Been a while… Random thoughts.

What has been going on? Well, I been busy with a few things. With so many people out of work and me in a very stable position, I almost hate to say I had a job interview in another state. It was a fluke opportunity when I took my son to school and met an old friend who told me about a position which would be a huge move up from where I am now. I am comfortable where I am, but maybe it is time to move on. I am not sure… I am one of 5 finalists so a ways to go.

Then today I read a post from Steve Quick who was upset about lamps. In his words, a rant about something minor. Although it may have been minor, it really brings much of what we have become as a society to a whole new light. (Steve often makes me think, which is not a bad thing.)

It made me think of how 40 years ago someone started working for a great company and spent the entire life at one job. Steve talked about how society is a disposable society with material goods. Made me think of my career. This is the longest I have ever been in one job, 14 years. In total I have had over 12 jobs in 35 years.. Now I am thinking of moving onward again. Nothing like my father or his father. Besides being a material goods disposable society, we really have become a transient society as well.

There was a website which I read often which addresses this issue as well. Patrick Deneen has a blog called what I saw in America. He also has a site called front porch republic. He has a post on the disposable society. Many of his comments make me think. But then again there the other side of the coin, Margaret and Helen...I digress.

But that lack of employee dedication is also caused on the other side. Companies no longer have loyalty to an employee. People have become a commodity dependent on stock performance as well. Is this all wrong? I do not know, just a thought I have had over the past weeks.

I was excited (and for you I-phone users) to find a diet and exercise software I like better than Fit-Day. It is called SparkPeople nutrition. It allows you to track what you eat and get all kinds of nutrition analysis. It is web based with a ap for the i-phone which works great. I can sit in the restaurant and add my food immediately upon eating rather than write it down and enter it later. Really is nice.

I was supposed to go to the Dr. yesterday for the knee but the out of state interview stopped that appointment. So I am hoping next week it all looks fine. I no longer have pain and feels pretty good. Although I think I will do little running until I get my weight down just to minimize impact on the knee. Might be a good idea as the cold is setting in and the days are getting shorter.

The UMTR fest is this Saturday. Looking forward to it but as I wrote in an earlier Blog post my favorite local artist is having a CD release party at Bunkers and I really want to go see her perform. So I will leave at 8 PM and will probably miss some great awards and presentations. These Ultra folks are all just happy and fun to be with!

Hope all is well with everyone. This is my last weekend free until I have four solid weekends of tennis followed by two weekends off then 5 weekends of tennis in a row to kick off the new year. I thought I was going to cut back? Well, tuition is expensive…

I want to close this post, the night before veterans day, to say thanks to all those who risk their lives and the loved ones who live on after the loss of a soldier. I went to Fort Snelling Cemetery and took a few pictures. This one just struck me and thought I would post it here. I could have spent the entire day there… It is much larger than I ever thought it was and really has many many stories to tell.

This post is getting to long. If you hung on this long, I need to add to the post a story… As after I left the cemetery where many people had a life cut short, I thought of and read a favorite story of mine. It is about how we cherish so many things, but we often forget time with friends and loved ones is the most precious. The story goes:

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.”

Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

“Jack, did you hear me?”

“Oh sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Jack said.

“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence’ as he put it,” Mom told him.

“I loved that old house he lived in,” Jack said.

“You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said.

“He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in this business if it weren’t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important… Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time.

The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture… Jack stopped suddenly.

“What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked.

“The box is gone,” he said.

“What box?” Mom asked.

“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most,'” Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

“Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said. “I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,” the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.

“Mr. Harold Belser” it read.

Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside.

“Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.

Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:

“Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser.”

“The thing he valued most…was…my time.”

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. “Why?” Janet, his assistant asked.

“I need some time to spend with my son,” he said. “Oh, by the way, Janet… thanks for your time!”

Thanks much for your time my friends… Carry on.



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4 responses to “Been a while… Random thoughts.

  1. Diane

    What a sweet story!

  2. Carl Gammon

    Thank you for the story, Londell!

  3. Mike

    As you know I love random thought posts. Nice post and great story to cap it off.

  4. SteveQ

    Wow, great story.From an earlier part of the post – my father worked for 3M from the age of 16 (he lied about his age) until 65, when they had mandatory retirement. They were a cradle-to-grave company until about a decade ago, when the stockholders wanted bigger profits, got a CEO who fired everyone, gutted research, closed American factories… and I sold my stock.

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