So I feel like I need to share some of the biggest events in my life to be able to fast forward to this point in time. I grew up in San Marcos, and graduated high school in 1987. During my school years, I was active with band, sports, and church activities. My primary sport of choice was competitive swimming. I was on the San Marcos Aquatic Club from the age of 6 or 7 until about 16 (when I began to be more interested in social activities than the swimming pool 2 hours every night).
I excelled in swimming, and qualified many seasons for the Texas Junior Olympics. I received many medals, ribbons, trophies, and plaques over the course of my swimming career, but have very few of them to show now, because of several acts of nature (house fire when I was 12 or 13, and then a flood in 1998 that washed my entire house down the Guadalupe River). But in between those 2 disasters, I gained a step-family that I loved, graduated high school, and graduated from Southwest Texas State with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Physical Therapy in 1995.
Ten days before I was to move to Brownwood, the flood occurred. I was almost completely packed and ready to move, and begin my new job at Brownwood Regional Medical Center. An interesting thing happened with that flood. The waters of the Guadalupe River were high enough to reach the roof of my 2-story home, and were moving fast enough to wash the house right off the foundation, but those same waters left my grandmother's china that I had inherited completely intact and in the same spot where I had left it all packed in boxes. The boxes were washed away from around the dishes, but the dishes remained unharmed and unmoved! (Although some of the pieces did actually make it a bit down stream, as we spent the next week combing the banks of the receded river for personal belongings). The only pieces to the complete set of Desert Rose China that I could not account for were the salt and pepper shakers, and the sugar bowl (but I did find the lid to the sugar bowl). So the few things that I did recover after the flood had great sentimental value to me.
Ok, fast forward to 2001, March to be exact.