As part of my participation in My 500 words, I am posting what I write each day. I’ve spent the past two days writing about fear. I’ve discovered something worth sharing.
My wife was still working at Starbucks in the mornings and I was working custodial at a church in the afternoon and evenings. We were living in a mobile home park in a single wide with two add-ons. It was a little cramped, but we managed. One morning in September our phone rang. We still had a land line.
It was the executive pastor of the church we went to. We had been going to the church for 10 years and new most of the folks there. My friend on the phone was more of a businessman than a pastor. There was an opening at my church for a custodian. I liked the idea of working at my own church. It would be the same hours and the pay would be a little higher.
The next thing he told me made me want to politely refuse. We would have to move. Wait, what? I hated moving. Moving was a scourge, forget it. But I didn’t refuse the job. The church owned a house just to the north of its property. They needed a custodian who was also in charge of living there, answering the alarm and locking and unlocking as needed.
When I thought about the job, I realized that the church would become part of my family’s life. My kids could attend any event they wanted to. They could come over and visit me or even help me at work just about any time. I would be the on-call keeper of the keys. I accepted the position, put in my two weeks at the old job and started my new job in October of 2010.
The previous residents of the house stayed in for another few months. Then when it was empty, my family painted the insides. We moved in February and the move was just about as traumatic as I feared it would be.
We now owned an empty mobile home that we paid both a mortgage and space fee on every month. We cleaned the place up and tried to rent it with little success. After a bad experience with a realtor, we lowered the price to just what we could get by on and got a tenant. The place is still a money pit and needs more work than we can afford to do.
But the house we live in now is a real house with a huge backyard. We own chickens that give us eggs. We have two dogs and two cats. The boys have the master bedroom, but one son built a fortress in the side yard that he lives in instead of his room.
The house is small compared to many houses, but it’s perfect for us. It has a living room separate from the kitchen/dining room/family room. I have a corner with my writing desk. My only daughter has a room of her own.
I am responsible for locking up six nights a week. I’m there every day, even my days off. Once in a while the alarm goes off in the middle of the night or when someone accidently sets it off. I respond in the golf cart that the church owns.
My duties are cleaning and setting rooms along with some general maintenance. I have offered my knowledge in other areas like scheduling and planning of events. I spend most of my work days alone listening to my iPod.
Of all the jobs I’ve had over the past 30 years, I’ve never loved one like this. I would keep this one for the rest of my life if I could.
So, David… what are you afraid of?