Monday night

Posted: 19th March 2012 by admin in Uncategorized

Yesterday was an interesting day. We are in search of a church we can use our music skills, not desperately seeking, but keeping our eyes and ears open for opportunity. We really loved what we did at Cornerstone Church in Keokuk, personally, I loved doing that every bit as much as Photography or any other thing I do for my day job.
We were invited by a customer last week to visit her church in Venice, so we did that yesterday. They have a lot of talent at her church so not sure they really have room for anyone else, but the Pastor and his wife were very nice, took us to lunch and we got to share….as they did too. Was pretty surprised that they entertained us afterwards as we were just visitors. Very very nice.
By the time we got home after church it was 3:30 in the afternoon. We must have talked a lot.

It is challenging to meet all these new folks and then try to remember names, etc. Then when we talk to each other, it’s hard to reference people as well. I’m sure it will all come together.

Austin’s first day of school was today. The first week we were here he was out due to the paperwork nightmare, and last week, they were out of school for Spring Break. He was scared and apprehensive. We told him, welcome to what we’ve been experiencing.

The Guidance Counselor was awesome and because we are on an “Island”, she shared that the Island folks really patronize and try to help each other out. We have heard that from several others and it is proving to be true. The High School graduates about 600 students per Senior class. We are one of very few studios in the area that does Sr. Portraits and it appears we should have a very good market for Sr. Port. Photography here in the near future. That with the unbelievable scenery should make for a successful studio.

Saturday night, end week 2

Posted: 17th March 2012 by admin in Uncategorized

We have had opportunity to meet and speak to a good number of people now. Kate has introduced us to many customers and this last week I attended the Bay Area Professional Photographers meeting in Sarasota. A wonderful group of like minded photographers that openly share their craft. Kate introduced me to the group and I have actually already seen some of them through our Sr Port organization at convention.
Kate also introduced me to Rotary Thursday group at Venice yacht club. They are a fun crowd, slightly larger in numbers than Keokuk Rotary club, but I must say run quite differently.
Along with Paul Fitzsimmons, brother in law to be, we are bringing a new service to Venice and the world, and that is APP creation for Android and Apple phones and Pads. A bit specialized at the moment, but interest and demand is there so we are building a business division with that service. More on that soon!

Wednesday, three days on the job.

Posted: 7th March 2012 by admin in Uncategorized

Here we are, three days in and trying to get our bearings. Quite a feat, getting home, job and Austin’s school situated and juggling the hold over responsibilities from Iowa.
Kate and Gloria from Island have phenom in getting us rolling and the appointments are coming in.
Venice is an amazing beautiful city and I have begun to document this place and plan to share photos with you soon.
Everyone, I mean everyone I have talked to about Venice here just raves about it. People that have lived here all their life to the UPS driver who has been here 35 years, young to old just brag about it.
That makes for an easy time doing business for sure.
I am sorry for not dolng a better job of staying In touch! It has been a little hectic.

First Day as Island Photographics

Posted: 5th March 2012 by admin in Uncategorized

What a weekend! Moving is said to be as large a life experience as other things we might do like being born or dying. I’m here to attest to that.
At a time when most, especially our parents would be pretty settled in life and they would be planning a quiet retirement, we have decided on this giant change.
My own father at this point however lost his job that he had been at for 20 plus years and I remember how devastating it was to him. He died at 62 and my last vivid memory was how he was laying on the floor of his little house as the room filled with emergency personnell pushing so hard on his chest that I wondered if it could even succeed.
I’m in much better physical condition than he was but I thought if I only had 7 more years to live what might I want to do with it?
Ready to give it all I’ve got is part of that plan rather than give us as I believe he did. My three brothers and our mother watched as his sense of purpose drained out of his life, and then as his life drained away from any other purpose on this earth. His depression and sadness being something I never want to experience.
So there is some personal insight, but with all of that motivation, that doesn’t minimize the impact of the emotions that are going on at this moment during all of this upheaval.
I am very thankful to Kate Hill Moore who has literally made this opportunity available who is now the previous owner of the studio we are taking over.
We know next to no one in this town, save for Kate and her employee friend Gloria Pierce and that’s where our story begins today.
Coming from home where I knew everyone from our Mayor and government offficials to leaders of industry and served in leadership in our church, to now being a stranger as having landed on a foreign shore.
Will we fit in or be accepted here or what can I do with the skills I have acquired?? Those are questions where answers will be reserved as future pixels on future pages of this page.
Hmmmm wish I could read ahead to see how things turn out!
I do know the words from the friends and family that we left (but not lost) serve as awesome reminders that leaving doesn’t make us alone. Thank you for reading!

Ed…I have a test for you!

Posted: 2nd March 2012 by admin in Uncategorized

You know those days you have when you know you’re being tested?
Well…this has been one for my own personal record book.
At about the halfway point in our journey came the mountain.
Not the figurative, metaphorical mountain, however, I suppose for the purpose of this entry it serves well as both the real thing and the hypothetical one.
Eagle mountain is south of Nashville and north of Chattanooga and it is about 4 1/2 miles up a very steep grade and then of course a steep decline.
I didn’t sleep well last night having thoughts of possibly needing to use the runaway truck ramps…or worse. But as is often our fears turns out to be nothing.
The toughest part turned out to be the climb. That poor old white truck worked so hard climbing that it got really hot.
After getting down off the mountain it acted like it was dying.
The heat gauge was reading normal, but it was sputtering like it was running out of gas. I struggled (and I mean I was sweating bullets) to get it out of hectic traffic and the second time we wound up in a Target parking lot.
All kinds of thoughts going through my mind…like how in the world would I get my cargo transferred if I had to rent another truck because I have this huge printer in the truck that takes 4 people to lift…not to mention it is on the bottom of the pile with a crate custom built around it.
So, we made it as far as Forsyth, Ga at a Days Inn where we are watching the weather channel warning of strong tornadoes passing where we just passed moments ago.
Thank you for the prayers, well wishes and sentiments! You have been very uplifting!

Thursday night

Posted: 1st March 2012 by admin in Uncategorized

An early departure as you already know and with the trucks, we successfully turned an 8 hour trip into 13.5 hours.
We are at a Days Inn in Murfreesboro, Tn and in the previous trips in the car we would have just blown by this area as we like to drive it straight through.
Yes Donna, I wish I could scoop everyone from home and bring you with me. No more rearview mirror needed. Problem solved!
Ok, so I guess that can’t work..but please don’t take me off your Christmas card list!

The moment has arrived

Posted: 1st March 2012 by admin in Uncategorized

Its early am and I lay here watching a fire burn in a fireplace in an old home in Keokuk that has been adopted by friends that also adopted us for a couple days and let us stay with them as we wrap things up here in Keokuk. In a couple hours my hometown will be in our rearview mirror and a new life adventure lies ahead.
When I was younger I might have felt as though I was escaping gravity and taking flight. Now however, feelings of I am leaving a place that was of security through familiarity,friendships, responsibility and all of the rewards that come with all of those. I was and still am RICH, not with money by a long shot, but as I have learned these past two weeks with friends, family and comuunity that care.
I do look forward to the next chapter ahead with excitement and am eager to dig in and see what I can do with all that you at home have taught me this lifetime.
Don’t worry, I won’t forget to write!

Wednesday evening…

Posted: 29th February 2012 by admin in Uncategorized we sit all loaded and ready to go and the weather had different plans for us today. High winds prevented us from getting on the road. I figure all things happen for one reason or the other so we are staying at Hank and Karen’s one more night now that we are Keokuk homeless. Thank you Hank for all the assistance loading stuff and thank you Karen for breakfast and amenities of home. Sure helps to not feel so un-grounded.
Anyhow, we plan to be on the road around 5 am, only 4 days later than originally planned.
Thank you Kate and Gloria for keeping things going in Venice! We are racing to get there as soon as we can!!!!

Tuesday morning…

Posted: 28th February 2012 by admin in Uncategorized

super early…not every thing going according to my schedule. i pretty much under estimated how long it would take to get everything torn down and loaded. wow! Hank and Karen Hustus had us over for dinner last night, thankfully as with everything loaded and/or sold we will be eating little home cooking for a few days. Thank you Hank and Karen.

Going to have to rent another truck to make this all work out, get past the delay and maybe actually get on the road this afternoon.

My brother Terry has been a huge help through all of this and someday i hope to be able to return the favor. We have always been best of friends. Kind of makes me feel sorry for people who dont have a brother.

so…if you’ve considered moving…ask me right now, I dont recommend it.I”ve taken on a few big tasks like this before, but this is by far the largest ever.

Monday Morning…

Posted: 27th February 2012 by admin in Uncategorized

So…here we are, MAJOR life change ahead and we have little idea of the actual experiences that are before us over the next few days except that we feel our lives are truly in God’s hands and now it’s up to Him to continue to pave the way.

CORNERSTONE CHURCH!!! What an amazing day yesterday when you hosted the Mother-of-All-Send-offs. A great turnout for yesterday morning’s service and you allowed us the extra time to play 2 songs from each worship team member ( we asked them to pick their favorites) and I know it went a little long but hopefully it was as fun for you who were there as it was for us getting to work together that one last time.

After church, the spaghetti luncheon headed by Mark and Julie Wessel¬† and the decorations on the tables and stage blew us away. I know Ann Hodges and Donna Dahl had a hand in it and if you helped and I didn’t mention you it’s only because we haven’t heard the whole story yet. THANK YOU!!¬†

If you’ve never been to Cornerstone Church and you’re in search of a home church…please check them out. Pastor Jed Linebaugh and wife Deb…your counsel and support in the midst of what may seem a loss to you has been more then we could have ever dreamed. I hope Keokuk gets to know you as we have and will soon learn to appreciate you as much as well. Welcome to this town and I trust God will bless this church according to the kindness you’ve shown others because I know that will be huge!

Thank you to other friends who stopped by to say hi and bye. Your words break me and make me at the same time. I am forever grateful!

All props are kicked out from under us here in Keokuk.

The job is gone, Austin is done with school, our church family has given us a very royal goodbye, many many tears, sentiments and words spoken that will never be forgotten. The Uhaul rental, boxes upon boxes and equipment put in the trailer and truck and spending today wrapping up a little unfinished business and then will be time to unplug everything and gas up the vehicles. Judy will be driving one vehicle, I will be in the other and we take to the road early Tuesday morning if all goes according to plan.

Thanks for your prayers, they are working! Keokuk is in ours.