Finishing touches

It takes time to pack up all your worldly possessions and get them tucked neatly away into storage. It didn’t seem like I had very much stuff until I started packing. I did end up taking my bedroom suite to Plainfield to my sister’s house. Also took a few items down to a consignment shop. Hope they sell quickly. Still have several things left on the “to do” list. Cancel cable and internet service, sign insurance papers, get keys made for realtor, etc. It should all come together tomorrow and I should be on my way out of town by Saturday morning.

Last year I hired a young man to work for me. Before I hired him I told him that I really couldn’t make any big promises concerning the future of the business, that getting a small business off the ground is a hard thing to do but that I was going to give it a try. He came along for the ride. I must say that hiring Darrel Coffman was one of the smartest things that I have ever done. He proved to be a dedicated and loyal employee. I should have paid him more because he ended up being my sounding board for so many issues in my life. Spending so much time with me all summer must have been a difficult thing for him but he seemed ever tolerant and so very patient! He didn’t seem to mind that I made him my scapegoat for every problem that we encountered. If we were late for a job I simply told that the customer that it was Darrel’s fault. If a wall got scratched or a doorway nicked, you guessed it, Darrel’s fault. If I got a head ache or a hangnail I blamed it on good old Darrel.

We had some very interesting jobs last year and met some intriguing people. Darrel was super flexible. If I needed him to come in at noon or work until 9:00 p.m. he never complained. No job was too difficult for him. We lifted and carried some items up stairs, downstairs and even around the house to or from a storage barn. No item was too heavy or to awkward for him. We carried desks, dressers, exercise equipment, couches, beds, king sized mattresses, armoires, building supplies and many other items over the coarse of the few months that we were together. So who did I call when I started packing up my stuff? That’s right-Darrel!

Darrel, I have to say, just like Dorothy said to the scarecrow, “I’ll miss you most of all”. What a summer! One that I will hold dear in my heart for having made such a great friend. Best wishes for a great future. I know that you will succeed at what ever you put your hand to. I hope that one day you’ll find a girl like Valerie. Or maybe one that will love you the way she loved me!

No matter where I travel to this year it’s for sure that I will not find a better listener than Darrel Coffman. Thanks for coming along for the ride. It was short but oh so sweet.

What a week (part 2)

I arrived in Pinehurst, NC Thursday late afternoon. Enjoyed fellowship and and a nice meal with the guys who are responsible for making the North Carolina Harmony Brigade (henceforth to be referred to as the NCHB) a wonderful success. Friday morning I met up with Al Sargent, Calvin Schnure and William Stutts, Jr. and went out to an elementary school to sing for some very attentive kids. So much fun.
The entire week-end was filled with singing and reconnecting with friends as well as making new friends. What an incredible week-end. There are now 8 Brigades in different parts of the country. I hope to be able to attend each one as time and money will allow.
I hope to be able to attend the High Sierra Harmony Brigade (henceforth to be referred to as the HSHB) in August of this year. It is located near Reno, NV
I stopped in Charlotte, NC on the way home and shared a meal with Edie Wilson and her friend Dee. Edie worked for me in 2005 when I was working with C.P. Morgan Communities. She’s a peach! Her friend Dee is also a peach! Together they are a pair! I enjoyed seeing Edie and meeting Dee.
I am back in Indy now working on getting my van repaired and hope to get my place packed and vacated soon so I can head back south. In an upcoming blog I will talk about “Compellingly Attractive Chapter Meetings”. This is a workshop that was developed by a dynamic and energetic Barbershopper by the name of Chuck Green.
Lately I have been contemplating my values. I’ve been thinking about the kind of person that I am now and the kind of person that I want to be. The two are not very different. The later is just more thoughtful, more open to others beliefs, less tolerant of people who want to criticize and find fault instead of offering solutions and more fun to spend time with. It also might be a good idea if I could have a better filter when it comes to saying things that maybe shouldn’t be shared publicly.
Stay tuned.

What a week (part 1)

The week started with getting my mini-van into the shop to find out why it is running so poorly. After replacing the spark plugs and all the wiring to the plugs I picked the van up from the shop and drove it a round for a little while. I discovered that it was still having an issue. I made arrangements to take into the Dodge dealership for a diagnosis. I also made arrangements with Budget car rental. Tuesday morning I contacted a gentleman with the Asheville chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society (herein after to be referred to as the BHS). I asked if there might be someone in the chapter that would be willing to put me up for the night on Wednesday. I received a call later that evening from one of their members and he offered to let me stay at his home. I picked up the rental car Tuesday late afternoon and departed Indianapolis on Wednesday morning. I made it to Asheville, NC around 5:00 p.m. where I was received very graciously by a gentlemen who could not have been more kind or hospitable! He and his wife of 40 years were simply two of the nicest people that you could ever hope to meet. They made me feel right at home. They fed me and we talked and played pool until time for bed. Thursday morning I thanked his wife as she was leaving for work and had breakfast with my host. We talked like old friends for over an an hour before I hit the road.
I was so impressed with these generous and gracious people! He was born the same year that I was born. He gave credit to God for blessing him with such a wonderful life. His children live very close and he is able to spend lots of time with his grand kids. They have a beautiful home and seemed to be two of the happiest people I have ever met. I would like to say a big “Thank You” to my hosts from Asheville. God bless you for your hospitality!
Thursday morning as I left their home I had to drive a curvy road through a gap in the mountains. It was a crisp sunny morning and as I drove away I felt like I had just made two new friends. I experienced such a feeling of gratitude and encouragement as I drove to Pinehurst, NC.

Don’t get too comfortable

I woke up this morning at 8:50 a.m. and got up out of my comfortable bed. I made my trip to the bathroom and left the room feeling much more comfortable. I slipped on my sweat pants, fleece robe and soft house slippers. I walked to the kitchen where I put on a half a pot of coffee and turned on the radio. I have a habit of listening to NPR as I eat my breakfast. I toasted a bagel and smothered it with cream cheese. My comfort food. As I looked around my castle I sighed & thought to myself “I’m really comfortable here!”

So here’s the question: why do I feel the need to leave my comfort zone?

The lure of the unknown, the chance for something new and exciting, adventure just around the corner, is that what it’s all about? Having the chance to make a first impression on someone who doesn’t know me? I could even introduce myself as Don Draper or Earl Gray. I could be different, or at least let people see a different side of me. Who knows what I might find waiting in the next city that I go to? Or who I’ll meet? I might meet some people who think and feel like I do. Maybe I’ll just have some fun instigating something that gets people talking. Then I’ll hone my listening skills. I still need some work on my listening skills.

Or is it that I’m afraid? Afraid of growing old and fat and too comfortable? I am growing older and fatter by the day. I definitely do NOT want to grow old and fat! I don’t want to start thinking like an old man. I know plenty of old men who are set in their ways and very comfortable. I don’t want to be like them.

A lot of people work their entire lives to build a comfortable place so they can retire. Then they become sedentary and their health deteriorates and their kids have to take care of them. I’m not signing up for that. I may not know what I want to do with the remainder of my life but I do know what I don’t want.

So if it comes down to living a comfortable lifestyle or living an adventurous lifestyle I would choose the later. It doesn’t have to be high adventure like sky diving or mountain climbing. I just want the final chapter of my life to be interesting enough to make for a good book. One that people would read and enjoy.

I heard a man speak recently about our lives being like a book. The front cover is our birth and the back cover our death. All the pages are the days of our lives. I just want my book to be a really good read.

Stay tuned!

A poem by a High School friend

I graduated from Mooresville High School a few years ago and was able to reconnect with some of my High School friends recently because of Face Book. Here is a poem that I found on one of my friends Face Book page. I think you’ll find it interesting and appropriate for today. My friends name is Chuck Kellum. He gave me his permission to post this. Enjoy!

The Snow is Falling

The snow is falling,
The snow is falling – –
It’s falling,
falling,
And my heart
Is calling.

Calling out for a warmth once known;
Calling out for a kindness shown;
Calling out for a love that grew;
And calling,
Calling, . . .
For the ever new.

Bundled up against the cold – –
The snow is falling,
And I am getting old.

Copyright 2010 by Chuck Kellum

Snow Delay

Nothing like ten inches of snow to slow you down and change your plans. This is the biggest snow and the coldest weather we’ve seen since the blizzard of 1978. I’m not complaining. I have a fireplace and plenty of bread, soup, milk, cheese and crackers.
I was hoping to be able to get my stuff packed and into storage before I head south. Doesn’t look like that will happen. Guess that I will have to come back after the snow melts. Now my plan is to leave as soon as I can get the mini-van repaired. In the mean time I can help shovel a little snow and binge-watch old episodes of Cheers. Still waiting to hear back from my insurance company about the claim. Insurance companies are often like 90 year old men. They are not in any hurry.
I have been enjoying learning to play my ukulele. This is something that I am doing for myself. If I ever get good enough to be able to play for an audience I will be happy but I don’t expect to ever cut a CD or play at Carnegie Hall. A friend once told me that it is o.k to be a little selfish. Right now my favorite audience is ME.
Stay tuned! I promise there will eventually be some adventure to report. In the mean time I would welcome any comments or suggestions.