Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What do I do?

image courtesy free clip art

There are several lovely blog sites that I follow by e-mail, and Ann Kroeker’s site is one of them.  She told a story that triggered this post.  Click HERE  to read her story
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When I married, I was working at an insurance company as a clerk typist.  As the children came along and were growing up, I became a stay at home mom.

There were a few times I worked in accounting offices, and my parents watched our children.  This was before they were of school age. 

For an extended period of time, my mother-in-law lived with us, and two women in the kitchen were one too many, so I went to work at the Montgomery Wards Catalog Store while she lived with us and she cooked.

I had an early shift beginning at 5:00 am so I was home by the time the children arrived back from school.  When she and her husband were reunited, I returned to the homemaker duties.

Then my husband went into business, and I became his "business partner," taking phone calls, writing up contracts, sending out invoices, paying bills, doing the taxes, running errands, making visits to city offices for permits, all while staying at home, and doing the cleaning and cooking.  

Years later we attended Rhema Bible Training Center and we became Associate Pastors for a church in California for several years. 

Our grown children needed us, so we moved back to the Bay area.  There we helped a small church, and preached occasionally for the Pastor.  The flock soon grew to a large congregation.  Another Pastor came, and we knew he would like to select his own staff, so we quietly left.

Robert had continued to work at his roofing business, and one day he was inside the belly of his asphalt container truck helping clean it.  He was using a machine that was leaking carbon dioxide but not to his knowledge.  When he began to feel faint he managed to climb up the ladder but once out of the tanker he fell to the ground and passed out.

Being a macho man, he refused to go to the hospital, but went into the office and found a place to lie down on a sofa until he felt well enough to drive home.  After that he was never the same.  He would go to work, and have no energy, and would need to return home.  The lack of oxygen had affected his immune system, and he was later diagnosed, with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Overnight it seemed, my husband was not able to work, and our recourse was to close the business, sell everything we had in the bay area, and move to Oroville where we had a
mobile home set up on two acres.  It took a year to sell our majestic home, and there were complications but taking a large loss we finally sold our property.  Douglas helped us sell the trucks, and equipment and finally our shop property.

In Oroville we began to dip into our savings, and eventually our daughter Judie suggested that I go to work.  At age 60, it took time, but I took a health course and was hired at the hospital as a physical therapy aide and loved working there for almost two years. 

During that time, Robert became the cook as he enjoys cooking and this gave him self worth.  Coming home to a nice hot meal was wonderful and I would tell him so.

Then the insurance company made a new rule and did not want the aides filling out the patient reports, and desired a licensed therapist to do this.  The hospital had no choice but to let four of the aides go.  I was one of them.

My mentor told me she had bad and good news.  The bad news is we must let four of you go, and the good news, you are the only one we feel bad about loosing.  I told her I would be fine and not to feel bad.  I had enjoyed working with them and would always remember my time there.

Signing up for unemployment, I collected one check and was called in by the County for an interview and was hired; placing Child support payments into the computer correctly.  As time went by I was promoted to Enforcement Officer which meant working with clients on both sides, and helping to reach a settlement for child support payments.  I also worked with contracts for the court.  At work I did not preach, but I was a witness and several miracles occurred during the ten years I worked there.

Upon retirement from the county, I began to attend a formal but lovely church and share some of my stories with them.  One member thought I was taking up too much time, and I was asked only to share once a month and to keep it short and not so much preaching.

When I complained to my daughter Nancy, she suggested that I write a blog and tell my stories there.  For two years I did so, and also my church began to accept me and now they actually look forward to my stories. 

My daughter asked that I compile my stories into a book, which I did, but not to a terrific response.  I have a lot of books left and perhaps they will end up as gifts. 

So what do I do?  Beats me!  Looks like I am a jack of all trades, and master of none.

I believe a better question is; Who are You?  I do know who I am!

May I ask you the question?   What do you do? 
Or if you prefer, Who are You?



  1. Hazel, I love your attitude through it all, willing to do whatever was needed to learn a new trade and shift your focus. Always positive, too. Always. I love your heart--and what a treat that we live in a day and age when you can publish your stories online and anyone who drops by can access them!

    You make a good point about finding the right question to ask: instead of "What do you do?" you proposed "Who are you?" I like that.

  2. I love your stories and the wisdom you share with us in the process. Knowing your stories is knowing you and who you are, and more importantly who you are in Christ.

    Who I am is your brother, the chosen of our Father. I too do a lot of things, I think that's a blessing for people like us...

  3. Hazel, I ditto Ann exactly. I love your stories! I love hearing about who you are!

    You are an inspiration to me. Keep up the storytelling! Your words minister life, hope, encouragement, and courage!

    God bless you, dear Hazel! A blessed Thanksgiving to you and "Bobbie"!

  4. Oh dear Hazel - I loved this post so much. I just don't agree with the part "and a master of none". I think you are a great story teller and I love your blog. I love Robert's blog, too. I think the Lord is using you mightily to inspire and encourage so many. So often we measure our success by how well we are received right off...but you never know when something will go "puff" and those books will sell out. :) Don't give up, and don't underestimate your influence! We love you!!!! Thank you for linking up!


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