So, that’s how long it’s been since my first post in St. Louis. If you haven’t seen that one, you can scroll all the way down to see it. The short version is that I am absolutely amazed and humbled, once again, at the power of communication in the technology age. For the longer version, read on.

First of all, as I write, the response phase is ongoing for the Houston area and the victims of Hurricane Harvey. 

Coming from a background of National Guard leadership as well as Emergency Management and Homeland Security, I can say that the response teams must truly have their hands full. The families of the heroes who are actively responding are also in the response, too, and cannot be forgotten. 

Additionally, we must keep a watchful eye on the Atlantic where more storms are forming. 

It’s an interesting time to be alive and, perhaps, we’re being given a reminder of what is truly important in the next chapter of our Country… and what’s not.

So… back to my update…

In the last 18 days I have made 8 posts (this one makes 9). The number of times these posts have been read amazes me! 

There is a capability called “analytics” (who knew) that has the ability to geographically show where the blog is read (generally), how many times, for how long, what time of day, what day of the week, etc. 

It doesn’t get extremely specific with who is viewing, but it is good feedback that lets a blogger (that’s me) get an idea of whether anyone is reading or not. 

So, how’s it going, you may wonder? Astounding is my answer!

I have linked my posts to several places including Twitter and LinkedIn. As a result of these “feeds”, each of my blog posts, up to this point, have an average number of 2500 solid views. Those are views that aren’t just a “click through” but actual reads. To that end- I’m truly honored. 

As a result of this blog, I’ve been able to get in touch with people I haven’t spoken to since my freshman year of college. It’s absolutely amazing to get updates from people who were great friends during a chapter of life, and now hear about their lifetime achievements, careers and families. That’s all just because of a little idea I had about putting my thoughts in writing. 

This blog has also led to speculation of “What are you up to now….”

Over the last few weeks, I’ve gotten comments like, “What are you running for, because I’ll support you!” I’ll quickly answer that’s not part of the plan right now. I do have opinions on the political front, and we know that sometimes those opinions turn into action.

Regardless, throwing a hat in the ring is not part of the plan at this point. I’m enjoying being a recovering politician too much.

Another comment I regularly get is, “It’s so good to hear from you and know you’re doing well.” Fact of the matter is, I’ve almost never been better. 

 Leaving government and returning to airline flying had been the plan for Amy and I for quite some time. There was some speculation about what may have “actually occurred” but the reality is that there’s never really a good time to make a career shift like the one we did. Regardless of timing, people draw their own conclusions as to why events occur when they did. As they say, that’s just politics and it was all just fine with me. I’ve grown immune to that speculation since there’s really nothing that needs to be done about the “fence watchers” that sometimes seem to only want to assume the worst. 

The reality is that Amy, my family and I are truly blessed. Daily. I get to do what I love and then I get to come home and see the people I love. I’ve never felt more fortunate or blessed. One other quick comment along these lines- today is payday… and paydays are a lot more fun than they used to be, too!

Where does it go from here? Who knows. If it’s fun I’ll give it a try. I have a few interesting projects that good friends are helping me get off the ground. None are self serving, they all have to do with serving others. It feels great to truly serve others in need. I’ll pass along some of those stories when the time is right. 

The bottom line is that I am truly humbled by all of you who have followed, liked, commented and told me you’re reading these somewhat lucid thoughts. Keeping in touch and being able to re-initiate old lines of communication means more than you know. 

Thanks for your kindness. 

In closing- As I write, our oldest son Blake is home for the first time from college. He’s here, hanging out with us, watching Batman on tv. Just like old times. 

As I was writing, I heard one of Batman’s lines to his “love interest” Rachel Dawes. His comment to her was a repeat of what she had said to Bruce Wayne earlier in the movie. She said, “…It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.”

While I think there’s some truth somewhere in the middle of that statement, that’s probably a little bit of “The World” and Hollywood talking. Truth is, God and The Bible say it a little differently. 

It’s still definitely a good statement to ponder in this day and age… and as for me and my family, we believe that it’s what we do for others that helps to define who we are underneath… and vice versa. Hope that makes sense. 

I wish you all the best on this Labor Day/First College football weekend. I pray it’s filled with family, blessings, fun and a University of Georgia win over Appalachian State. 

May God Bless you all and keep you safe. 

Thanks to all of you who have already made this blog special. I’ll do my best to continually bless you the way you’ve already blessed me.