We had strong wind come through south of Oskaloosa Wednesday evening. It damaged some buildings and dropped trees in the neighborhood.
I rarely misplace my billfold however one night I forgot to take it out of my jeans and washed it and it's contents. The plastic cards and the dollar bills were the only survivors.
Elijah and Anton finished strong in a motocross race near Cedar Rapids. Their older brother Ethan finished strong as well.
Friday evening was eighth grade graduation at Osky Christian. Congratulations to grandsons Cody and cousin Ethan. Finishing grade school and starting high school is a milestone in a young persons life.
Olivia, Andrew, and Elizabeth are nieces and a nephew graduating from high school this year. All these young folks in the pic below have finished their year strong whether in academics, sports, or life. I'm looking forward to my high school graduating class getting together at our cabin this next Saturday evening. It will be the first time in over twenty years that we have gotten together. Thanks Peggy, Leanne, Bryce, Karen, and others for making this get together happen.
My high school years were a long time ago. Our oldest is turning 40 this year. There has been a lot of starting and a little finishing over my years. Growing up. Grade school and high school. Marriage and family. An occupation. Friendships and relationships. A growing faith. As I have gotten older I have made myself a goal that I would do my best to finish strong in four areas. The fourth area is my work. We had a visit this past week from a couple of good gentlemen that offered us an opportunity to meet with some folks that work with businesses in the area of leadership, management and growth.
The third area is my friends. I want my friends to know I'm a call away if they need help. I want to be an encourager. I want my friends to see me as genuine, honest, and authentic, even if we disagree. I am working hard to be a good listener. I am trying harder to reach out. I want them to see me as loyal.
The second area is my family. I want Jan to see I cherish her. I want my kids to know they are loved and valued. I want and need to take more time for my many grandkids, on their turf, not just mine. I want my family to know without a doubt I would do anything to help them.
And finally the first area I want to finish strong in is my faith. I want to show folks how God has loved me, blessed me, and helped me, in life as well as business. I want not just my family and help, but the community to know without a doubt that I have a personal relationship with my Lord. I want to show others through example and conversation that I care about them because God cares about me.
When I was in the fourth grade and lived on the Ponderosa farm in Union Mills my dad would have me harrow this field near the cemetery. I was on a WD-45 and pulled a 4 section harrow that had to be lifted and folded manually. At night as a 9 year old I always thought it was kind of scary to work next to the cemetery in the dark. Last Saturday evening on my way home from a farm near Montezuma I stopped and cultivated the field edges and leveled some rough spots on this same Ponderosa farm. As I tilled along the cemetery in the dark I my mind went back some 50 years. I was thankful for the strong start my father gave me by giving me responsibility. I was also thankful for the strong finish I've been given to continue in the occupation I love.