Caught off guard…..not really.

Here is something Avery that you may well experience during your working life…..loosing a job. It happened to me recently, it will be 6 weeks ago this coming Wednesday. My job had become the worse kind of drudgery but at first glance it might appear to be the “perfect” job to have. I worked in the middle of the Mountains every day and I drove through the Mountains everyday going and returning home. When it started nearly 3 years ago I worked in town everyday so pretty easy and not demanding in a typical sense….but…after a couple months a project that had stopped restarted again that was in a town called Winter Park about 90 miles from home. At first I only went twice a week and kept the in town jobs as well. Soon though the mountains picked up and I needed to go there three times a week. I began to struggle with the logistics in two different places and what is normal in my chosen Industry poor scheduling, poor installers of low quality and missing material either miss-ordered or not ordered, any number of reasons for what was piling up on my growing plate. Another project took off 20 miles farther into the mountains and I couldn’t keep up with the demands of things being so far apart, there was conflict where I had to give up all in town projects and concentrate on mountains only. Sound great??….not in Winter it’s not and with the most recent Winter being one of the longest and snowiest a long, dangerous, unrewarding assignment. I worked up there through three Winters and as circumstance would have it I began to realize my health getting worse….my driving time had increased to 5 hours average a day and my work day typically was 10-12 hours from when I left home to when I arrived back home. I was getting fat and out of shape, my desire to do anything once I got home had disappeared….weekends were time to convalesce and try to recover. Grandma was patient and understanding of course but in truth I was not even aware how much of my life had been taken from me. Not all jobs are worth keeping and once in-trenched sometimes you can’t recognize you have no life always thinking of what will happen years down the road….if you can only make it that far.

Over the course of just a couple weeks near the end of my tour of duty so to speak I was either just “ahead” or just “behind” accidents where multiple people were killed in broad daylight simply caught up in the road traffic. Dozens were injured some critical, one where a Semi-truck lost control on the Interstate and killed 6 people and dozens more injured. That day I had left Winter Park only 45 minutes early and passed through the area where the wreck happened ahead of it, but if I had left there my usual time it was certainly possible I could have been in the middle of it. Another wreck closer out in the mountains where I would spend my day four people were killed on the road I was traveling only minutes before me as the dead were still in their vehicles as I went past the head on collision. I had been given yet another project in a town called Silverthorne and on my way there I had to stop in Winter Park to drop off material when I got back to the interstate to go to the project I drove about 10 miles and was stopped from going any further, traffic was at a standstill. There was no traffic coming the other way on the other side of the four lane highway. I was able to pull off the side of the Interstate and cross over to the now empty side and headed home. Just as I got going back I heard on the radio a warning to drivers heading West that there had been a major crash involving 24 or more cars, untold number of injured the road was extremely icy and snow covered and hundreds of cars and trucks now mired stuck in the middle of this mess. I give credit to Almighty God with getting me through these consecutive incidences without damage or danger.  I was quite unsettled though with how any one of these events could have involved me, because of the job I had I had an increased in odds where something bad could happen.

On Monday two days before I was laid off I was driving home passing through Idaho Springs at close to 4:00 I had a revelation…. I fell asleep at the wheel. Now falling asleep at the wheel in some places may allow you time to recover as some roads are fairly straight….not so in Idaho Springs, it cuts through a canyon where there are no straight sections. I can guess but perhaps for two full seconds I was out cold and when I awakened I was half way out of my lane nearing the guardrail. I recovered of course quickly and I wasn’t drowsy any longer that is for sure and safely made it home. But….that evening during dinner I told Grandma what had happened and that I simply couldn’t see going another seven days much less seven years on this job. I had been trying to keep hope alive till turning 70 before retiring but in that moment I had my serious doubts. When I arrived at work that fateful morning I was back in mountain mode with all the problems and difficulties facing me in my mind when I was called aside and dismissed. That easy….was I caught off guard? No….not really. I gathered my things and returned home where it felt like the World was taken off my shoulders. I will confess that I truly believe that my Heavenly Father took me out of that job before something bad did indeed happen. Lately Ive been working at your house fixing bathrooms for your mom and dad and trying to get a semblance to my life back. So when that unknown day may come, remember your Grandpa had it happen to him and I am healthier, happier, and more at peace than in many years. I had forgotten my own motto my love….I had tolerated a worsening job that nearly killed me and the Lord had to rescue me from it all. Anything you tolerate….you will always get more of. Thinking of you right now….

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