It seems to me that Summers are really too short. Maybe its due to global warming :>), and I do say that with a smile. It is actually due to kids going back to school, the teachers being there to teach them, drivers being their to get the kids where they are supposed to learn. Enough frivolity.
I am thankful to be driving a bus for a school like Cassville Schools. We have a staff that works together to make the best possible environment for kids, teachers, bus drivers, administration, and the maintenance people. At the bus garage it is almost like we are family.
That kind of environment makes it where you enjoy going to work everyday. It doesn’t seem like work. It is a joy to see the kids you haven’t seen all Summer long. If they come back that is. I say that because we did hear of one who will not be returning due to drowning just this past week. My heart goes out to the family. That will be so tough, and my prayers are with them in this difficult heart breaking time.
If you have a clean record, love kids, and need to make a few extra dollars; and you can fit it into your daily schedule; you might want to think of driving one of those big yellow monsters. Go to your nearest school and I know they can tell you how to go about it. You might only get started as a sub driver, but that is how I started. Try it out. You might enjoy it. And in most cases you do get all Summer vacation off.
-Tim A. Blankenship
Our family of 5 children, minus one (he and his wife were away to Florida for their 6th Anniversary), their spouses, and our grandkids had our annual family get together at our son Philip’s and wife Sarah’s home in Booneville, AR. Our eldest son Timothy, his wife Sarah, their three kids; Naomi, Josiah, and Eli; along with Madge and I journeyed down that way last Thursday evening – Madge and I rode with them. Charity, husband Paul and their three kids; Rachelle, Jonathan, and Caitlyn beat us there. Monica, husband Sam, and Addison came along on Friday evening. It was James and Amber who was away for their Anniversary, and we missed them being with us, but understand.
On Friday my parents Mike and Juanita were brought down by my sister Jane so we could go up Magazine Mountain. They have quite the park on the mountain, and we enjoyed the beautiful day which our LORD provided us. There were several scenic view areas and you could see for miles and miles. You can see the Arkansas River from those views, and it is about thirty miles North of there.
My Dad enjoys things like that, as do I, and we had a very good time. I think Dad was exhausted, as was Mom, and they drove back home that afternoon. We were all pretty worn out for the day.
On Saturday we spent the day playing, enjoying the weather, each other’s company, and that evening we went swimming in the City Park Swimming Pool. We had rented it for a couple of hours. No one there but the Blankenship family, and the Life Guards. It was a nice way to spend the evening and to finish off the day.
Following church on Sunday we had Sunday Dinner together with Philip and Sarah Joyce, Rene’e, and Natalie (Philip’s and Sarah’s two). We packed up and returned home. We arrived home around 5:30 p.m. and spent the evening resting.
We missed the people of our church on Sunday. Look forward to being back this Sunday. They are like family to us. Best people I have ever had the privilege of being their pastor. I pray that I can become a better pastor for them, and always proclaim God’s Word for them to hear.
Great weekend. Great kids and grandkids. Majestic God and Savior. What a wonderful life.
-Tim A. Blankenship
This day also is Father’s Day. Father’s are a blessing from God. I know mine is to me. I pray that I have been to my three sons, and two daughters too. Our daughters Charity and Monica both have children with their husbands and are both happy and to to be Moms. Two of our sons are Dads and happy and blessed to be so. I am now blessed as a grandfather of nine living, two with Jesus in heaven, and one on the way.
On this Sunday we will be attending church at Carr Lane Baptist, preaching the morning message, worshipping in the preaching and singing of hymns, songs, and spiritual songs; singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord. On this beautiful first day of Summer. What a wonderful day our Lord has wrought.
Thank YOU Lord.
-Tim A. Blankenship
The past few days here in Southwest MO. has been wet. Wet may not be big enough word for it. It has been downright in the, at least next to the Noahic Flood proportions. That is probably slightly overstating the situation, but I know that is how some of us have felt. Some have even accused me of building an “Ark” and getting ready to float away.
Life sure is interesting at times. One week we are dismissing schools due to snow, ice, and winter storms. The next week we are getting out of school early due to flooding rainfall. Letting out early so as to be sure we get the kids home without buses getting cut off, and such.
Well! Welcome to the second day of Spring 2008. It is great. I have never made any secret to Spring and Summer being my two favorite seasons of the year. It seems that I am especially appreciative of this Spring. Snow, ice and cold just doesn’t do anything for me. I don’t complain about it. It is the days our Lord have given us, and they do have their function and purpose, and they too give glory to their Creator.
Let me tell you about my last two or three days of Winter with Spring affects. Monday night March 17 we received a large amount of rainfall. Tuesday morning when I drove down our driveway toward the road I was wondering about my ability to cross the branch which crosses the road on both sides of our access. When I got to it I saw it deeper than any other time I had crossed; I looked and debated with myself whether it would be the right thing, and safe thing to cross or not, and finally decided I would cross. I did, and made it across in good shape. Upon returning home the branch had risen considerably, with the waters wavy rolling across the crossing. I decided not to cross in the car, but to find a fallen tree across it upstream or something. I walked upstream for awhile until I found a mangled mess of two or three trees which reached across. It was still raining, I crossed, walked to the house, soaked and ready to get my jacket off and my feet dry.
The School called me about noon, and told me they were lining up the buses at 1:15 p.m. to take the students home. The water was still rising. The rain was still falling, and at times in record proportions. As I walked back to the car, I once again crossed the mangled trees, got successfully to the other side, jumped down on the bank, at which time that bank collapsed and the bank and myself went down into the stream up to my knees. I crawled out even wetter than I hoped I would be, went on to the car, and went and drove my kids home.
When I came home that afternoon, the water was higher, and I decided to keep the car on the side it was on and just wade across the low water bridge. I have been around these waters around here for a long time, and I know what it can do so I was very cautious in doing it. I slowly put one foot in front of the other, through the water, got stable in the fast moving water, then would move the other. By the way, it was only about knee deep, but there is a whole lot of power in knee deep water moving with any speed. I made it safely home, took off my wet shoes, socks, and clothes and got comfortable.
The next morning going back to drive the School bus, I did the same thing. It had gone done an inch or two measuring on my knees, but was still a bit swift. I almost lost my balance, but managed to regain it. I sure didn’t want to fall down; I don’t think I could have stopped too quickly. On my return home the stream had receded some more, and I drove the car up to our house. I was glad.
I have had quite the adventure. I like adventure. I am thankful that the Lord is my Caretaker, and that He is still watching over all who are His, and over those who are not His. I am so glad that it is Spring, and that the grass will begin turning green, the easter lillies are blooming, the birds are singing the peepers are peeping. It is so good to know that “The LORD hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet” (Nahum 1:3b).
-by Tim A. Blankenship
They said it was coming. Who said it was coming? This Winter storm. When I arose from the bed this morning there was not a flake of snow to be seen, and I found out almost two hours later that there did not appear to be a cloud in the sky. Sometimes I am amazed how accurate the weather people can be in their predictions. I guess it is all that stuff they call technology, sattelite, GPS, and all that.
It has not been bitterly cold. I am thankful for that. I don’t do very well in the cold. Especially when the electric bill comes due, and that is what we heat with. That is our choice. I am also thankful that we have not experienced a major power outage like some other places and people I know. We would be in a world of hurtin’.
When I jumped in the car to go to Cassville School Bus Garage to drive the bus, there was a moon shining down from above with a few stars that I could see. I left about 5:15 a.m. and arrived there at 5:45 a.m. There were three buses already headed out for their morning pickup of the kids. Two more headed out shortly after I arrived. One driver radioed in from one of her farthest points, “Snow is falling and covering the roads. What do you want me to do?” The decision was made to call them in, ie., the five that had already departed. School was called off for the day.
After helping shut down the engines on the other buses, I got back in our car and came home. It is good to have a day off, but I would rather get out earlier at the end of the year. I guess I just needed the day. Thank the Lord. He always knows what is best for us.
The snow is still falling, and if it continues we probably will not be in school on Friday. There are some pretty wicked roads here in Southwest MO. with curves, hills, hollers, and many of the roads here have no shoulders; only ditches. It can be fun navigating at times.
Since I last posted Winter has arrived, and in some parts of our Nation, with a vengeance. We have had a bit of cold weather, into the lower teens, but that isn’t too bad. Besides that it didn’t hang on and last forever. The longest spell of below freezing we have had was about three days, and that was just at the beginning of January. I am, however, already looking forward to Spring.
I went to the cardiologist in early December to have him tell me that the EKG showed “no significant sign of a problem”. I do have an appointment to return on the twenty third of January for and ECG.
The family and I had a wonderful Christmas. The wife and I’s kids went together got us a Crossley entertainment cabinet. It is an old style look radio, with CD player, audio cassette player, and turntable for 33, 45’s and 78 records. That was a really pleasant surprise and gift for us. We have been enjoying it.
Back before Christmas the Eastern part of Southern Missouri was hit pretty hard with an icestorm, which left a lot of people in the Joplin area without power, no lights, no heat, no television (Oh no!). Our son James and his wife Amber were in the thick of that, and were without power for about 9 days. They did get to come for Christmas. Their power was on shortly before that.
On Tuesday a friend and I went to Branson to see a mutual friend in the Skaggs Hospital there. As we were about to get off the elevator on the floor he was on, my cell phone rang, and it was my sister Judy. “Guess what Dad just did”, she said. I said, “I wouldn’t have a clue”. She said, “He rolled his truck”. My answer to that was, “WHAT?!”, and I know I placed a question mark and an exclamation mark after that, because I am not sure which it was. Yes, he had rolled his old blue Ford pickup truck. He wasn’t injured any, except maybe his pride. Evidently he has experienced no pain from bruising or anything either. He has been trying to get used to a prosthesis on his right leg. That may have played some part in the incident. It also was on the farm away from any major roads.
At the beginning of this week, Tuesday evening and into the early hours of Wednesday morning there was a consistent storm of tornadic activity hitting in the Northwestern part of Barry County. We live in middle Eastern part of the said County. That storm is very hard to describe. It took a path in a straight line. One tornado warning would come to a town, and then after it passed another one on the same path would be right behind it. Homes, businesses, and some lives were taken in areas further from us.
Near 3 a.m. my wife and I were awakened by a strong straight wind. It was near time for me to get up for the day, so I just got up, and Madge went back to bed. The wind died down and everything proceeded as normal the rest of the day, at least for us. May the Lord help those who were touched and harmed by this storm, and especially those who lost loved ones.
There is no one who is not touched by some sort of storm in their lives. If they are not presently they shortly will be.
“If I never had a problem, how could I know that God could solve them.” Isn’t that in a good old song or something.
Since my last post School has started and I have driven the bus seven and one half days. I took the morning of August 22 off, because my Dad was supposed to have surgery, actually amputation of his right foot and part of the leg. That has been due to lack of circulation to the foot, due to vein removal for his heart a few years ago.
They ended up not doing the surgery because the anesthesiologist saw a problem in one of the tests concerning his heart, and would not allow it to proceed. He has now been back for more of those tests, passed them, and now the surgery is rescheduled for Monday the 27th. He is supposed to check in at 11 a.m.
I am still driving the same bus that I drove at the end of the last School year. Old Bus 23. The mechanics of the School did some work on her, and she runs much better this year than she has in a long time. She is still a bit sluggish on take off. Her zero to sixty time is probably about 2 minutes. If I ever get her to sixty.
There are not a whole lot of people who can say they drive a vehicle with a price range of eighty thousand dollars. Yellow as a color in automobiles is growing in popularity, but it is usually a slightly different yellow than a School Bus.
The kids on the buses are being kids. Some of them get slightly overly active. Then, something must be done. They do have a problem obeying rules. Rules to remain seated. Rules that are for their safety, and the safety of all on the bus and all who are on the road, at times.
As I was driving down one part of my curvacious road one day I saw a puff of torn papers in my driver’s side mirror fly through the air. I did not see who did it. What could I do. All I did was ask who threw it out. To no surprise, I received no answer. This is a generation of people who are supposed to be so concerned about our environment. I am not so concerned about paper, it will go back from whence it came.
I guess “Litter-bugging” is one of my pet peaves. I cannot stand seeing people throwing trash out the windows of their cars or leaving it where they have brought it; like to a campground, or picnic area. It is ugly on some beautiful highways in the USA as well.
Anyway, School is back in session, and it may be a long School year. I plan on making the most of it and living for my Lord.
The past two weeks have been pretty busy for my wife and I. We have enjoyed the days though. On the fourth of July we had our Blankenship family, friends and neighbors celebration down at the swimming hole, with picnic, fireworks and all. On the weekend preceeding the ninth we had our kids and grandkids at the house for our annual family get together.
My previous writing was concerning produce in our garden, which has been greatly neglected. With the rain and lack of time to get to it it has only been tilled one time. Yet, it is producing. My wife Madge and I went on Friday and dug some new potatoes, picked some green tomatoes, some bell peppers and some cucumbers.
On the ninth Madge and I headed to Mt. Vernon, MO. to join others in the kitchen of Baptist Hill Campground for Barry County Southern Baptist Association’s annual Children’s Camp. We were about a dozen strong doing kitchen work, cooking, distributing salads, drinks, cereals, and such as that. It was a long day for about four days. The day started for me at 4 a.m. with my regular devotion times, then, at 5 would go to the cafeteria where some of the men would have a cup of coffee and fellowship a few minutes before getting breakfast started.
As soon as breakfast was over and the pots and pans were clean we started lunch, then as soon as lunch was over we started preparing for supper (dinner). There was rarely a time to relax. I don’t mean that as a complaint. The time flew by. It was also a joy to see those 280 campers come by getting their meals. Many of them were saying “Thank you” as they went through the line being served the food for that meal. That was a great thing.
One of the best things was having a young lady tell of her receiving Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. An update from our Director of Missions was that there were 20 decisions for salvation. That is sure one of the worthy affects of camp. We praise our God of grace and mercy