January is usually considered a time for new beginnings and of looking forward to a new year. I believe it is also a time of looking back to assess how the previous year has gone—a time of reflection. For me, 2018 has been a year of challenges as we on the Vestry considered the possibility of a new venture—the feasibility study. For some of us that was like a wrapped package and there was anticipation of a gift inside. For some of us it was stretching our comfort zone and there was some angst.
This all reminded me of my parents as I was growing up. My mother, a teacher, was the daughter of a builder. My father, an electrical engineer, was the son of a maritime engineer. I truly believe my mother missed her calling in life because she was always envisioning ways to enlarge and renovate our house. To her it was a great adventure, and she relished the chaos and busyness of construction crews, of lumber and plaster, and new rooms for the family. My father, on the other hand, didn’t mind having a larger house, but he hated living through the process. To him it was a trial and tribulation.
I vividly remember the year that my mom decided it was time to build a new kitchen. Her plan was to bump out the back wall of the original kitchen and double the size of the space. That sounded fairly simple. My mom knew every contractor and tradesman in the Hampton Roads area. In the spring, she selected a contractor, worked with him to draw the blueprints, and had my dad work out the electrical portion of the plans. As soon as school ended she proceeded to help supervise the job. It was not her first rodeo. The game plan was to have everything done in two months so that we would have a new kitchen by the time that mom had to go back to school in August.
Mid-July arrived and things seemed to be on schedule, so my parents decided that it would be okay for our family to take a week of vacation at the beach. The contractor said that we should go relax, don’t worry, and that by the time we would get home they should be in the last phase of construction. Liar, liar, pants on fire!
When we returned home at the end of the week, we discovered that the contractor and his crew had taken the week off, too! Of course, my mother was furious, and my father hit the roof. There were words spoken that I had never heard before.
After some serious apologies and groveling, the contractor fulfilled his obligation, and miraculously enough, by the time school started we did indeed have a beautiful new kitchen.
What I took away from that experience was that life happens, and in spite of unexpected events, all is not lost. If we do our part, God will take care of the rest. I believe that we on the Vestry have been doing our part to the best of our abilities. And no one can ask more of you than to do your best.
Suzanne Reynolds, Senior Warden