In Our Road

I was approaching our house up on top, before reaching the cemetery.  Coming home from driving the School Bus, and I saw several turkeys; a big Tom with a very long beard, and a few of the hens with him.

The Tom had his tail feathers spread, strutting his stuff.  This was the first I have ever seen a wild tom strutting with his tail feathers spread. It was quite exciting for me.  Here are some pictures I took.  Not sure if you can see them. I did not want to run them off too quickly…

Top left is, as you can see taken from inside the car. The other two are through the open drivers window looking over the bluff. I realize the picture is not real clear, but he is really there.

From the banks of Flat Creek, which you can see in the background over the bluff.

`tim

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It is Snowing

We have not had much snow for a few years in Southwest Mo., but we are getting enough today.  So much so, in fact, that the Cassville School District has already canceled classes for January 16, 2018, and I received the call shortly after 11 a.m. on January 15.

The following are some pictures my wife Madge tool just outside our backdoor…

Madge-011518-1

Madge-011518-2

and one more…

Madge-011518-3

I am not a real fan of cold Winter weather, but it goes with having seasons, and I thank the Lord our Creator for them all.  Snow is beautiful because it covers all that is unsightly, ugly, and messed up.

From the banks of Flat Creek

`tim

New School Year

The new School Year began in Cassville, MO on August 17.  I also started driving a different route.

I now drive the Jenkins route, and though I am pretty familiar with the area, since I do live in the Jenkins area, I am finding myself having a bit of trouble with some names of my kids.  Remembering their names.

As it is in most communities people move away, and new people move in.  There are only  about three families I am I am familiar with from my years of living here growing up.  One family is cousins, another is nephews, and another is a native of the area.  I just remembered a fourth family, and they are distant relatives.

One thing about it; I will not get lost.

I hope all who are reading this have a great new School year, and great days ahead.

From the banks of Flat Creek.

~tim

Let Me Tell You About My Mornings

My mornings are not important to anyone else.  I realize that; but to let you know what I do as a pastor, and a School Bus driver of the mornings – Here goes…

My alarm goes off around 3:15 a.m.  I get up do the necessary things before dressing, then proceed to make some coffee.  I get my computer turned on.  Then I take my Bible, my journal and set down at the kitchen/dining table; and I read a portion of Scripture (usually 2 – 5 chapters) to hear what God has to say to me today.  I spend a few minutes speaking to Him as well.

By the time I am through with my Bible reading the coffee is ready and I pour me a cup, mixed with a packet of Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensations hot chocolate mix.  Yum.  Then I begin writing in my journal.  You can read some of what I wrote in today’s writing at this link

After I have written in my paper notebook, journal; I come and do some post for our Church blog, and my Bible Study blog called BROKEN PIECES.  By the time I am finished with that it is about time for me to leave for the bus garage.  I do watch a bit of Fox and Friends before leaving, and clean up my coffee pot.

I leave the house around 5:15 a.m. arrive at the bus garage around 5:45, pre-trip my bus, and leave on my route around 6:05 a.m.  It is an amazing drive.  I get to drive approximately 25 minutes before I pick up my first stop.  From then on into school there is much talk, screaming sometimes, laughter, playing [not supposed to]; no more quiet time.

I arrive at he High School drop off about 7:45 a.m. then the Elementary about 7:50 a.m.  Then, that part of my morning is over.  Following the route this morning I went with some of the other drivers to the Primary Cafeteria for biscuits and gravy for breakfast; instead of coming home.

When I get home I check emails, facebook, my blogs for comments and such; but most of all I try and spend the time preparing sermons for Sunday mornings and evenings.

Today I am scheduled for an activity trip taking the soccer team to Springfield, MO.  I am blessed to be doing a work which I thoroughly enjoy; being a pastor, and a school bus driver too.

A Blessed and sunny day along the banks of Flat Creek.

~tim

Driving a School Bus

Where I live the new School year for ages K – 12 began on August 13; so we have been in school now for two weeks.

I have been driving for the Cassville R-IV School District in the southwest part of the State of Missouri now for the last 9 years, and started my tenth year.  I have a total of 16 years driving with the Cassville School District.  With the first stint being from 1984 – 1990.

I quit driving a bus for 12 years, even gave up my CDL for a regular license for a while until I decided I needed to go back to driving a bus.  That was in 2003, and I have been driving a bus ever since then.

Actually I am driving for Cassville for my third time.  When I came back in ’03 I came in as a sub driver, then was given a route in the beginning of 2004 (January).  I left at the end of that school year, moved to Farmington, Missouri, and drove a School bus for the Farmington District for two years, then moved back to Cassville.

Driving a School bus is a challenging job; yet it is rewarding.  The reward is watching those kids grow up.  I took the route I have now in March of 2007.  I now have one student who is the only original student who was riding when I started it.  She is a Senior this year.  She was a third grader when I started.

It is a difficult job while you are driving, watching the road, tending misbehaving children, and watching for other drivers who are not watching what they are doing.

I guess I am writing this because I know many School Districts are in need of good bus drivers; people who love and care for kids.  If you are one of those go to your local School District and talk to them about driving a bus.

If you do it for the money you will not make it.  If you do it because of the kids, and you enjoy it.  You will do great.

I am writing this from the banks of Flat Creek.

-tim

School Has Started Again

Cassville R-IV Schools began on August 18, 2011.  And man, did my route change.  It is a little longer.

I now go down to the place by the Lake I did when I first took the route four years ago.  Down there I pick up two little girls who are a couple of sweet little girls, but need to learn how to stay in their seats, and be quiet; especially one of them; the youngest.

I do not think people realize how much of a distraction moving around and a loud voice can be to a bus driver.  It really is though.  One sudden move can call the driver’s attention to the mirror and away from the road.  Sure we have training, and experience, yet, even the best and most professional driver can mess up, by a child’s scream and such as that.
If you are a parent; please teach your small children to be seated; and a non-distraction.  It will go a long way in a peaceful ride on the School Bus and a long life for your child and the others on the bus.
I do not want to see any of them hurt, nor do I enjoy the idea of taking them to see their Principal.  If I must though, I must and will do so.
I will be taking care of; and most drivers I know will be taking good care of your children on the way to school.  There is no other way.
Tim A. Blankenship

Second Week

I have began my second week of no driving the school bus.  Have I missed it?  Not yet.  I have been busy.  I spent the very first week working at Youth Camp at Baptist Hill near Mt. Vernon, MO serving as a camp cook.
I really don’t think that camp cook is a proper title for me.  I have put food in the convection oven, prepared chicken for the oven, bacon for the oven,  eggs for the scrambling – 47 and one half dozen as a matter of fact – that is Jerry W. and myself cracked that many eggs.  We also added lemon juice to keep them from turning green, milk to make them fluffier, and also salt and pepper to season them.  The eggs were for breakfast Wednesday morning.
We were feeding about 175 youth and workers.  There were 9 youth who called on the name of the Lord for salvation; 11 other decisions and one who decided they needed to follow the Lord in Baptism.
My schedule while I was at camp went a little like this.  I was up at 3 a.m., at the cafeteria by 4 a.m. making coffee for the workers coming soon; and when the head cook [Jerry] arrived we visited a while, drank coffee, then started prepping breakfast.  One morning following breakfast I did go to my room and took a nap.  It was quite restful; and one afternoon I went and rested for a while.  Each night I was in bed by 9 p.m.  Tired, tired, tired; ready for bed and sleep.
The second week; it is hot,  hot, hot.  I prefer hot to cold though.  This morning I went out and hoed around our potatoes.  Even at 7 a.m. it was still pretty warm out.  I have more taters to work.
I am thankful for the strength which my Lord and God Jesus Christ has given me.  Thank YOU Lord.
Tim A. Blankenship