Wednesday, November 4, 2015

"Unemployment is of vital importance, particularly to the unemployed." Edward Heath, (1916-2005), Politician and Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

It's Wednesday, November 4, 2015, and we are getting ready to get ready to get on with the day that the Lord has given to us. I'm typically the first person here on the property where I work each day. People trickle in and as we close in on 7 a.m., the parking lot pretty much fills up. That full parking lot is something for us to be thankful for. As a metal fabrication business much of what we do reflects the health of the oil industry as a whole. I mention this as a blessing because I've visited some nearly empty parking lots in recent days that just weeks ago were overflowing. Those left behind call themselves survivors but they are not certain about the future. We can't be certain about the future for our small company either. However, our owner, Bro. Ronnie, gives God the honor for the work that we have that at present is keeping us busy. We often mention this to each other. I know the majority of our fellow citizens across the fruited plains are happy happy with the lower gasoline prices. The so called experts tell us that on balance, the pain in the oil patch is worth it given the overall positive impact to the national economy. I'm not so sure about that especially in the longer run. I've said this to remind us all that our lives can change in a heartbeat on any given day. That's why I looked out on our parking lot this morning and looked up and gave God thanks for providing for us all and our families. Amen.

Okay. Confession time again. I've shared about how that I became an accidental fan of NASCAR maybe 15 years ago. I've followed the career of Jeff Gordon for all these years. He is retiring at the end of this year. He has not had a great year but he has run well enough to get himself and his team into the running for this year's championship. The playoff in NASCAR is called the Chase. It is divided into elimination rounds. We are coming down to the end. This past Sunday Jeff Gordon won the race at Martinsville. It was his first win of the year. It came at good time because he is now guaranteed to be in the final four who will race for the championship at the race in Homestead, Florida on November 22. Here's the confession. I was excited during the final laps of the race this last Sunday. Very excited. My man was leading but not by much. It was a nail biter. Even the wife was cheering. When he won I jumped up and down. That's right. I am glad that it was done in the privacy of my own home with only the wife as a witness. Up and down. Aches and pains notwithstanding, I suppose I in some small way felt a part of his victory. I've not decided yet whether to continue my association with NASCAR as he moves on to other pursuits, but, I guess I will no longer be able to downplay or discredit my identity as a Jeff Gordon fan.

Nearly everywhere I show up these days people ask me how many Santa appearances I have scheduled. I suppose that's warranted given the calendar and the status of The Beard. We will be as busy as we've ever been if we are able to fulfill all the requests, however, our big focus at the moment is preparing to enjoy a day of faith, family, fellowship, and last but not least, feasting. There's something about planning Thanksgiving Day that gets the memory engine running in overdrive. I was thinking about coming in the back door at Granny and Paw Paw Mac's house on a cold Thanksgiving Day. The windows would be all sweaty from the stove and oven covered up with pots. Granny would be front and center surrounded by aunts, uncles, and other cousins, in-laws, and maybe even a few outlaws as well. The atmosphere was bursting with expectation. The smell alone almost made one need a chair to sit down just to catch your breath and think about it. Most of the kids were lined up like contestants just in case they called for a volunteer taster or two. We will not be able to duplicate those days exactly but it will not be for a lack of trying. I desire for my kids and grandkids and their kids and grandkids to get at least a wee bit of a flavor for how all of those things can come together on that day: faith, family, fellowship, and feasting. I do have much to be thankful for. Amen. What say you? ....More later. 

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