Heading out for a parade in '96
These last few weeks of December have found me thinking, praying and reminiscing about what's to come and where we've been. I've discovered there are some things about this job that I'll miss and some things that I won't. Take my ramblings for what they're worth....ramblings.
Our very first Swearing-In Ceremony, Jan. 1997. I was ready to pop with Zachery. :)
What I'll miss most:
Scott was almost always out and about looking at ditches, talking with landowners, meeting with contractors at job sites, etc. It was easy for him to pop home if I needed help with something or maybe it was a rough day and our autistic teen was having a major meltdown and I didn't have anything left to give. Scott could stop by and pick him up. Give both of us a needed break. This aspect of the job was one of the things that made 10 years of foster parenting doable for our family. If you've never fostered, you have no idea how many hours and hours you are on the road every week taking your foster child/ren to visits, therapies, doctor/specialist appintments, etc. It can be mind blowing! With the flexibility Scott had, he could run kids to or from visits and go to court hearings. It was a tremendous help! The flexibility allowed our family to participate in numerous family mission trips. I know he'll miss his annual trip to WOL Canada with the teens from church. Not sure what his new job will mean for our annual family trip to WOL NY, either. We'll find a way to make that one work, I'm sure! The flexibility also allowed him to attend most of the sports activities that Hannah and Noah have been involved with. He was able to attend Hannah's Volleyball Nationals in Missouri this past fall knowing he wouldn't be able to go during her senior year next fall (smack dab in the middle of harvest season). Yes, I would say flexibility is what I'll miss the most! :)
*THE PAY & INSURANCE
Yep. I'll be honest and say it......it's not that the pay was incredible, Scott could have made more many other places. But to make the changes in position it will mean a drastic cut in pay. If God chooses to bless the new surveying business the pay cut won't last forever. I know, I know, it's not all about the money, but since we're in the middle of building a new house and adopting another child I tend to lean a little toward "freak-out" mode.
Third Swearing-In Ceremony, Jan. 2005
Now for a list of some of the things I won't miss:
*THE HOURS & PHONE CALLS
The looonnngg, crazy, never routine hours of the job. As a public employee you are on-call 24/7. I knew we were in trouble when..... The day before he took office for the very first time 16 years ago was a Sunday in September. We were having Hannah's first Birthday party. The house was full of family when some stranger showed up at our door insisting that Scott come with him to look at some ditch that couldn't wait another hour or two. Yeah, from that moment on I knew he was no longer ours only. :( I won't miss the phone calls at home from outraged landowners demanding I tell them how Scott's going to fix their problem. How on earth should I know?! How about the Christmas Day he spent babysitting a flooding problem? Meetings that lasted long into the night. Days that kept him running around the county and he had to stay after hours to get caught up on office work and miss supper with his family. That wasn't occasionally, that was several nights a week some months.
*THE UGLINESS OF CAMPAIGNING
Having to ask people to let you keep your job for the next four years is physically and emotionally exhausting for the entire family. We've had some easy, breezy campaigns and we've had some "knife in your gut", "ugliness of humanity" campaigns. The last one was the worst. This time our kids were old enough to read the papers themselves. To hear people tell blatant lies about their father is something as a parent you are never prepared to help your children through. My children have gone to the doors of strangers who had horrible things to say about their daddy as they passed out campaign flyers. One time Hannah and a friend were passing out flyers and some strange woman proceeded to tell them what a no good crook that
Zeigler fellow was. As they turned to walk away from the woman after she had spewed her venom they heard her sudden intake of breath as she read ZEIGLER on the back of Hannah's volleyball sweatshirt. Yes, the whole family is involved and pays a price if a price is demanded (it always is to some extent) even in small town elections.
Oh how ready I am to turn the page to this new chapter. There's so much more I could compain about with this job. But I don't want to focus on the negative. The last four years have been rougher than most. Don't misunderstand me. I don't expect this new job to be without it's flaws or challenges. (Scott doesn't know how to work a 40 hour week so the long hours issue will still be there.) I'm just really looking forward to a brand new set of flaws and challenges. :) God truly has blessed us both through the surveyor position at the county and with this new opportunity. I can't wait to see where He takes us!!
One of the highlights! Scott was named County Surveyor of the Year in 1999!!
Posing for the paper. Hannah was mad that Patrick got to hold the plaque. Did she tell us why she was throwing a fit at the time? NO! Several years later when we were looking at pics she tells us why she was throwing a fit. Oy vay!!