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Showing posts from December, 2013

Year 4 of a Christmas Tradition: The Pocketwatch

This has been a rough December. In fact, this is probably the roughest time in my life since those dark days 5 years ago when I was watching my mother battle and hoping beyond all hope for a miracle. As you know, that miracle never came and my life was sent into a downward spiral that nearly cost me my life. Once I hit the bottom and bounced, I found a life where everything made sense. Now, as I once again have been stung by December, I pray that God will lead me through this tumultuous time and show me his will, as he did then.

Three years, I was remembering my mother and reliving the last memories I have of her. It was a very emotional and cathartic time for me, and using this blog to recount that terrible time was very therapeutic. I would recommend going back and looking at those posts. I do so often, especially when I find myself in a place like I am today. They are my refuge, and help me find my center when nothing else makes sense.

During that time, I wrote a blog entitled &quo…

I am no Moonlight Graham

"No one has called me Moonlight Graham in 50 years" - Burt Lancaster, Field of Dreams

I love that movie. One of my all time favorites, the best part is when Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones are talking to the lady at the local paper. She is telling them about the old baseball player they were looking for who had come back home and become a doctor. And everyone had known him in this small town. I have seen that movie 1000 times and could probably watch it 1000 more. It never gets old.

We are in a very busy spell at work. As winter arrived, house fires became the prevalent claim type called into the Mammoth Ohio World Headquarters. And since I am that fire guy, I have been running from Dayton to Portsmouth, Bucyrus to Athens, and everywhere in between. My boss and I joked that we need to put a laptop stand where my passenger seat is so I can write a few estimates as I drive. Or I hope he was joking!

One of the fires I did this week was in my neighborhood. This has become som…

Thanks for the praying knees

Earlier in the week I asked for prayers, as I found myself in a very unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and devastating position. A situation presented itself to me that knocked me back down a mountain I thought I had already conquered. Out of fear of going into a complete tailspin, I sought counsel where I needed to and tried to find something to grab on to so that I would not fall any further. And while I am a long way from okay, I am better than I was yesterday, and that was miles ahead of where I was when the moment of truth arrived. And I believe the path ahead, while long, will find us back on top again.
I thank you all for your prayers and ask that you keep us in them. I am so grateful for the shoulder and advice that helped me helped me step out of the rubble and find the first steps towards rebuilding. And I love you all for being there when I needed you.
Day # 293. Have a great night everyone.

Not quite peace on Earth, but it will do

If you look at the three of us, you might never know. An extremely successful hospital administrator who has held conversation with the likes of Nelson Mandela, Hillary Clinton, and other world leaders during her career. A medical chair technician who is covered in tattoos and rides with the 1%er's. And a project manager, who found his happy spot with a little red headed girl after nearly losing everything during a mid life crisis. The three of us are very different people, and those who do not know might never guess that we are siblings, all raised by the same college administrator and his medical assistant turned professor wife.
As we have gotten older and the family has grown in numbers, individual birthday and holiday celebrations have become almost impossible to pull off. So we have decided to combine several events at once into quarterly get togethers. We get together about every three months to visit and celebrate birthdays and any other special events that have occurred. A…

Its a mad mad world

This has been one heck of a week at work. Each day, I had at least one new fire to go inspect. My entire team was in the field and we were pulling from other departments just to show a presence at each job site. The affected homes were hours apart instead of a few miles, and I spent my week on the road as I personally respond to each new claim. As a result, heading into this morning, I had a lot of catching up to do just to keep things from falling completely apart.

I was in early and started my Friday by knocking out about half of my to do list and was looking forward to a productive afternoon that might give me a whole weekend away from my desk Then the phone rang. Another smoke damaged home. In Dayton. 90 minutes away. I sighed, set an afternoon appointment, and looked helplessly at the tasks I would have to leave for another day.

Before my journey out 70 west, I had to make a stop at a local Mall. The Polaris Fashion place is your typical city mall, but I had not been there in ove…

Waiting for the car to warm up

A few months ago, my boss asked me to place an ad on Craigslist looking for new technicians to join our team. Over the summer, we turned over nearly all of the guys who were engaging in a pattern of negativity that had cast a cloud over our company for months. I sat down, wrote a silly little ad about a crappy job with great pay and posted it online.

The response to the ad was great, as we had 30 or so people reply and tell us it was because the ad caught their eye. Now I will be honest, this is not the first time I put an ad on craigslist that got a lot of buzz. But it was the first time for business,  and I was proud when my boss told me he thought it was great and asked if he could share it with business owners he is affiliated with all over the industry. I said sure and never thought anything more of it.

Some time later he came back to me and told me another gentleman wanted me to write an ad for him. The crappy job ad had been shared and shared again, and had been posted in sever…

A Very Carpenter Christmas

As I drove to Glouster, Ohio today, I was scanning the channels on the radio looking for some type of entertainment to come through the speakers of the Mammoth-mobile. I refuse to listen to ESPN when Colin-loves-Romo-Carroll-Saban-SEC-is-gold-everything-in-Ohio-sucks is on the air, and my favorite program (FnA Show on 95.5 The Game) was fading into a mix of some preacher from New-Lex and the right wing nut job show. Um, no. Scan please.

Normally, it is about this time of the year that I am tired of Christmas music. Don't get me wrong, I love the holidays. The lights and gifts and festive atmospheres are all great pieces of the celebration of Christ's birth. But when Walmart puts out the Christmas trees before Halloween and half the radio stations in Columbus change their programming to 24/7 yuletide music before Thanksgiving, my bah humbug spirit tends to rear it's head as I watch the sanctity of the season become a Wall Street Marketing Scheme. But, because that can of wo…

All is still right in my world

A year ago today I penned a blog entitled All is right with the world. It was an account about a day in court, a celebration of my boys being home, and lamenting the long road it took to get to that place. Today, 365 days later, a lot has changed. Lil red and I have gone from being engaged to being an old married couple. John-Michael is halfway through a freshman year that has already seen him play an entire football season and qualify for the varsity wrestling team. Ben is becoming a teen ager and knows everything, and is happy to tell you he does. And Tanner turns double digits today, and the birthday cake for breakfast is one of the traditions our family has adopted since the boys came home a little over a year ago.
I have often reflected on my childhood and stark differences I had in male role models. And I have always chosen to follow the lead of the man I call Dad, Michael Bromberg. This man was always supportive and made sacrifices for my siblings and I that we can never repay.…

Dreading a Monday

I keep telling myself I will be past it in 24 hours. That as I look at the clock tomorrow evening at 6:27, the meeting I have been dreading for 4 days will be in the rear view mirror and I will be able to exhale. And while I am sure the feeling of relief will be short lived, it will be nice to feel the blood pressure come down tomorrow.

My last post, on Thanksgiving Day, was a reminder to me about why I do the job that I do. Being able to use my position as a vehicle to help people during their hour of need was, is, and will continue to be the driving force that gets me out of bed when the alarm clock goes off at 6 am everyday. But as a company, we are far from perfect. Sometimes we make mistakes and our clients are left with a not so great taste in their mouths. And that bothers me on a very personal level. Because when I am standing with them, holding their hands as they survey the burned remains of their home and memories, I promise them that we will take care of them. And I do not…