We live in a world of relationships and networking. Without question, there are benefits to being approachable, personable, and . . . well . . . nice to people. [Honest and Dependable] will go a long way towards relationship building.

When asked to transport a BBQ Pit from Hempstead to Houston two weeks ago, I quickly agreed, of course. Like so many other pieces of equipment I’m instructed to move, I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into. My job is never boring, and always dangerous.

As it turned out, the ‘Pit’ weighed in at nearly two tons. The 3,800 pound stainless steel BBQ Pit loaded onto a Flatbed Tow Truck easy enough, but I didn’t take any chances, and added six safety straps. The bed of this truck is 22′ long and 8′ wide. You can see the size of this top-heavy monster.

Two Sundays ago, I delivered the Pit to NRG Stadium in downtown Houston. The NFL and Pro-rodeo Stadium is huge, and has a retractable roof. The facility is very impressive. I’m going back to pick it back up tomorrow [Sunday] morning.

After unloading the Pit, the handshake was accompanied with something else; a stack of tickets to the World Championship BBQ Cook-off. I didn’t know at the time, but these limited tickets are highly coveted. Apparently, it’s not uncommon to see the occasional celebrity at the feast. Hey, we are talking about the best BBQ in the world!

The Cook-off is just the beginning, and kicks off the Livestock Show and Rodeo. The Houston Rodeo lasts several weeks, and there’s a music performance every night. We’ve already purchased concert tickets for several nights, and plan on enjoying multiple artists. Between the six of us, we’re seeing Niko Moon, Dillon Carmichael, Michael Ray, Rodell Duff, Chris Stapleton, Cody Johnson, Jon Pardi, Maren Morris, Kane Brown, Tim McGraw, and Brad Paisley. Yes . . . we love county music . . . rodeo . . . and Texas.

Two months ago, I didn’t have my CDL Driver’s Permit. Three months ago, I was still living in Denver, Colorado. Seventeen months ago, I was single, and hadn’t reconciled with my wife, and the mother of my two children. Seventeen months ago, I was still on probation, and serving an Outpatient Drug Treatment Sentence. Twenty-four months ago, I hadn’t reinstated my Driver’s License, suspended for an unpaid traffic ticket. Thirty-seven months ago, I was still using drugs, and spending my life living within an entirely different world than I do now, acquiescing to a life of anhedonia.

I could go on, line after line, and page after page. My journey back from death to the land of the living was difficult but absolutely necessary. All things are possible when the shackles of dependency are removed. For those willing to put the work in, take the road less traveled, and choose recovery, you can have it all. You can have what’s important and essential to happiness. You can have your best life, surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones. Choose sobriety, choose life.

Sober Is Power!

Joseph Shanklin

Saturday, February 26, 2022

2 thoughts on “Houston 2022 World Championship BBQ Cook-off

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