What is the difference between this…
… and this?
Yes, we are making progress, but yesterday was a somber day. A reality check, if you will. Yesterday was the day my dear husband began to let go. Literally, let go. I’ll explain.
Craig is a retired firefighter. It is well known that every firefighter has a second job. That’s no secret. Craig’s second job was in the radio business. Nextel. Motorola. You get the gist. Aside from the owner of the radio business, he was a one-man band for well over 30 years. Every weekday that he was not on duty at the fire station, he was either sitting behind a work bench or out on service calls. His job entailed everything from installing and servicing radios on a local television station’s helicopter to communications for a major hospital in the Texas Medical Center to working on rooftops to climbing very tall towers. It goes without saying, his ‘other’ background is electronics. Electronics has been his life for the past 40 years. As a matter of fact, the Fire Chief even offered him a job and hired him while he was working at a television repair shop at a very young age.
After many years in the radio business, the owner sold out to Nextel. Craig was handed what was left of the business, customers included. While continuing on as a firefighter, we also ran the business for as long as it lasted. Finally, we could no longer compete with Nextel so we had to close up shop. But, all was not lost!
Craig has always maintained an incredible collection of all things electronic (among a vast array of other things, I might add). Craig is a fixer and ‘fix’ he always has. Because Craig has such a BIG heart for helping others, he pretty much had what he needed to build and fix anything. You name it. His gift of fix has always gone hand-in-hand with his volunteerism. He has built computers for seniors and repaired computers for those who could not afford parts and service, and for those who could. As he puts it, he just loves “putting smiles on people’s faces”.
Getting back to yesterday… Craig lost his smile. It broke my heart because I knew how tough this was for him. You see, before hitting the road, getting rid of one’s stuff is crucial if you don’t plan to maintain a sticks and bricks while traveling. We do not. There is no pickin’ and choosin’. Because of the lack of space, only those things necessary to maintain a somewhat ‘normal’ lifestyle can tag along in an RV. Well, electronic parts and components are not necessary!
After mustering all the guts he could, he contacted a local HAM radio group and word spread like wildfire. From sea to shining sea. All things electric were available just for the taking. First come, first served. Everything must go! Lo and behold, the phone started ringing off the hook! He said to me, “See. I know how these guys think. I knew it would be gone in no time at all.” And, well, this time he was right! 🙂 He even answered a call from a HAM operator who received word while vacationing in Florida that “everything must go”. The poor fella said he would not be back in town until Sunday, could he come on Monday. Sorry. First come, first served. So, long story short, two groups of very nice gentlemen showed up yesterday for their treasure. Three pick-up trucks and one car later, my dear husband’s shop… and past… were gone in a flash. Empty. Only memories are left. WOW! Did I say I am so very proud of him? Onward, Sweetheart! Onward!! I put my arms around him and gave him a big hug. He said, “Do you realize that I just gave away practically the last 40 years of my life?” I said, “I do. But you know what? We are getting ready to close this chapter in our lives, just to open another as we create new memories.” He agreed.
On a happier note, today was a much better day. We went to church this morning, stopped by the grocery store, and came home to put on some good ‘ol baby back ribs. We were having guests for lunch. Becky, Tim, and their son, Marshall.
Tim and Becky are also planning to become full time RVers. So, once again, birds of a feather flock together. We look forward to spending much more time with them, sharing and making new memories!
This is my blog so I want to thank Becky (a missionary in Brazil for 13 years) for prayerfully carrying me and Craig through such a difficult two and half years while we cared for his elderly and ailing aunt. I’m not sure where we would be if it were not for ALL of your prayers and, of course, His grace.
THANK YOU, BECKY!