Thanks for the memories…

Kurthunk, kurthunk sounds the dryer as my computer softly hums. Otherwise, the house is quiet as Eric and I do our digital duties. Mine is more or less caught up so I have a few moments to process and remember… .

For those of you that don’t know, I have taken the leap and am on a brand new adventure. I am no longer working in the crafting industry but, of all things, FARM EQUIPMENT! I love crafting but I need forty hours per week, health insurance, and family time. I can now check off all of those boxes and add a few more, like a Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas ham–whaaaat!?!?! I have stepped back a bit in time to paper time cards and check, and every employee, from the owners on down, helping to ship and clean. It’s a crazy change but lots of fun as we all get dirty together.

I am enjoying being a jack-of-all-trades: Customer service, order entry, shipping, and scheduling freight, is the core but there is a ton of room for growth and maybe someday I’ll even drive a forklift! Whoot! Whoot! I need to settle down.

This being the week of Christmas shops in our area are closing for the holidays. Today was our last day until Monday but many of our crew will be staying home with their families for vacation for the remainder of the next week. A gentleman I work closely with was sharing with me that he is taking his wife and little boy to the waterpark in Sandusky Ohio. He is so excited to have this time with his son and they get two whole days to get wet and play together. I was thrilled for him and agreed that they would have a fantastic time. I then slipped back into the office.

For the next two hours, my mind meandered between work and Sandusky. The next time I went out to check inventory I ran into him. “Hey, I just wanted to thank you for the memories.” He looked puzzled, so I explained:

“My hubby, daughter, and I spent a Christmas at that waterpark. It’s an awesome place with tons to do. You are going to have a blast! I haven’t thought about it for years! It was soooo much fun! 3 weeks later he was diagnosed with cancer and went home less than a month after. That was our very last Christmas together and it was AWESOME–NO REGRETS!” With another huge “Thank you!” him smiling, I went back into the office.

A bit later the phone rang. A customer was calling to see if they could stop by on their way through town to pick up a “not too small” order. I explained that his timing was during our shutdown and no one would be here. “Couldn’t you ask if someone could just let me in? I’m sure they’ve left a forklift for me to load before.”

I’m the new kid on the block so I agreed to inquire and get back to him. When presenting this “opportunity” to my boss he gave me the “squishy” face, along with reiterating that this gentleman was welcome to come any day we were open. No one was going to come in during our shutdown. “Oh, and we have NEVER left a forklift for him.” I smiled and let him know I would pass on this information, which I did to a very disappointed customer.

Today was inventory and holiday wrapup! Half an hour before we closed my boss came up to the front desk to inquire whether that gentleman had placed an order for a different day. Nope. He looked side-to-side, lowered his voice, and said, “Maybe I should have done that for him. I just hate to take away from that time.” He was then off to load the last semi for the day as the clock ticked down.

As I was entering my last few orders these two conversations were rolling and twisting in my mind. When that happens I need to talk it out so I had a conversation with Heavenly Dad. Ross walked back in again.

“Hey, Ross…” and I then told him about the conversation I had with the other gentleman in the shop. “Ross, we didn’t know that was going to be our last Christmas. When someone goes “home,” all of the people around them’s life continues. It is the family of that person whose life stops. I wanted to tell you how happy I am that you aren’t coming in tomorrow. I’m excited that you get to spend this time with your family–and the other gentleman will be able to spend time with his.”

Ross smiled and thanked me for telling him.

Each year I challenge myself to treat every Christmas as if it is my last–no regrets!

Taylor, Kristian, Willow, and us will celebrate when their life slows down for them a bit. The kids are staying with us for a little while so they work on their house so every day is like Christmas! We get to see them and help in whatever way we can to reach their goals. For actual Christmas, they will be together as a family then get together with his family.

Eric and I are going to connect! We have a LIVE nativity adventure at our church with people/family we love and adore, complete with hot cocoa and cookies! We then have asked and been invited to stop in to visit his sibs, aunts, uncles, and parents to name a few. We are looking forward to checking in, reminiscing, and spending time. If this IS our last Christmas, may it be filled with people we love, time celebrating the reason for the season, and memories that will bring smiles to those who have given US the BEST GIFT of 2021: their time.

Until next time: Blessings!

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