These times are like nothing we have experienced before. Stay in – wear masks – “social distancing” – restaurant food only available for pick-up or delivery – our times are different, and Jan and I are doing our best to practice all of them.
To keep busy, we have painted our kitchen, great room and this week we will be painting the exercise/music room we have in the basement. Yesterday with the weather being so nice we got a lot of yard work done. Boy can I feel it today. I have to admit, after being married for 43 years, spending this much time together is such a big change for us. The biggest challenge I have is that I have no routine. My normal routine is getting up at 4:30 – exercising, doing my devotional – filling in my Day Planner for my “things to do” for today, being out and about by 7:30. Having church services available online to view at any time. Not having these timelines in place has made the days blend together. These things have made it that when I get up in the morning sometimes, I have to ask Jan; ”What day is it today?”
From a work side, Kobyco also followed all of the rules and asked its employees to stay home, stay safe, and just be available if customers need assistance. We have had some new customers request new windows and doors and have practiced safety by doing the measurements from the outside only, not going into people’s homes, emailing the quotes and discussing them online, emailing work contracts and handling items via the Internet. A number of people have and are opting to move forward taking into consideration the lead time is now is running from 6-8 weeks from the time the contract is signed. And most people share they hope and believe this will be over by that period of time and they won’t be delayed any longer than that. So, if you have a quote and want to move forward, send me an email, or give me a call and we can proceed safely so you won’t have a delay after things get back to normal.
The final thing I will share is I am working hard to keep a positive attitude about things. I give myself a goal to reach out to 5 people every day and let them know I care about them.
I’ll end by referring to an optimistic post I saw on Facebook:
So, until then, “Hang in There”. And If you feel like it, drop me a line and let me know how you are doing. This too will pass.
Weekday 5 of our quarantine: Today as I try to adjust to the “new anything but normal”, I feel this is the most confusing time I have ever lived in.
Each day I sit down and write a piece for the day and then I have Jan proof it, you see writing is not one of my gifts. This morning everything I wrote just didn’t feel right. I just couldn’t articulate the confusion I am feeling.
I read earlier this morning on Facebook an article written by someone I respect very much, Doug Logan Many of you will remember him as the person that oversaw the construction of Rockford Metro Center. He then went on to manage the arena for a few years very successfully. Do any of you remember when he got the Rolling Stones to come to Rockford and perform in our small arena? Anyway, for today, here is what Doug wrote on Facebook. I hope it inspires you today.
The shortest verse in the King James Version of the Bible. John, Chapter 11, Verse 35. John’s Gospel describes the death of Lazarus of Bethany, brother of Mary and Martha. Jesus arrived four days too late, and upon hearing the news, He wept. Before all else, He wept.
The living God, wept. Before removing the stone covering the tomb; before praying aloud to the Father; before ordering Lazarus to come out, resurrected; Jesus wept.
The focus of this story we are living is all wrong. World wide, we have seen this pandemic precipitously claim the lives of over 22,000 souls. A near Lakers sellout at the Staples Center. And every one of those seats has a story.
We are transfixed by the numbers scrolling on our screens. Doesn’t feel too much different than the tabulation of results of the Iowa Caucuses. But, every number is a story of suffering, and a life ending, preemptively. This morning we gnashed our teeth when we heard about 3.3 million people filing unemployment claims. The scientists implore us to be driven by the data. We watch the Dow; we wait with bated breath to hear the final number of the bailout. How many ventilators are we short? How many countries have been affected?
Jesus showed us spiritual leadership by weeping. Not our guy. Over a month into this crisis and not one sign of empathy. Not one word of sympathy for the choking victims. For the solitary death throes. The only thing he worries about is him. We know that. It is unrealistic to expect any different.
Former Wells Fargo CEO, Dick Kovacevich, wants people to go back to work and ‘see what happens’. Incredibly, he went on to say ‘Some may even die; I don’t know.’ We are in danger of losing our humanity. It’s all numbers. Jobs; bank accounts; net worth; the Dow. Not people.
We have developed false definitions of suffering. A journalist who I have immense respect for wrote a long piece today in my paper. She described the hardships undergone by a local couple that are marooned in quarantine on a Cruise Ship. A voyage they undertook voluntarily on March 5th, three short weeks ago. Confined to their luxury cabin, they are brought gourmet meals and wine to their door.
And the victims are choking to death. Alone.
Before raising Lazarus, Jesus wept. Before we bring our lives out of the economic tomb, we need to weep. For those who are truly suffering. For our real loss.
Till next week – be safe and HAPPY
Weekday 4 of our quarantine: By now the uniqueness of our “stay in” situation is starting to wear thin and stress a lot of us. So, with that in mind, today I am going to speak on: “5 Ways to stay UP in Down Times”.
As much as we may hope, life is not all ups and happy times. Let me share the economic ones I have lived thru and survived:
1973 – 1st Oil embargo I experienced at Hembrough Buick. Big car sales just STOPPED
1979/80 – Interest rates capped at 20% – not a lot of car sales then
1991 – the Gulf War & Desert Storm
2001 – 9-11 – I was doing training on the road and that became difficult
2008 – The financial collapse and meltdown
Challenging times are part of life, the above doesn’t even scratch the surface when you add personal and family issues into consideration. How well we’re personally managing these ups and downs enables us to maximize the ups and minimize the downs. Accepting that down times are a certainty, one of the things I think we should be asking ourselves is: “How do we stay Up in Down Times?”
- Media – I am not suggesting you cover your ears, stay ignorant, live under a rock, just stay informed but don’t become obsessed. Don’t get pulled into things you cannot control, focus on things you can control and replace TV viewing with maybe – READING a book, reconnecting with others or helping someone out.
- Be positive – talk positive – demonstrate HOPE. Do your best to keep your mind clear of negativity and try to replace those thoughts with positive ones. This has a “double whammy” benefit – 1st it makes you feel better and could be just what the person you interreact with needs.
- Don’t get sucked into the “Domesday” dialogue. The end result of this is needless stress and worry about things that for the most part won’t ever happen.
- Take inventory of where you are, what you have and the benefits you really should be appreciating. We can’t be grateful and possess a negative attitude at the same time. Look for things to be grateful for in your current situation. Family, roof over your head, pets, health, your job, your car, your clothes, no matter how small or large – stop what you are doing and grab your pen and paper and jot down whatever benefits – small or large – come to mind and read thru them and immediately your mindset will shift from being a victim to being grateful.
- Prayer – Belief – Hope – Trust. I have to accept the fact that with all of my talent I DID NOT make the Universe. I just occupy an itsy-bitsy space in this magnificent place. I have to remember I didn’t make the mountains, the beautiful lakes and rivers so maybe I should work on improving my lines of communication with the One that did create those things. I start my day with my devotion time, and I can 100% state the days I am “too busy” are not as enjoyable as the ones I don’t travel alone. He is with me.
Remember, when times are tough, that doesn’t dictate or describe who you are. You are not defeated until you quit. Stay positive, stay up, stay productive and if you are having tough times with this, pick up the phone and call me and maybe I can help: “Pump you UP”.
Until tomorrow – be safe and HAPPY
Weekday 3 of our quarantine: Each day I see over and over again to people that just aren’t taking our situation with the virus seriously. It bothers me. I want to fix it and I can’t. I can’t control them. The only thing I can control is how I respond to it.
For those that know me well, know that for years I struggled with drugs and alcohol. Early on in recovery they teach you a simple prayer that I have to remember and use years after I learned it: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” You see, I cannot control them, I can only control my thoughts and my actions.
Which leads to my next struggle, and that is I get negative and disturbed towards them and that doesn’t help. Again, over my years of sobriety I have learned that gratitude goes a lot further than grumbling.
Finding ways to be grateful keeps me in a better position to help others. Obviously, the ones ignoring our situation are just going to be those that choose to ignore the situation. I want to focus on the ones I can help. I ask myself each day: “Who can I reach out to today and make certain they are Okay? Who can I reach out to today that will realize someone cares? Who can I reach out to today who may be struggling and I can help out?”
These are the thoughts I want to focus on today, the ability and gift to help someone versus grumbling about the ones I cannot change.
It’s my choice today so I wish you a wonderful and healthy day today.
Weekday 2 of our quarantine: Yesterday was a great day around the Hembrough household. I cleaned a room in the basement we are going to paint, Jan cleaned and began painting our shelves in the kitchen, I spoke to some old friends I haven’t spoken with in some time, some regular friends to keep up to date with, and some friends from church whom I used to work with from the Tech Team that are now working remotely from the Internet, so seeing them is not an option.
Another thing I did yesterday was listen to too much news. The “blame game” going back and forth, the Internet with all of its “conspiracy” theories, just way too much of it and that is what I want to focus on this morning.
I have a choice today, a choice to make history today. I listened to Andy Stanley this morning and he was speaking of the time when Paul was in jail, sharing his stories of his time with Jesus with Mark so it could be documented. Andy shared that when the stories of COVID-19 are shared in the future with our grandchildren, will “your” story from this time be worth sharing? WOW – what a great question. You see, every decision, every action, and effort we make during these times is creating our own personal story. Will that story be worth telling your grandchildren? Will you be proud of it?
So as you move thru this day, as you consider helping the person next to you or not, you consider reaching out to someone you may not have spoken with in a while or not, remember. Your actions, your decisions, these things are creating your stories. Are these the stories you want to share with your grandchildren when this situation and the Coronavirus is behind us? Don’t miss any opportunities to create great stories.
God Bless – Be Safe – and Help who you can during this and all times – Scott
When it comes to replacing windows and doors – “It’s Not Rocket Science” – it take 2 things:
- Great Products
- Great Installations
Watch this video for “How to Create a Happy Customer when replacing windows & doors.“