The Before and After Tag

The Before And After Tag A.K.A. the Then And Now Tag was created by

Use the image at the top of the post;
Answer the 10 questions;
And tag the people you’d like to answer the questions.

1) Who was your family growing up?

I was the last of three children, nine years younger than my brother and eleven years younger than my sister.  Thus, as I grew up, the complexion of the family changed often.  My sister got married and had a son when I was twelve.  My brother moved back into the house to finish college.  My sister moved back when she got a job nearby, with her husband making a long commute and me babysitting.  Then they were all gone, until my brother’s wife had surgery, and I was again babysitting their daughter while in high school and my brother was at seminary a few hundred miles away.  Add to this that my Dad worked on the road most of the time that I grew up, you didn’t know who was underneath the roof from one day to the next.  My mother and I being the constants for that time, but I never moved back.

2) Who is your family now?

I am married, but temporarily alone.  My wife is babysitting (a recurring theme?) for our son in TN.  He is married with three children.  Our older son is in NE with a wife and two grown children.  My sister still lives in the house that I grew up in with her husband, a daughter, a granddaughter, and a great-granddaughter.  I am FB friends with the nephew who I first babysat, and I call the niece that I babysat at least once a month.  So, they are still family.

3) Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Mississippi.  I was born in Pontotoc, living in town some of the time, living on a farm in Chiwapa (not incorporated and lost their post office while there), on the road toward Troy and Okolona.  I lived one year in Collins, MS and three years in Tupelo, MS.  I moved around, but always in MS until I graduated college.

4) Where do you live now?

I live in McDonald, PA, near Pittsburgh.  After a work trip to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, I went through customs in Totonto, coming back to the US.  The customs agent asked, “Is there a McDonalds in McDonald?”  I laughed and said it wasn’t that big of a town.  Bars and pizza joints, Yes, but no McDonalds.

5) What did you want to he when you became older?

I probably had the dreams of every little kid – fireman, cowboy, etc.  But my earliest dream was to be Sgt. Saunders from the TV show Combat!  I could have seen myself as Kirby, carrying the BAR and whining a lot.  But I never could see myself as Lt. Hanley.  He was so boring!!  But I became a Lt. after carrying the M60 machine gun, updated version of the BAR, throughout ROTC summer camp.  Odd how that happened.

But, in about the second or third grade, I visited a friend’s house, who had a chemistry set, and I was hooked.  Whatever I ended up doing, in a young boys way of thinking, chemistry had to be involved.

6) What do you do now?

I am retired after a career that was mostly technical training, teaching people how to use technology in the nuclear, space rocket motors, and metals fields.  That and a lot of textbook writing and editing.  Before that, I did things that chemical engineers do, and a few things that they don’t usually do, like construction management.

7) What is your earliest memory?

We moved to the farm when I was two years old.  I don’t remember the road construction crews and the heavy equipment, building the road past our farm, but I remember fording the creeks when we went to and from church – until the bridges were constructed.

8) What is one of your recent memories?

I wrote about a memory from my senior year of college in ROTC that will come out on the blog site March 3, One Day in Class …  It might give insight into why I did not make the military a career.

9) What do you consider your greatest achievement so far?

Monetarily, I made a change to a chemical process at a plant in Texas that made $10 million dollars more profit for the company in the first full year of implementing it.  The company told my boss to give me a firm handshake and a pat on the back, which he did.  After returning from the Army, they had to give me my job back, but they made a highly undesirable offer – they had forgotten.

But the important thing is that I continue to grow as a Christian, the only achievement that ultimately matters, and the thing that can never be completed until I pass away.

10) What is your biggest hope in life?

I agree with Amy.  I want to be in Heaven someday.  I am not rushing to get there.  Until then, my biggest hope is to help others find their way to Heaven also.

Thank you, Amy, for the suggestion for anyone to do this! I had fun, as always with your challenges.

As Amy did, this nomination is open to anyone who would love a chance to reflect and see just how good God has been to you.


Add yours →

  1. Awe Mark, I’m glad you picked it up and went with it! Good to know a few things about ya. No McDonald’s? Must be real small.

    Liked by 1 person

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