. They got engaged in August and are in the thick of planning their wedding. We are happy for the both of them as they make a very nice couple in many ways.

 

One of the things we really like about our neighborhood is the activities the Social Committee has throughout the year. In July,  we had a food truck over -“Thorough Fare” – the best one I have had so far…anywhere. The quality of the ingredients and the taste was way above average. I had amazing fish tacos, my wife had a very tasty empanada; the pulled pork sandwiches looks also very good.

 

We also had a guest musical group “The Trapfire Brothers” that provided really nice entertainment for us all.

 

Our very good friends, Linda and Joel visited us in August; we took them to many fun places and they enjoyed the area a great deal. Here they are looking at potential purchases at The Pickens Flea Market – the largest one I have ever attended.

 

Pickens is an old South Carolina town named after Andrew Pickens (1739–1817), an American revolutionary soldier and US Congressman for South Carolina. Population – about 3,120 in 2010. Here we have a gentlemen that may represent some of the locals in the area.

 

On the right, meet Robert Perry the Mountain Man, playing the bucket base. Mr. Perry holds a weekly pickin’ meet at his home nearby. At his right, we have a lady signing some gospel songs while an appreciative onlooker enjoys them both.

 

Have you ever wonder what would Elvis might have looked like by now? Well, as soon as I saw this gentleman I wondered if Elvis would have looked just like this (minus sideburns). Hey, you never know, maybe the king is still alive and well at Pickens Flea Market!

 

Joel and Linda calling the Thompson grandchildren to Skype.

We took Linda and Joel on a hike at Table Rock State Park. The really enjoyed the chosen trail and we saw many interesting looking mushrooms on the way. I really like hiking, especially the many beautiful sightings found in the micro world like this mushroom cluster; abut 3 inches in total width.

 

We are still active in the Miata Foothills Club. We went on club ride to Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi. Our Miata is the second on the right. We have a lot of fun riding with other like minded Miata enthusiasts.

That is it for now. Hope you all had a great summer and are getting ready for autumn. Thanks for visiting!

 

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