Friday, October 8, 2010

Gerrit and Erin get Married

All of those old folks telling us through the years that time would slip away and before we knew it our boys would be grown were proven true in August. Our first born son got all growed up, graduated from college with two degrees, got married to the most wonderful girl we've ever met, and the two of them moved to Houston.

Once there, Gerrit began his career with Exxon Mobil and the two of them have settled into life as if they'd been married for years. We had a chance to visit them in October and had a wonderful time seeing the sites and spending time with them.

Now we're looking forward to seeing them again for Thanksgiving!

Wow, time sure does fly!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A satisfactory end to one journey, and the beginning of a new one.

It took nearly four months, but Dave's journey through unemployment finally ended on May 17th. In some ways that seemed like a long time, with all the resumes, applications, interviews, possibilities, and disappointments. But looking back now it seems more like an unlooked-for break from all the stresses and worries built up after nearly 29 years of working life.

The time off gave Dave a chance to refocus and get his perspective back, plus take care of the huge list of "to-do's" he'd been meaning to get around to in his free time. All the old family video tapes are now converted to DVD, indexed and cataloged. The back of the house got a fresh coat of paint it's been needing since last summer. The old bent-up storm door got replaced. The branches from the huge oak tree next door that were scraping the roof are now pruned. And the grass and shrubs around the house have NEVER looked so good!

Best of all, the extra time spent at home with Karen was a great opportunity catch a glimpse of what retirement together might look like in a few years. It looks like it's going to be AWESOME!

Thus rested, recharged, and ready, Dave begins the employment journey anew. Hopefully for the last time :-)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

An Unexpected Vacation

In late January this year, Dave became an unemployment statistic. The Army program he had been working on through his company, i3, had an unexpected budget shortfall, and in a matter of days half the civilian engineering force was unceremoniously asked to clear out their offices.

Using the three weeks of vacation he had saved up, Dave began the process of searching for another job while still under the cover of i3. That kept a paycheck coming in for a while, but eventually even that dried up and i3 had to let him go.

Interestingly, the money didn’t seem to stop coming in. First there was the refund on our mortgage escrow. It seems we had overpaid what was necessary for our property taxes last year by a good bit, so they sent us a check. Then there were our tax refunds, from both federal and state, which should arrive any day now. Plus the i3 severance check. Karen also started noticing that her grocery money seemed to be multiplying. Every week when she went to put in what she normally budgets for groceries, there was already enough there to cover things.

We had to leave the company medical plan and start on COBRA, which we weren’t looking forward to, since it normally costs and arm and a leg. But it seems there was a little provision in the federal stimulus package last year that cut COBRA payments by 2/3! And it turns out that the provision was scheduled to end just days after we applied.

The outpouring of support from friends, coworkers, and even strangers has been amazing. We’ve long preached to others that accepting generosity from folks who care about you is as much an act of service as the giving, but it sure looks different from the other side :-) Our hearts have been touched by cards, phone calls, emails, gift certificates, and roughly a million offers to personally shop Dave’s resume around.

The search for a job still continues, now 40 days on, but our hearts are full of gratitude and peace. God has granted us an awesome gift of seeing life from an angle we never expected, and the view of His grace from here is pretty awesome.