From a Wood Loft to the Lord’s Loft

I had one more year before I finished my third teaching contract in the United Arab Emirates when I felt God directing me home. My parents were getting older and my marriage hadn’t worked out. During the summer holidays, I talked to my dad about buying a house. I’d saved quite a bit of money working overseas and I was so excited to be able to afford my own house at last in the States.

The Start of a Working Man’s Day

Don slipped on his faded blue jean jacket but made no effort to button it. Then he fished his cap off the hook and slapped it on his head, adjusting it against the thick shock of white hair underneath. He made his way up from the cellar to the garage where Elmo stood waiting in the back of the truck. With clumsy, arthritic fingers, he pulled the pin and lowered the tailgate so the dog could jump down. Thrusting himself at Don, Elmo, whose body weight exceeded that of his master, got pushed back. Years of hard work had given Don muscles that even old age and a bum knee could not weaken. He cursed his knee—doctors swore the operation would help—but that just made it worse. Now it always ached like the dickens.

The woodstove and Dad’s old leather gloves

I picked up my father’s old work gloves to tend to the firewood. I always use Dad’s old leather gloves, though they now have small holes in two of the fingers. Though my mom misses my father every day, she isn’t sentimental about his things. Earlier this year, she bought a new pair of work gloves. She was ready to toss out Dad’s gloves when I stopped her.

“Hey, I use those for the wood stove!”