Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged.
1. My favorite movie of all time is IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. If you haven’t seen it, I can’t recommend it enough. This year, I made a point of going to see it a few days before Christmas on the big screen at the AFI's Silver Theater in downtown Silver Spring. It really put the Christmas Spirit in me. This is now an annual tradition. I go every year.
2. I love my little girl! I will always love my little girl!
3. Different combinations of friends and family have met us almost every Thursday for the past 2 and a half years at our local Red Robin restaurant. We also go to Chick-Fil-A at least once a week. We stopped going to Red Robin several years ago, and now we seldom get everyone together. Life gets so busy, and it's so hard to coordinate. We miss this.
4. My dream car is a 1970 Olds 442 W-30 convertible. I have that dream often...maybe some day... I still hope to someday have one of these. It is the ultimate muscle car, in my opinion.
5. My almost-five years of marriage were among the happiest years of my life. I fell in love with and married my best friend, Teresa Shirlen Freed, who passed away in April, 2004. I’ve now been widowed longer than married, but I’m praying that, if it’s God’s will that I marry again, it will be as wonderful as the first time. Tell your loved ones everyday how much you love them. You can't say it enough.
6. I am very passionate about my Pittsburgh Steelers. They better win on Sunday! (My father shares season tickets with my uncle.) The city of Pittsburgh is a wonderful place, and I would move there in a heartbeat if I had a job waiting for me there. I still love Pittsburgh and my Steelers. Dad & my uncle sold the season tickets, though (bummer!!). I still plan to retire to Pittsburgh.
7. I’ve driven the entire length of (what's left of) old Route 66 (Chicago to LA). Highlights include the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, TX, home of the free 72 oz. steak (if you can eat it in one hour….no, I didn‘t try); Albuquerque & Santa Fe, NM; “Sweet Home” Chicago, IL; Flagstaff, AZ; the nearby Grand Canyon; the Mojave Desert (where, at times, I know I was miles from any living person, alone with my thoughts and God. Driving through God’s beauty in the American West is both therapeutic and humbling.); and Hollywood, CA, which is just too cool for words. I have since taken my daughter to portions of Rt. 66, namely western Arizona and Southern California, as well as Chicago to St. Louis. We love our road trips!
8. I’ve driven through 39 U.S. states and 5 Canadian provinces, but I’ve been to only one other country. I'm now up to 41 states, and daughter Melody is up to 34!
9. My daughter regularly beats me at Wii bowling. Minecraft has replaced Wii bowling for my daughter. I prefer the real thing.
10. My favorite movie of all time is JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO. You'll only like it if you GET it. Most people don't GET it. It is amusing and inspiring, with lots of symbolism, and is very romantic. Very underrated film!!!
11. One of my role models is Richie Cunningham. Most guys wanted to be like the Fonz. I wanted to be like Richie. I still want to be Richie. I think I grew up in the wrong era.
12. My car in high school was possibly the ugliest car in the parking lot: an ’81 Olds Omega – 2-tone white on gray with orange and red stripes down both sides, and “SportOmega” in large white letters on both doors. I don't think it was so ugly. It was sure unique, though.
13. I am a frustrated actor and director, though I’m fortunate to have had an outlet through church drama for most of my life. I miss having this activity in my life. I much prefer being "behind the camera" to being on stage as I get older, however.
14. I’ve been so blessed to have many wonderful pastors as friends and mentors, including George, Tom, Dick, Lisa, Moussa, Sandy, and my current pastor at Grace Community Church, Mark, as well as my grandfather, Chester “Pap” Freed, and my father-in-law, Jim Shirlen. I can add Pastors Mitchel and Rich to my list of wonderful pastors.
15. I love Fall much more than Spring, and Winter much more than Summer. Bring on the snow! This hot weather is for the birds.
16. I have three Tivos. And I'm now down to one. It's much less complicated.
17. My daughter inherited my love of roller coasters, and that’s one reason why we’ve been to seven different amusement parks in the past year. Combined, we've now ridden almost 120 different roller coasters!
18. I played in the Orange Bowl during my freshman year at Maryland….in the Marching Band. My old band director just retired, too.
19. I don’t care for coffee or beer. Never acquired a taste for either. I tried wine, but I just don't care for it. Coffee was an acquired taste, however, and now I drink at least one cup every morning. I still don't love it, but the caffeine is nice.
20. My favorite movie of all time is REAR WINDOW….and NORTH BY NORTHWEST….and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN….and DAY OF THE JACKAL.... While DAY OF THE JACKAL is a good movie, it's hardly in my top ten favorites. Not sure what I was thinking...
21. I spent over 10 years as a youth counselor at several different churches, and I was truly blessed by my friends and co-workers in that ministry, particularly Lisa, Scott, and Diana, and so many great kids! I'm tempted to return to youth ministry now that my daughter is entering middle school. I haven't seen my friends Lisa (in Cincinnati, OH), Scott (somewhere in Maryland), and Diana (down in Georgia) in much too long.
22. I’ve worked for the Federal Government for over 17 years, half with NOAA and half with the FAA, but all with the same organization, Aeronautical Charting. I'm about to start my 25th year, still with Aeronautical Charting.
23. I have the most wonderful parents. My father is my best friend. My mother is like a mother to my daughter. I love them both so much. My in-laws are a true blessing, too.
24. There are several people who inspire me and have become role models to me because of how they have handled adversity in their lives: Brian, Sheryl, Brooke, Erin, and Mom, thank you! You are each in my prayers regularly.
25. God has blessed me with a wonderful life. Several months following Teresa’s death, as I was going through some papers, I discovered a slip of paper on which she had written the following verse. I don't know why she felt the need to write it down, but it was as if I was meant to find it. I am comforted every time I read it: “And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.” - I Peter 5:10. With Him, life gets better each and every day.
Have a wonderful evening, everyone!