Thursday, October 25, 2012

After The Rain

Yesterday afternoon we had rain – and thunder.  Then quiet.  And a bit of sun peeking through for a time.  Today the sun is shining.  There is a message to my heart in this.  Plans were in place for our daughter and her four children to move into a new-to-them home today after living with us for a few months.  Those plans fell through.  Yesterday it was clear that the planned move today was not going to happen.  In the middle of the disappointment there is hope.  After yesterday’s rain, the sun came through.  I know that the light of God’s grace and love will shine through the ‘rain’ of these days for them.

We don't know what the future holds for them but we do know that a lot of people have been praying for them and God is still in control.  He knows what's best for us.  Always.  That can be hard to comprehend in the middle of it all.  While going through a similar situation in our lives many years ago, I walked through the middle of a store and my attention was drawn to a magnet on display.  On that magnet - that now hangs on my refrigerator! - this verse:  ‘For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’ (Jeremiah 29:11)

His plans are always right.  His timing never wrong.  There are no accidents with Him.  Even though it seems someone else may ‘mess up’ the plan, He is still in control.  He brings the rain – He brings the sun.  The sun will shine again.  I have no doubt!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I bought this sign for my sweetheart a few years ago.  My intention was for him to hang it in his little half bath just off the laundry room and garage.  Instead, he took it to work and hung it in his office!  When he retired two and a half weeks ago, he brought it home and hung it on the doorbell!  We’ve enjoyed the idea that he doesn’t have to go back to work so much that we’ve left it there.  And I smile every time I see it.  Now he really, truly is gone!  Gone hunting.  For elk this time.  He left early before the season began, met his recently retired brother-in-law and drove to places somewhere in the south central part of our state.  They went much earlier than anyone else in their hunting party.  They set up camp and started scouting to see where the elk were ‘hiding’.  Our daughter asked why they left so early.  My answer:  ‘Because they can!’  For the first time ever, both of them could go when they chose and stay until the season ends in a few days.  While he’s gone, I’m keeping the home fires burning – and, believe me, there are several of them burning at the same time. 

I’ve been gone from blogging for awhile but will be back soon to share some of our doings and update you on several things.  I’ve been peeking in to see what you’ve been up to but have often had so many things going on at the same time that I haven’t left many comments.  Maybe life will settle down.  Maybe not!  But, I’ll be back!

Friday, October 5, 2012

The End – And A New Beginning

Gavin and PapaToday is the end – and the beginning.  The end of many years of hard work and commitment and consistent attendance and integrity in some very tough times.  This is the day we have talked about and dreamed of and planned for a long time.  (Three months ago I made a countdown calendar.  Last night my sweetheart was so excited to mark off ‘one more day’ he just couldn’t help embellishing today’s date.)PA044759My sweetheart is retiring from Stanley Hydraulic Tools today!  He has been a member of the Stanley Tool company for nearly twenty five years.  It was a job that was much needed – and he started at the bottom, even though he was well qualified for more.  It was grunt work, a foot-in-the-door job.  And he did it without complaining.  Ever.

Through the years my sweetheart’s true character showed through and he was promoted and honored and moved to more responsibility.  One day he was named Assistant Plant Supervisor and he never dreamed where that would take him.  Through a long illness of the Plant Supervisor my sweetheart worked many, long hours to keep up with the needs of the operation.  Then a day came that he was told his supervisor would not return.  My sweetheart immediately became the Acting Operations Supervisor (a title change had taken place somewhere in there).  For over a year and a half he maintained that position.  At times he felt he was in over his head.  But he kept going.  Without complaint.  Always with a good attitude and a smile.  Applications were taken for the position and interviews brought it down to two men – my sweetheart and a younger man from outside the company.  The management was concerned about my sweetheart – what would he do if he wasn’t chosen for the position?  His answer, ‘I want what’s best for the company.  If another person is hired I will do everything I can to help him or her learn what they need to know.’ And he did just that.  Another man was hired (and, quite frankly, we were relieved).  My sweetheart did what he said he would do and it wasn’t long before the new supervisor said he wanted my sweetheart to step into a newly created, extremely important position – Operations Coordinator.  Over the past nearly three years he has made sure all of the raw materials were ordered, he has plotted production through the plant to meet shipping deadlines and he has been one to whom everyone could go to talk or to share a problem.  He has won awards.  He has been admired and highly respected by people at the top of Stanley Tools.  He has been there for people, no matter their position or background.  He has championed the ‘little guy’ and applauded the ‘top dog’!

At noon today I will join him and his bosses and coworkers to honor his service – and who he has been to the people he’s worked with.  In conversations with his boss I learned that my sweetheart will leave a big ‘hole’ – a gap that can’t be filled by anyone else.  Even though others will come and go and fill the roles he had there’s no one will be more respected and loved than my sweetheart.  I am proud of him and today I will join others to applaud and give thanks for who he is – and who he has been through the years.

Then we will begin a new chapter in our lives.  We don’t know what that means.  We haven’t decided what we want to be now that we are all grown up!  We have ideas and thoughts and passions.  Time will tell – and God will lead.  Our hearts will always be full of gratitude for the years we’ve had in the past but the future stretches out ahead of us with such hope.  And joy!