Category Archives: memories

Swinging Trees

 

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
~Chinese Proverb

P1070056When we moved into our house 15 years ago, the backyard was a steep, grassy hill. I didn’t have to mow it too many times before deciding a wooded backyard would be a lot more fun. I was right! Little by little I have replaced grass with shade trees.

One summer about 10 or 12 years ago, I was mowing the grass and dreaming of a shady yard. The idea to have a majestic pin oak tree in the middle of the yard seemed like a good idea. These are the beautiful and mighty oaks that you see in the older Charlotte neighborhoods that are probably hundreds of years old. Not too long after deciding to put an oak tree there, I fortuitously noticed a stray pin oak seedling coming up in my bushes. Having the dream and now the tree to fulfill the dream I waited for cooler weather. That fall, I moved the seedling to the chosen spot. While planting it, I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “One day, my grandchildren will swing from this tree.”

This week, my dream was fulfilled when I hung a swing from that very tree. My grandson , who is just over a year old was visiting so I picked up a baby swing and some rope and the rest is history. This was the second swing I have hung from trees in the yard. The first one was for my granddaughter and hangs from a maple tree that I also planted. I cannot fully explain the depth of feeling I had watching both of my grandchildren swinging together from swings I hung in trees that I planted.

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Godspell

Jesus from GodspellPlease don’t tell my Sunday School teacher, but I watched Godspell, a musical from 1972 based on the life of Jesus from the Gospel of St. Matthew.  I was 14ish when it came out in movie form and being Southern Baptists, my peers and I were forbidden to see it.  I (being an obedient young fellow) didn’t see it.  By the time I was old enough to decide for myself, I had forgotten about it and it was not readily available (VCRs hadn’t even been invented yet).  I never saw it until tonight.

I can understand why they didn’t allow us to see it.  This modern, artful depiction of Jesus and his followers was way too “out there” for most of the folks in my parents’ generation.  In this musical, Jesus is a hippie and is dressed clownishly.  The whole “hippie” thing of free love and irresponsibility, chafed against their values  for hard work and conformity.  To make matters worse, his disciples are both black and white, male and female and the songs are rowdy rock and roll (for the time).

While I understand and even respect the stance of those church leaders (oddly, I don’t remember ever discussing this with my parents), I was not part of their generation and I feel like I missed something good.  The movie I watched tonight was quite dated.  The video quality and the style of music were typical of the 70’s… but there was something about it that moved me.  I think I would have been moved as a teenager too.  I saw a creative, artistic expression of the life of Jesus that I think would have inspired me.  Clearly, it was never intended to be taken as a literal interpretation of the Bible, but that fact was likely missed by the folks who ran things in my church.  Their position was that dancing, joking, references to drinking wine, etc were sacrilegious and disrespectful.  To them, acceptable depictions of Christian themes in art would be limited to “normal” church music and art.

I remember some of the songs from the musical like “Day by Day” that came into their own as pop tunes.   I could never understand what they found offensive (apart from the association with the musical itself).  According to the wisdom of Wikipedia, “Most of the score’s lyrics were from the Episcopal Hymnal, set to music by the cast members.”  I think it was a good desire to protect the young people from something, but in retrospect, their control kept me from an experience that would have been enriching to me.

Day by day
Day by day
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day

Mollypops and the Rain

It was rainy all weekend when Molly came to visit.  On Sunday I took her out on the porch where I introduced her to the rain.  It was so very cool to see her scanning everything around her and taking it all in; the sound of the gentle rain, the smells, the splash of the raindrops as they hit the ground… we even stepped out and felt the wetness of the rain.  With the inspiration of Danae, I even made up a little rain song for her.

While we sat there I explained it all to her.  I told her that she wouldn’t remember our time together, but I would.  I got Danae to take this picture (and now I have a blog post) to make sure I won’t forget.  I began wondering what difference it really does make.  I feel certain that Mollypops time matters.  I am just sure that sitting quietly watching the rain and singing a little song makes a positive impact in her life, but how specifically?  It isn’t as if this is the kind of thing one can do an experiment to determine.  I can’t love up on her in one life and neglect her in another life and then compare the results.  It makes me wonder… Does this kind of time help a 5 month old shape her values in life.  Will she like the rain because of our Mollypops rain time?  Did she actually did learn some things about the world from our time?  There are so many things that I know, but I don’t know how I know them.  Where did I learn them? How old was I?  Is this how one receives that kind of learning?

Although I can’t be sure how it specifically matters to Molly, I can tell you that our time together impacts me in a deeply.  While we were together on the porch, I felt a warmth and a real sense of purpose.  I am feeling it now as I remember.  I have a sense that it really matters.  I dearly love being the grandpa.

Fifty one Years Ago

Fifty one years ago today a beautiful, young and very pregnant woman gave birth to a baby boy.  She and her husband (the boy’s father) loved the boy and cared for him like good parents do.  They gave him food and shelter and love.  They made sure that he was brought up in a Christian home.  Every Sunday they took him to church.  In fact, the boy cannot ever remember just sleeping in on a Sunday.

He grew up big and strong and one day he left and started a life of his own.  Eventually, the boy had children of his own and in the process of caring for his own children, he began to understand some of the difficulties that come with being a parent.  Now that his children are all on their own, the boy has a depth of thankfulness that he could never have experienced  as a youngster.  There’s just no way to explain those kinds of things to a little guy.  He doesn’t have the years of experience.  He only has what experience he has lived.  As much as the parents want him to learn from their experience, there are so very many limitations on that kind of understanding.  The boy learns best from his own experience… the hard way!

Now, the boy is a grandparent and more thankful than ever!  As he looks back from his 51 year old perspective, he wants to say, thank you to his parents.  Thanks for giving him life.  Thanks for taking care of him, loving him and doing your best to shape him into the person God made him to be.  He knows that he has let you down many times.  He remembers hurting you.  He wishes he could redo so many things from the past.  Alas, he understands better than ever how this show only has one performance with no rehearsals.

Despite all his regrets, the boy is happy.  He is glad to be alive and glad to be who he is.  Sure, there are many things he would like to change, but when he is honest, he realizes that there is no one else in the entire world that he would rather be.  I think that’s pretty cool.

Cradle

cimg5298-thumb.JPGLittle Molly sleeping in the cradle.  Seeing her brings back so many memories for me.  I made this cradle with the help of a couple of good friends.  I had bought the plans with the intention to make it for Danae, but couldn’t seem to find the time.  Sorry Danae 🙁  By the time Melody came along it was done and ready for her.

I wanted to make it from poplar wood and asked my friend Mike Flannigan where I might find some that wouldn’t bee too expensive.  Money was extremely tight back then.  He said that he had a poplar log that was ready to mill.  He took it to the mill to have it cut up and let me have my pick of the lumber.  He only charged me what it cost him to have it milled.  As you can see, it was beautiful wood with only a few knots or flaws.

It was called a “Noah’s Ark” cradle and included plans for converting it to a toy box.  The toy box phase included a lid that looked like the top of the ark and rollers to push around like a ship on the sea.  I never got around to finishing that part of it.  In fact, as I got into the building of phase 1 of the cradle, I quickly realized that I needed help.  My good friend, Jim Kassner volunteered to help me.  I don’t know how many evenings and weekends we invested in the basement together (mine and his), but they are very pleasant memories.  The end pieces were especially challenging.  They are extremely thick and the wood was hard so it took a lot of sanding to shape the the curve properly.  We used Jim’s joiner to trim the boards for the sides so they would fit together as one wide plank.  I worked in the music repair shop at the time and used our paint spray booth to put on the finish.

I imagine that most people who look at her in the cradle see a beautiful baby and an interesting cradle.  I see that and so much more… floods of wonderful memories of good friends, of having not nearly enough money to live on and of God’s provision in spite of us.  Many children have slept in the cradle… their names are all written on the bottom.  Now my grandchild is sleeping in it.  How cool is that?!  Add Molly Nicole to the cradle roster.  May you have just as rich memories as mine when you are 50 and writing to your grandchild.

1978 to 2008 makes 30 Years!

jim-and-jeanie.jpgI wish so much that I could travel in time back to 1978 and have a talk with a certain young man. There is so much I would tell him about life. I would warn him about some really lousy decisions that he was going to make and encourage him that some of them would actually be good decisions. I would tell him that his thoughts and dreams are important. Mostly I would assure him that his decision to ask that the pretty young lady to be his bride was a super good decision. Yes, today is the 30th anniversary of Jeanie’s and my marriage.

I still remember the surreal feeling of standing at the front of the church while she walked down the aisle. I was thinking to myself, “So this is what it feels like to get married.” That says a lot about me. Most guys, when they are making one of the biggest choices in their life, would be getting cold feet and second guessing themselves. “Is she the one? Did I make the right decision?” Not me. I was thinking about the meaning of life… what this experience feels like. I have been like that ever since… (how she could stand to live with me these last 30 years is a mystery to me)… but I’m sure thankful that she has.

June 3rd 1978 started a new chapter in the book of our lives. It has not always been blue skies and rainbows. We have had our share of tragedies and sorrows, but somehow we seemed to get more than our share of joys and celebrations. Now, 30 years later, we have four beautiful and successful daughters, two handsome sons-in-law and our first grandchild on the way? I feel overwhelmed with grattitude to God for giving me such a wonderful life. George Bailey has nothing on me.

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMPR4k2LpL4]

My Spiritual Journey – Part 3

This is literally the first day I have felt good in February. Thanks to those who prayed for me. It feels kinda selfish to ask for prayer from God for a cold when there are so many big problems out there; war, famine, big ugly dreadful diseases, broken relationships… In any case, I’m grateful to be feeling better. On to my journey…

jim-bible-school.jpg As far back as I can remember, my family went to church every Sunday. Our home church was Deer Park Baptist. I “gave my heart to Jesus” at Vacation Bible School there. I must have been about 7 or 8 years old. The associate pastor called me into his office, which was quite intimidating… it felt sort of like going to the principal’s office. I had raised my hand when the teacher asked if anyone wanted to give their heart to Jesus and the next step in the process was a trip to his office. He asked me a few questions about sin and who Jesus was and what He did for me. I answered all the questions correctly and we prayed together. He told me that I was now a Christian.

I have some reservations today about the one size fits all formula in which we answer a few questions and we are “in”. Seems more like joining a club than a crucial life decision. In any case I took my decision seriously. I believed what my teacher taught me and I wanted to go to heaven when I died. As I wrote those words, I just remembered something my dad told me the day I was baptized. He said that he noticed that I was more serious than the other kids. I’m glad I remembered that. Thanks for saying so, Dad. I knew writing this would be good for me.

As the years went on and I learned more about God at church, I grew more serious about wanting to follow Jesus. At some point, the repetitious Sunday School lessons weren’t doing it for me anymore. If I had been smart, I would have talked to someone about my journey, but I was a loner and I was pretty sure I could figure it out. In my mind, everyone needed to go through the same steps of learning and growth in series; 1, 2, 3…. Because of that, it was important for me to get them in order so I wouldn’t mess up or miss anything. I knew that they had these racks in the vestibule of the church filled with tracts and I reasoned that this was where I would find out the next steps to take. What I found in the tract rack were pamphlets on how to become a Christian in three easy steps and why the Mormans or Jehovah’s Witnesses were wrong and what to say to them when they came to your door. I didn’t find anything like what i was really looking for; the next steps after giving your heart to God. How to grow closer to God.

4-laws.gif The church that I grew up in emphasized evangelism. Nothing mattered more than “The Great Commision” from Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” It was our job to share Jesus. For a painfully shy little fellow, this was like asking me to walk on hot coals. I reasoned that the main thing was getting the message out. So, I took the tracts that told about how to become a Christian and distributed them liberally. Once on vacation, we stopped for gas and I went to the restroom. While I was in there, I unrolled the toilet paper and re-rolled it with tracts so they would fall out when the next person used the toilet. As we drove away, Dad had something to say about it. It seems that he was the next person to use the toilet. I was so embarrased!

When I was a young teenager, I had a Sunday School teacher, whose name is gone from my memory. He was a short blond firecracker of a man. He really loved Jesus and was full of excitement. He was as anti-speaking in tongues as he was on fire for Jesus. I don’t know why that was such a hot button for him. His teaching was my only knowlege about speaking in tongues and my only perspective about the matter. Whatever speaking in tongues was, he was worried that we’d get involved with it. I took his teaching as gospel and learned chapter and verse why “speaking in tongues was of the devil.” There was no way I was going to get involved with that! In his class we also studied a popular book called “The Late Great Planet Earth”. This was the first popular book I had ever read about what to expect at the end of time. Mostly what I remember about it was that Jesus was coming back in 1988! Whoops.

In the group of four boys that were my age at Deer Park Church, three of them went into fulltime ministry. I alone pursued a secular vocation. Many times I have asked myself what happened to me. For some reason, even then it was important to me that I should be able to be serious about following Jesus without earning a living as a minister. That is not a criticism of anyone in ministry. It is a value I hold dear, not just with regards to ministry, but also taking leadership in groups without being given a formal leadership role. To me, that’s the way the world ought to be. So many people wait to be told what to do instead of using the gifts and talents that God has built into them. There’s a reason we are all different. We need each other.

My Spiritual Journey – Part 2

Gran-Great

naomi-lewis-1964.jpg The next logical part of my journey is my relationship to those who came before me. I was blessed to know all of my grandparents and three of my great granparents. I was pretty young when my great-grandparents died. My dad’s mother’s father (M. C. Lewis) died before I was born. I barely remember her mother, (Naomi) but I called her Gran Great (my grandmother was “Gran”). Mostly, I remember an old lady who I would “perform” for. At Christmas, we had a gathering of my grandmother’s family (the Lewis’s) at which all the kids were expected to say a piece for Gran-Great. My parents tell me that one of the pieces I recited for her went like this… “The chimney’s small. Old Santa’s fat, but he get’s down in spite of that.” I guess for a little guy that was pretty good.

Great Grandpa & Grandma Anderson

rom-bertha-anderson-1967.jpg I knew both of my dad’s, dad’s parents (Rom & Bertha Pearl Anderson). We visited them many times and I remember my dad telling me each time that this might be the last time we would ever see them alive. The fact that I remember hearing this more than once testifies to their longevity. It also tells me that the sadness I felt cut pretty deep. Many of our memories that stick do so because they are attached to strong emotion. This photo is just how I remember them. I even remember being that wallpaper, which struck me because of its “oldness”. Everything in their house seemed so old. It even smelled old. My great-grandfather liked to put me on his knee and tell me bear (pronounced “bar”) stories. His voice was airy and soft and he had a gentle laugh that I liked.

Hymns

My great grandmother was impressed with my singing hymns when we visited. I do not remember this, but my mom tells me it is so. My mom sang hymns a lot when I was little and, being the little musician that I was, I picked them up and sang them too. I still remember most of the standard hymns very well. I suppose it is because of hearing them so much when I was growing up.

Interestingly to me, I do not “treasure” the hymns the way I hear from so many people who grew up in the church. So many times I hear people my age and older wish we sang more of the the old hymns in church today. To my mind, they seem distant and old fashioned. It seems as if I should cherish them and hold them dear since they were clearly such a huge part of my childhood, but they do not. The reason, at least partly is because my musical taste and my love of variety are not met in the old hymns (you don’t get much new and avant-garde with hymns). It could also be that I unconsciously associate hymns with a “by the rules” religion that I attach to my grandparents’ generation… a religious attitude that I find repellant. For whatever reason, the fact is that I loved hymns when I was a youngster but today, I do not prefer them.

I was sharing this dicotomy with a friend the other day and he reminded me of some of the “remakes” of old hymns to a more modern sound. I like very few of them. The ones I like are the ones in which they make interesting harmonic changes instead of merely “changing the beat”. Most of these remake productions lack depth musically speaking. They are merely rock and roll facades on old hymns. It isn’t that I consider what they are doing sacreligious. It is hard for me to imagine that any musical style in and of itself is unpleasing to God. I believe to my core that God is mostly concerned with our hearts.

The Attitude of the Heart

Samuel, in the Bible, says when choosing the next king for Israel, “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Sam 16:7. This is a principle that I hold very dear. God is more concerned with my heart than my actions. I once knew a man who loved to perform gospel music ( good-ole hillbilly, bluegrass gospel music). He didn’t love Jesus, but he surely loved gospel music. Something about that bothered me. To sing for Jesus when you don’t love Him, just doesn’t make sense to me. I believe that as a musician, I can perform secular music with an attitude of worship to God that is pleasing to him. Likewise, I could sing a hymn with a poor attitude and I do not believe it would be pleasing to God.

Thinking about God’s looking on the heart also reminds me of Jeanie’s and my philosophy of raising children. When our daughters were little, it was very important to us to try to discern the reason they did something wrong. Did they have an attitude of defiance, or was it a childish mistake? Were they truly sorry, or just embarrased that they got caught? Once I was so exasperated with Danae that I shouted at her. I said, “Why don’t you stop acting like a three year old?” This broke the spell for me long enough to laugh at myself… because she was three years old at the time.

Way over here at the other end of the parenting continuum, I have also asked my daughters many times to judge me by my motives more than my actions. As a parent there are many times that I have just not known what to do or say. I know what I want, but I don’t know how to get it. I have made some real hum-dingers of mistakes with my words. Hurt feelings, miscommunications. I am blessed that my family is so forgiving.

A Prayer Request

I have had a cold for the last week and a half that has wiped me out. Just sitting up and writing for a while is draining all my energy. Please pray that I will recover quickly. I am sick and tired of feeling sick and tired… if you know what I mean.

My Spiritual Journey – Part 1

Beginning

ps145-4.pngEverything is spiritual… so how can one write about their spiritual journey without writing about everything? My purpose in this series is to explore what I believe about God and why I believe it to be true. It will be a very personal journey. My purpose is not to say that I am right and why, but to say, “This is who I am.” Like everything I write on this blog, my purpose ultimately is for my friends and family, to know me better. The unexpected gem for me is how much I learn about myself in the process. If it is encouraging to others, so much the better.

I expect it will be mostly chronological, but not completely. As I get into some particular thread of thought, I may chase it through time. You will undoubtedly meet a few people who helped to shape my spiritual thought from Mom and Dad to my own children, from my Sunday School teachers and Youth Leader to a few very influential pastors and friends. Much of my journey has been shaped by trying to please others. A desire to please others is good, but it is also flawed. The simple fact is that I cannot make anyone happy. I can do acts of kindness, but whether the recipient truly receives them is not my choice. Whether it is enough to make a difference is not my choice. I hope that in the process of exposing the unhealthy addiction to making others happy, I can be freed to explore my own heart deeper… and continue doing acts of kindness, but with no expectations.

Before the Beginning

At least, before my beginning… It occurs to me that as a chronological journey, I should tell what I know about the spiritual journeys of my ancestors. It isn’t much…

Gathering at Pine Grove ChurchI know that my Dad’s family was from West Virginia. He was born and raised in an area on the Kanawha River nine miles from its intersection with the Ohio. The area was called “Nine Mile”. His father’s family (Anderson) had bounced all around West Virginia and even into Kentuky and Tennessee having children as they went. They made a living by building or fixing up a house then living in it a while, selling it and moving on. When they arrived at Nine Mile, they stayed to have several children. My guess is that the nomadic lifestyle was a bit much with a lot of children. No matter why they chose to stay, they took up farming and became part of the Nine Mile community. They attended church at Pine Grove Church, which is now gone. There is still a cemetery there where many of my ancestors are buried (none of them are Andersons though). Pine Grove Church was a Methodist church, I believe.

Another family in the Nine Mile area who also attended Pine Grove Church were the Lewises. Bernice Lewis was my grandmother. Her father, Miles Clement Lewis, was a school teacher and a devout Christian. He spoke in church on at least one occasion, for which I have published his notes here. Bernice Lewis and Preston Anderson met at Pine Grove Church where both of their families attended services. They told me about going to social events there for dates. Anyway, that’s not the point of this entry. The ancestors I spoke of were from the Lewis side of my grandmother’s family.

They married and made a life for themselves very close by that area. For their whole life, they were members of the United Methodist Church. They believed in God and raised their two sons in the church. Their younger son, my uncle, is a Christian pastor and a great mentor to me. He comments frequently on my blog. Their older son is my father and also a great influence in my life. He has occasionally left his mark here too.

My mother’s family came from Alabama. I believe they were Baptists, but I don’t know much about that. Her parents moved to Charleston, SC when she was a young teenager. Her father became a machinist in the Charleston Naval Ship Yard. They attended Charleston Heights Baptist Church, which was very near the Naval Base (that little fact will become important soon).

My dad joined the Navy when he graduated high-school. He had high hopes of attending the Navy School of Music. He had passed the entrance audition and was well on his way when life took a different turn for him. In his physical exam, they determined that he didn’t have enough teeth to be a navy musician. I can only imagine how dissapointing that must have been. The Navy sent dad (of course he wasn’t my dad yet) to Charleston. While there, he went to Charleston Heights Baptist Church to worship. Guess who he met there… yep. He and my mom were married about a year later.

Mom and Dad took my brother, Ken, and me to church in the Baptist church as long back as I can remember. Some of my very early memories were of my dad directing the music at Highland Creek Baptist Church in Hanahan, SC. I remember singing from the hymnals and feeling embarrased when one of the ladies would look at me and smile with that “isn’t he cute” smile. When my mom was recovering from having my brother, she tells me that I would go to church with my dad and I would sit on the front pew very still and good while he directed the singing. Then he would come sit down with me for the rest of the service. People would just rave about how good I was. I liked that attention and I’m sure it had a big impact on my being “good”.

So there you have it. It’s a beginning… not an earth shaking beginning, but it is the one I have. Next time, I’ll talk a little more about my childhood experience in church, what I remember of it and move into the teen years. Until then…

Workin’ for the Man – Part 12

Working Two Jobs

 

dead-tired-with-baritone.jpg You know it is funny. Working in IT, I was earning a pretty good wage, but four teenaged daughters can be expensive! At the same time that I was doing the IT gigs, I was also resurrecting Anderson’s Music as a home based business. Mostly, I did work for other music stores, but I also had a few customers who came to the house. I actually had more business as a home based business than I did when I had the full service shop. As the business became more successful, it began taking over my life. Jeanie handled the pickups and deliveries to schools. Kat helped disassemble and reassemble instruments, but I was the technician, and I was tired. The business didn’t produce enough money by itself to support us, but it was producing more work than I could keep up with.

pb-convention.jpgIn 1998, I went on an IT business trip to Charlotte, NC for a PowerBuilder programmers convention (a real geek-fest). There were a few vendors in the hall giving away information (along with the silly squeeze toys that we really wanted) and settled amongst these vendors was a conservatively decorated booth sponsored by by First Union National Bank. I wandered over to the First Union booth and inauspiciously asked the lady behind the table, “Why does a bank have a booth at a Nerd Convention?” Yes, I really did ask that! She replied that they were recruiting for PowerBuilder programmers. While I thought the idea was interesting, I wasn’t actively in the job market, so I stayed long enough to hear her pitch and then politely excused myself for the next presentation.

During the presentation, I couldn’t stop thinking about her description of the job. It sounded really good to me. It would pay as much as I was making with both jobs in Charleston! Like I said, I was tired and the thought of having some free time sounded too good to be true. I went back to the table and got some information to take home. Over the next couple of months we worked out the details. One beautiful spring day, I walked out of the SPA office and down the sidewalk. I wondered to myself if I had lost my mind. I was leaving this location and a job where I had an office with a door to go to work in cubicleville. However, the prospect of making enough money to support my familiy with only one job was singing very loudly and clearly to me. I resigned from the State Ports Authority (SPA) and made plans to move to Charlotte.

Move to Charlotte & First Union

charlotte-skyline.jpg When I took the job at First Union, our oldest daughter had only one year to go in high school, so we agreed to let her finish there. During that year, I would stay in Charlotte during the week and come home to Charleston every weekend for the first year. Even with that concession, the decision was far from a family concensus. Jeanie and I were not winning any popularity contests. The thought of moving was much harder for the girls than I imagined it would be. They were upset that we were taking them away from their friends. The younger ones weren’t as upset, but saw it more as an adventure. (I’ll let them comment with the details that they really felt).

It was a particularly difficult year for the girls and I hated placing so much of the burden on Jeanie. We had some real crises to deal with and I spent a lot of my evenings talking on a pay phone with Jeanie. We didn’t have cell phones and I didn’t have a phone in my apartment. In June of 1999 the family joined me in Charlotte where we still live in the same house.

I will have been with the bank for ten years in May, 2008. This is the longest I have ever been with a single company. During that time, First Union merged with Wachovia and took its name. I have changed roles a little over the years and I do not do as much programming. However, I still support the programs and frameworks that I helped write when I first joined the bank. The way technology changes, it is remarkable that they are still around at all. The life expectancy of a computer program is not very long, if it even makes it into production. I am proud to say that one of the programs that I helped write has been in production (with hundreds of users each day) for over five years… unchanged! It has passed audits and reviews that were not even in existence at the time it was written.

Wrap Up

Writing these posts about my job history has been cathartic for me. I expected it to just be fun to recall some silliness and some thoughts and feelings about my jobs. I didn’t expect to feel some of those feelings as deeply as I did. There were so many more stories than the ones I told. (I think I got all the jobs though). I tried to stick to the ones that were more important to defining who I am today. My jobs don’t define me, but the things that happen at my jobs (and everywhere else) are part of my journey.

I have received a few encouraging posts, emails and phone calls along the way and I want you to know how much I appreciate them. Hearing that my words matter helps keep me writing. Who knows what topic will be next?


Workin’ for the Man Series