Friday, September 4, 2020

My Mom

My mom was killed this last Saturday when a car crashed into her bedroom at 2:00 am. Below is a link to the news story. Below that is a link to a post that I posted back in 2009.  I am re-posting here until I can write a proper post. I hope you enjoy the piece and get a flavor of my incredible mother.


Tough financial times come and go for most families. The creativity that facilitates getting through those times, often require outside of the box thinking and risk taking. Growing up as one of six children, laundry was a big part of keeping our family smelling clean and everyone dressed up for school and church. There was a time when my mother had run out of laundry soap and money. The laundry was stacking up and the smell was turning from gray to blue. Being the good ex Mennonite she was, she prayed for laundry soap. Why wouldn’t she? God answered her prayer with a 25lb box of laundry soap and it was a miracle. Now wait, there are a couple of ways to look at this miracle and how God answered her prayer. You tell me where the miracle came into play. Mom, listening to the radio and praying about the finances, the lack of laundry soap, heard an advertisement by a local appliance store. This store was so proud of their washing machines that they would even do a load of laundry for you and those who brought in a load of laundry would be entered into a drawing for a 25 lb. box of laundry soap. Now before I go any further – I should say this is a true story. My mom of course being frugal as they come, packed up the most critical laundry needs and headed to the store about five miles away. The sales person true to the advertisement did mom’s load of laundry but was unsuccessful in selling her a new washing machine. Mom was entered into the drawing and won the laundry soap – It was a miracle. Now who was the marketing genius behind this promotion? I mean seriously how many people other than my mother brought in dirty laundry to the appliance store? Think about it. How many other people were in the drawing? I think there is more than one miracle here. The first one of course is the award winning marketing campaign of doing dirty laundry. I am not positive but I have the feeling a professional advertising company was left out of this great plan. For someone to actually think this could work is a miracle. The second miracle is that my mother had the courage to load up her laundry and lug it into the local appliance store. Her most critical laundry needs were met that day. A miracle? The third miracle was that someone actually paid money for radio time to run such an ad and they probably paid to have it run more than once for my mom to hear it. Then of course there is the miracle of the drawing – imagine the staggering odds. Now when I reflect on this story I think there is one more miracle. And, that is that God cared about a woman with six kids who needed some laundry soap and that makes me smile with gratitude. One thing I have learned –when you are His whatever it is you are going through – It’s from Him.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Hunkered Down Typing

How does one write a blog post after how many years? I am at home. Tonight starts a government stay put order for the next couple of weeks. So, I will be home tomorrow just like I have been since my retirement February 29th. I am into week four of said golden years.
Before my retirement, when I was not at home, many asked me, “so, what are your big plans?” Hmmm..... Big Plans? Plans and they have to be big? That question seemed a bit daunting and in the middle of the night, there its nasty head surfaced – I started losing sleep. I did not want to be weird, I should come up with something. After all I needed an answer that made me not look like some kind of weirdo, I need something that made me look intentional, retirement worthy! It did not take to long but after some thinking and scrambling for a plan...a big plan...I remembered that I have always kind of wanted to travel across the United States. It was not a deep heart felt goal just something I thought about now and then. It was just an idea. I figured that was as good of a big plan as most. So, over Christmas break I bought a well used minivan with 122,000 miles on it. That purchase was after considering, hoteling – to expensive, tenting – to much work, couch my relatives called it Mennoniting across America. The trouble with that last idea, I am not a Mennonite. So, I came up with the van idea. Like all of my great plans, there is never a down side.

So here I come YouTube – Pinterest – Google – and deep thoughts. A minivan camper build out! How fun will that be? Needless to say I got excited. I soon realized I was way more excited about a van build out than the actual trip. Five days went by, I got no more than 2 hours sleep each night. My brain would not stop spinning. Two weeks went by, I got on the scale and I had lost 11 lbs – Yikes!!! Am I sick? Or could I really be that excited? Just to be sure I wasn't sick I pounded ice cream for the next few days and to my relief I gained back three pounds. Yahoo....I am healthy!!!

I am just about finished with the build out and now here I sit with this Shelter in Place thing and no where to go. What's a fellow to do? I guess I can show you some pictures of my work.

   Slide out bed frame

  Couch and Bed

  Cabinet for clothes and storage

Kitchen area

  Table - lifts out, folds up and stores under bed