One of the things I look forward to most this time of the year is our company staff party. The last several years I have made the event a brunch and fed the staff, then they went out to their day as usual. This year we decided to schedule lightly, have the party and brunch and then everyone was finished for the day, phones were closed down, and we could just visit some at our leisure. What a difference in the party atmosphere this year!
We laughed and talked, and some even tarried a little at the end before reluctantly leaving to go home or to some last minute shopping. In the type business we have, many of the personnel are on the jobs solo, or in small teams, and we don’t often have the luxury of getting to know each other. Two of the staff found out yesterday that they have relatives that live on the same Native Indian Reservation. We were able to find out about the children of three of our new hires, one tech shared her family’s struggle with her spouse’s cancer recovery, and another shared how God had blessed her husband with two jobs to replace the one he had lost this time last year.
This has been a year of many ups and downs for my family personally. Below is the letter I sent to my customers and friends. I have had so many touched by the events in our home and encouraged by something I penned here. May you possibly be blessed as well by the reading…the world becomes very small and intimate when someone chooses to open up and share their story. It’s a nice feeling.
From the desk of Rhonda:
It’s hard to imagine it is holiday time once again. The trees are going up, the decorations are hauled out of the attic, and the presents are slowly but surely appearing under our tree! Every day inches us closer to my very favorite holiday of the year when we celebrate the birth of the Savior and reflect on the moments of our year. 2010 was a year of many happenings at the Pressgrove house. Dwight came off the road as a truck driver at the end of 2009, and SirHandyman was reborn. Many customers, friends, and family members were so gracious in giving him work and he appreciated being able to serve them. My dad celebrated his 70th birthday, albeit in the hospital. He had a pacemaker for many years, and had been doing relatively well till the last couple of years. After a long diagnostic event it was determined he needed quad bypass surgery, which he went through well. We are all very thankful he has had a good recovery and is enjoying better health these days. My mom also suffered some unexplainable health issues this summer, and she has always been the healthier of the two parents. Through many months of agonizing tests, unsure results and even the possibility of cancer, she came through with a diagnosis that was much better than expected. She turned 70 this year as well, and looks remarkably young for her age…more like my sister. I am so thankful to still have both my parents with us as we enter a new year. My daughter Samantha still works for HMR as marketing manager and throughout this year was also cleaning on occasion. Her husband, Tracy, had lost his job in 2009 and they were spending the first part of this year recovering from that. I am so proud of my kids. They never asked for help and came back with flying colors on their own. Hardworking Tracy was blessed with a former position being reinstated, and he also has a second job that allows Sam to stay home again with 2 year old Lorelai. We are hoping their home, currently on the market, sells soon so they can move in down the street! Lorelai is a ball of fire and sunshine all at the same time. She calls me GiGi, I call her Sweet Pea, and her little voice is the sweetest sound I hear in a day. We had a scare with her this year also….a high fever brought on a febrile convulsion. There is no more helpless feeling than holding your grandchild while a paramedic looks on, waiting just like you for her to “wake up”. The Lord was gracious and she was virtually unscathed from the incident. She is saying all her ABC’s, knows her colors and many letters, and loves to sing just like her GiGi and Papaw (Dwight). One of her fave things to do at our house is play the piano and sing into the mics we have in our small recording studio. We must get her latest single recorded…”Jesus Loves Me This I know, For Dat Bible Tells Me Sooooo-o-o”. My stepdaughter, Katie had her second baby in the last few weeks. Cody is still in LeBonheur as of this writing and was born with the same serious health issue as his brother. Brendon, the older baby, is also still in LeBonheur, having turned a year old in July. He has never seen the outside of the hospital but is a smiling little sweetheart. Both babies are beautiful, and Brendon is taking his first tentative steps. We pray daily they will come home soon, but we know it is God’s timetable and not our own, so we continue to wait.
Help Me Rhonda had the most profitable year since opening its doors. This marked our 8th year in full time operation and we experienced many wonderful changes that have moved us toward serving our customers better and with more of a servant’s heart. We now occupy the entire center section of our building with 4 offices, a supply room and a recently added staff room. I thank God for this opportunity to serve Him through our work. I thank Him that we have been able to maintain an entirely debt-free business in a shaky economy. The loyalty of our family of customers has brought us through some years when industry peers have closed their doors, and for this, I am so grateful. I pray for each reader here to have the happiest of holidays, and may 2011 bring all the joy possible and the brightest of tomorrows.