Life List

This is not a bucket list. It is not a list of things to do before I die. It is a list of things that I want to do that bring life. Therefore, it’s a Life List.

Completed or in-progress items in italics.
Updated: 22 January 2018


  • Raise Christian kids
    • Give my kids names that mean something
      • Done – December 26, 2001; October 3, 2005
  • Be a man after God’s own heart
  • Be a Brother to my Brother
  • Be a true friend
  • Tip generously before meals instead of after (try it – it’s a blast)
    • Done – Once a few years ago. Need to do it again.
  • Pray in front of and for a group of soldiers
  • Foster a child
    • Done – June/July 2009 (two girls, one five years old and one a year old)
    • Done – December 2012-June 2013 (one girl, two boys)


General Travel

  • Visit every state in the Union & Washington D.C. – 48 so far
    • Alabama (10+), Arizona, Arkansas (5+), California (2), Colorado (3), Connecticut, Delaware, Florida (10+), Georgia (10+), Idaho (2), Illinois (5+), Iowa, Kentucky (10+), Louisiana, Maine, Maryland (2), Massachusetts (4), Michigan (10+), Minnesota (2), Mississippi (10+), Missouri (5+), Montana, Nebraska, ¬†New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York (4), North Carolina (10+), North Dakota, Ohio (10+), Oklahoma, Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (2), Rhode Island, South Carolina (10+), South Dakota, Tennessee (I live here, yo), Texas (3), Utah, Vermont, Virginia (10+), Washington (2), Washington DC (3), West Virginia (6), Wyoming
  • Visit at least 10 foreign countries
    • Visited (9): Jamaica (July 2005, March 2008), Canada, Tanzania (August-September 2012), Kenya (September 2012), England (3), Scotland, Honduras, Mexico, Dominican Republic
  • Visit every Major League ballpark
    • 19 so far – Atlanta Braves (SunTrust Park, Fulton County Stadium & Turner Field), Texas Rangers (Ballpark at Arlington, July 2013), Boston Red Sox (Fenway Park), Chicago Cubs (Wrigley Field, 06/10/2008), Cincinnati Reds (Great American Ballpark), Detroit Tigers (old Tiger Stadium and Comerica Park), Los Angeles Angels (Angel Stadium), Los Angeles Dodgers (Dodger Stadium), Minnesota Twins (Target Field), New York Mets (Citi Field), New York Yankees (new Yankee Stadium), Oakland Athletics (Oakland Coliseum), ¬†Seattle Mariners (Safeco Field, 05/2007), St. Louis Cardinals (Old Busch Stadium), Tampa Bay Rays (September 2013), Washington Nationals (RFK Stadium)
  • Go inside a castle in Scotland – Done (2)
  • Visit every continent (3 so far)


  • Hike the Appalachian Trail, preferably with at least one of my kids
    • 336.3 (15.7%) so far – made it to Erwin, Tennessee
    • Hike the length of the trail in each state
      • Georgia
        • Done – March 1999
      • North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine
    • Hike across Roan Mountain – done
    • Hike through Damascus, Virginia
    • Hike through Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
    • Hike the White Mountains in New Hampshire
    • Hike the 100-mile Wilderness in Main
  • Hike every trail in the Smoky Mountains (long way to go)
    • So far – Appalachian Trail (1999), Lower Mt. Cammerer Trail (2002), Anthony Creek Trail (August 4, 2007), Eagle Creek Trail (August 4, 2007), Lost Cove Trail (August 5, 2007), Gregory Ridge Trail (August 6, 2007)
  • Climb at least 14 of the Colorado 14ers
  • See Mount Rushmore – Done
  • See the Statue of Liberty – Done
  • Take a lap in a stock car
  • Walk on and pray at Normandy Beach
  • Salute the Flag at Normandy Beach
  • Tour the White House
  • See a bear in the wild (and not on the side of the road in Gatlinburg)
    • Done – August 4, 2007; Eagle Creek Trail, Smoky Mountains; Mother bear & cub
  • Run for charity – Done
  • Complete a 5K (which I have not done since high school) – Done
  • Drive in Jamaica
    • Done – March 19, 2008. If you’ve done this, you know why I have it on the list.
  • Hike in the Grand Canyon – Done
  • Visit the Pantheon in Rome
  • See the big sky in Big Sky Country – Done
  • Go to Fargo, North Dakota, and say “eh?”
  • Go to the top of the Washington Monument
  • Grow my own veggies in my own garden – Done
  • Visit Tanzania to see first hand the mission work the Groens are doing there – Done
  • See the Alamo
    • Done – June 3, 2006


  • Sail down the Mississippi River (preferably Huck Finn style)
  • Swim in the Caribbean Sea
    • Done – July 23, 2005
  • Sail the South Pacific & see the Southern Cross
  • Go whitewater rafting
    • Done – July 29, 2006 (Ocoee)
  • Canoe in the Northwest United States
  • Throw rocks off the Maine shoreline – Done
  • Cross the Delaware (don’t care how) – Done
  • Sleep in a hammock on a beach beneath some palm trees
  • See the Pacific Ocean
    • Done – May 13, 2006 (leaving Los Angeles)


  • Go into space
  • Fly in a seaplane, land on the water, sit on the wing
  • See a bald eagle in the wild
  • See the fireworks on July 4 in Boston
  • See the fireworks on July 4 in Washington, D.C.
    • Done – July 4, 2009. We sat halfway between the Capitol and the Washington Monument.


  • See or participate in a jazz funeral
  • Attend Oktoberfest
  • See a Broadway show
  • Drink a Samuel Adams in Boston, MA – Done
  • Visit an Irish pub (in Ireland)
  • Drink scotch in Scotland – Done
  • Try real New Orleans gumbo
    • Done – Sometime in 1999


  • Rappel
    • Done – August 9, 2008, Stone Door, Savage Gulf Natural Area, Tennessee. Thanks to Greg Henson for the opportunity.


  • Make a short film – Done
  • Write a song – Done
  • Write a story – Done
  • Sell a painting (which would require me to actually paint more)
  • Go to Kalamazoo, Michigan, and sing “I gotta gal in Kalamazoo-zoo-zoo-zoo-zoo”
  • Be on the radio
  • Be on television


  • Play baseball with the Atlanta Braves
  • Pitch with John Smoltz
  • Attend a World Series or Playoff MLB game – Done
  • Catch a foul ball or home run at an MLB game
  • Sail on a Tall Ship and stand on the highest point (like Russell Crowe in Master & Commander)
  • Play guitar with Jimmy Buffett and/or Mac McAnally
  • Meet a current or former U.S. President


  • Restore an old Chevy truck (preferably one somewhere between 1946-1957)
  • Drive a Corvette
  • Participate in a Guinness World Record
  • Own a motorcycle
  • Smoke a Cuban cigar
    • Done – 2006