On the bookcase in my study, is a small cardboard box in which my Bible was packed. I keep small artifacts in the box that are meaningful to me. There’s my great-grandfather’s pen knife, a baby picture of my father, Herb Monroe’s obituary (my favorite principal), a postcard my dad wrote home during WWII, my grandmother-in-law’s obituary, my dad’s pocketknife, my pocketknife, some pictures of my boys and a small New Testament the Gideon’s gave you in elementary school in my day. All of these items are special to me in their own way and cannot be replaced. Each of them is a story I could and may write one day.
Also jammed in this small box are items I kept from various jobs I’ve had over my life. There’s the Starrett 6″ Precision Ruler I used as a machinist/millwright, the mouthpiece I spoke into as a Collector with Capital One,my project estimator business card, my Trainer business card also while with Capital One, my name-tag and dealer’s license I used while a car salesman with CarMax and, of course, my playground whistle and mailbox name-tag from my last teaching job.
All of these items also mean much to me but none more so than the playground whistle. How many kids has this whistle summoned over the years, I wonder?
Spring Break, the week of April 14th, saw Lynn and I have several serious conversations concerning my leaving teaching. I wanted to but our wallets said otherwise. Lynn has been retired for three years and works 28 days a year to get her county retirement along with her state retirement. We looked at the numbers and it seemed close. We then talked about where I was emotionally, mentally and physically after the past year and half. Lynn was adamant – retire (haven’t I told you she’s wonderful). We put our faith in God to provide and He has not disappointed. Since we made the Decision quite a few things have happened to let us know – a) the choice was a great one and b) God is good.
I promised Lenny, our terrier mix, that I would walk him every morning once I retired. I kept my promise this past week. I’d get up early and pull on some shorts, a t-shirt and my favorite “Hawaii” ball cap and we’d head out. It’s amazing how I feel. I can’t wipe the stupid grin off of my face. I listen to my devotional “Pray as You Go” on my iPhone and thank God for all he has given me – a beautiful wife, great kids and world-class friends-so MANY friends.
The next two weeks will see me keeping my promise to Lenny, along with biking, geocaching, power napping and time with friends. I then have to train full time for the next seven weeks for a new part time job that will allow me to work at home a few afternoon/evenings a week. I’ll let you more about the job and how it goes as things develop.
When the training is over and I’m working part time, I’ll still keep my promise to Lenny, do crosswords with Lynn along with the aforementioned activities. From time to time, I’ll pull out my “Bible Box” and thank God for a wonderful life and ask Him for the chance to perhaps add more artifacts.
“All is written by one Hand” – Paulo Coelho