Vacations Bring Work
I am back from Nebraska. It was a great trip. My 95 year old Mother felt good and she was glad to have me back. I also got to see my brother and two sisters. We were happy to get 35 MPG on the freeway as it is a long drive from Portland, OR to Auburn, Nebraska and back.
Now that I am back, as I said, vacations bring work. There is a box of mail that is still unsorted. I'll get to it. There were the rock orders that came in while I was gone. They are filled and on their way. (Except for one that did not send me her mailing address.) There were two drop-in customers wanting some thunder eggs cut and polished. I had to get started on one of these since the customer will be heading back to Denmark. She was a foreign exchange student. She wants to take some of her rocks back all polished so I have some work to do in the next four days.
Oh, did I say that the grass grew while we were gone. I got the back yard done this evening. I am thankful that our neighbor mowed our front lawn. I will need to do it in a few days since it has been cool and rainy. Roses need care as well as some other bushes. So, what am I to do? It is like I said, "Vacations Bring Work".
But with that thought still on my mind, I am very thankful to God for blessings I don't always remember to count. I had orders that needed shipped. I should be thankful for each one. I met new customers. This is something to also be thankful for. (Did I end that sentence with a preposition?) Our Mail was kept safe while we were gone as well as our house. It is nice to come back home. I am thankful for that. God kept us safe over the many miles we traveled. Did I mention I should be thankful for that? The volunteers at the Food Bank where I volunteer were glad to see me back - well and able to jump right back in to help out. Yes, I need to be thankful for each day I am well and able to fulfill my obligations even if it is a volunteer position.
As I am getting nearer to the end of this blog, I can see that do "Vacations Bring Work" but they also bring about a lot of thankfulness to the great God who provided not only for the vacation but also for the health to do the work the vacation brought on. (Another preposition at the end of the sentence. I think we will have to legalize that sentence construction.) I don't think that God would really mind one way or the other.
Written as a blog piece. Larry E. Whittington
Addendum: Mom passes away at the age of 101 in November 2017
All Things Pretty
God shows himself in marvelous ways like in all the pretty things he has made for us to use and enjoy.
I get to see this every time I polish a rock. What God made was made perfect but time or man has taken a toll. Some rocks come to be broken and dirty. I get to clean them and see what I might be able to do with them. Some rocks are not broken so I know I have to cut into them to see what they might contain.
As I examine the broken rocks I get to determine if I think this rock would be good to slice or if this rock would be best broken and made ready for the tumbler. When it is a rock best made for the tumbler, I save it in my "breaking" bucket. When I get a quantity, I will carefully crack or break the rock into pieces just the right size for the tumbler. When I do the breaking, I save even the crumbs - the small BB sized pieces and even the sand sized pieces - as these are used in the tumbling process.
When I determine a rock is best to be sliced, I save it for the saw best for the size of the rock. Small rocks and slabs are hand cut in my 8 inch trim saw. The next sized rocks are saved for my 10 inch self-feeding saw. The larger rocks are saved for the 18 inch saw.
When sawing, I again get to marvel at what God has made for us to use and enjoy. First I get to use the rocks as an activity that keeps me busy. I enjoy my process of cutting and polishing rocks. I not only get to see them in the rough "ugly" stage but I also get to see them in the pretty polished stage.
Each slice that comes off a rock may be different than the previous slice. Sometimes the pattern and color is similar in each slice throughout the whole rock. I get to see each slice and marvel at what God has made.
Cutting rocks with a diamond blade is a messy job. The saw blade is cooled with oil so the rock slices come out covered with oil. This has to be washed off. This again is an activity that keeps me busy but I enjoy it. As each slice is cleaned, I get to see what beauty God has hidden in the rock for me to see. For this I marvel at God and thank him for his love for us in making and giving these rocks to us to use and enjoy.
After the slices are washed, there comes another job or activity for me. That job is to decide what would be the best use of this particular slice of rock. I find that some slices should be "hand polished" just because. Other slices should be tumble polished just the way they come from the saw. Other slices need to be saved for further work - like cutting into smaller pieces for cabs or wire wrapping stones.
As the slices of rock are separated into the different piles, I see more activity piling up for me. This is good since I like to be kept busy. It is at these times that I take inventory of what would be the next best activity to keep me busy. What is the pressing job I need to concentrate on now?
Sometimes, I need to take a break from working on my own rocks and work on some of my customer's rocks. I cut and polish for other people also. This I enjoy also and I get to see more of the pretty things God has made for us to use and enjoy. The other thing I enjoy about cutting for other people is I donít have to find a place to put their rocks. They can take the rock home and do that for themselves.
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A summer afternoon shower has just past by. Now as I stand with the last gleaming rays of the evening sun against my back, I look up to the sky which is filled with clouds. Some are painted pink by the setting sun which is still sending its last golden rays through the opening in the clouds. Some, though, are still dark and forecasting rain for the new land they will over shadow. Others are almost pure white like a bundle of new fallen snow.
There is now a rainbow in which can be clearly seen the wonder of shinning a light through tiny but yet effective droplets of water.
Now as I am standing here, I think of tomorrow which I feel will be a great new day with a sky wiped clean of any clouds that would hint of a rainy day. With the breaking of the storm and the coming of the rainbow, I stopped thinking of dull, dark thoughts brought about by the gloomy weather, and started thinking of bright, happy thoughts. I began to feel a bit chipper.
As I became aware of the change that was coming over me, I could feel my heart pound a little faster - a little stronger. I thought to myself, "I was glad there were rainy days just so I could feel this way after one."
A very short high school or college English paper with a grade of B on it.
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