I prepared sermons and preached at five congregations: Columbus and Fort Scott, Kansas, and Carthage and Washburn, Missouri, and Grove, Oklahoma. I've done this kind of work, filling the pulpits of churches when the regular preachers take a vacation or when the churches do not presently employ a full-time preacher. It is a very satisfying, almost-weekly, work that I take very seriously, and it provides me with an added income to supplement my teaching salary. I always try to prepare extra Bible class lessons and sermons to keep the work going through the school year, as well, so I've spent many hours in study and writing.
That said, the family and I did enjoy our St. Louis and Mississippi River trip the week after school let out in May. We visited the recently-renovated Gateway Arch, the protected Cahokia Mounds, the St. Louis Zoo, and St. Louis Science Center. We rode a riverboat cruise on the river. We took a ferry across the river and discovered Piasa. We also took short trips to St. Joseph and Ste. Genevieve, as well as Chester, Illinois (home of Popeye) and the 1720 century fortress at Fort de Chartres. It's always good to get away and see new things. Even though we have been to many of these places before, we always see and learn new things.
Whether I'm on vacation, watching a television show, driving on the interstate, or surfing the interweb, I'm always trying to think of ways to make my class different and better. Sometimes, I dream of ways that we can do the impossible. I want every minute to be alive for my students, and trying to get to that point consumes a great deal of my time and energy.
I suppose I have been a dreamer for a long time. I come across it naturally - something that came from my dad. It even predates my time as an educator. Through many years, I have wanted to create my own stories - books, movies, TV shows. I've dreamed of new theme parks and new theme park rides. All of these got me ready for my stint as a unique teacher.
Many of the above items have referred to my home life - my family is my home - but the house also needed some work this summer. Unfortunately, I'm not the kind of guy who does engine and appliance repairs, but when push comes to shove, I'll try to do some of the minor activities. I had the privilege of replacing the hinge on the washer, repairing a tire on the riding mower, replacing the battery in said mower, trading a couple of door knobs, and installing a new ceiling fan in the place of one with a broken blade. These things, in addition to mowing and trimming bushes and unwanted plants got me sweating on more than one occasion.