Thursday, January 12, 2017

I've Retired!

I have worked full time—at least 40 hours per week—since 1983. Some of the time it was really difficult, especially when my kids were still at home. During those years I worked at Hormel's, a mortgage company, a telephone company (installs phone systems), and finally at Bethany House Publishers. This last job proved to be my most meaningful and favorite. Yesterday I completed 16 years at BHP and was honored with an incredible retirement party.

Not only did everyone in my office attend, but a group from our next door neighboring company joined in. I was so blessed!

Jim Parrish, our vice president and director, started the program by telling very nice things about me, including when I started working at Bethany House. He said I was the one that kept most of the plants in the building alive. He went on to say I made everyone feel at home and gave Bethany House a welcoming personality. He said he followed my financial advice and bought Hormel stock - best investment ever! His concluding remarks were that my cars always gave pazazz to our parking lot!

Paul Higdon, one of my two bosses, was next. He told everyone how happy he was that he and LaVonne, a former boss of mine at BHP, hired me. He mentioned how important it was when I said we should pray whenever things got tense. He said I helped a lot to get over 2,000 covers to the printer over the course of my time working with him and that he is really going to miss me. Then he presented me with a gorgeous watercolor of an iris he painted for me. I just love it and hung it in my living room.

I was next and I gave some of my highlights while working at Bethany House. I mentioned meeting Beverly Lewis and Lauraine Snelling for the first time, discovering a pineapple was growing in my 6 or 7 year old plant and then bringing it to maturity, having a ride in a 2006 Chevrolet Corvette for the first time and going from zero to sixty in  seconds. This car is owned by one of the Purvis employees (our next  neighbor). Things I'll miss: greeting everyone on a daily basis, hearing authors speak, perk books (93 free books/year), playing cards at 3 pm, going to lunch with the Wednesday "lunch bunch," and visiting with my colleagues. I was bawling by the time I time I finished speaking.

Jennifer, my morning boss, concluded the speeches by telling everyone it seemed like a lot of the time I was the "boss," but that she appreciated my ideas and my leadership. She said we worked well together. She is the one who hosted the beautiful party.

Here are photos that marked the occasion:

Paul and me

L to R: Dave Horton, yours truly, Steve Oates, and Jim Parrish. All three of these men are vice presidents in our company.
Chocolate cake. This has a pine branch and snowflakes.
White cake. This has birch trees with cardinals.
My friends from our next door company, R. E. Purvis. Melinda, first on the left, is one of the owners.

L to R: Jen, Elisa, Jessica, Noelle, yours truly, Hannah and Chandler

L to R: Steve, Randy, yours truly, Jim, and Dan

L to R: Jeff, Grace, Dave L, Raela, Julie, yours truly, Shaun, and Andy

L to R: Paul, Jennifer, Jenny, yours truly, Natasha, Ellen and Sharon. Inside that big envelope is my company retirement card signed by the Bethany House employees.

L to R around the table: Karen, Kate, Miranda, Amy, yours truly, Dave H, Chris, Eric, Luke and Nancy

Yours truly feeling overwhelmed!

Paul and yours truly. Paul did this watercolor iris for me. What a treasure!

1 comment:

Pat said...

What a great retirement party! You must have known that you were a great asset to that company. But it sure must have been nice to be told that by your bosses and others. You did not have to say that you were bawling. Anybody that knows you would know that. Now you have to get used to a new normal. You will make it wonderful. Looking forward to you coming down in March.