Daily Prompt – 3 Books That Made An Impact

List three books that have had an impact on you. Why?

Another daily prompt that is difficult to narrow down. Only 3 books that impacted me. I’m going with Alas Babylon by Pat Frank, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe by C S Lewis and Charlotte’s Web by E B White.

Alas Babylon is a story of how a community and leader develop in the midst of societal collapse. The story highlights those who are at their best when the world of falling apart and how they deal with those who are at their worst..

The protagonists pool their talents together to overcome life and death scenarios. They learned through mistakes and by studying old diaries of their ancestors.

My final two books were read as a child. The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe was my first experience of the fantastic. The epic battles broadened my imagination. I was absolutely enthralled by the story.

Finally Charlotte’s Web a story about love and persistence and the power of promotion.

Daily Prompt – Biggest Fear To Overcome

Daily writing prompt
What fears have you overcome and how?
May not have been my biggest fear, but choosing to go back to college in my late 50s for a Maters degree was fearful. My fears really boil down to the fear of failure.

My greatest fears…

When I think about the things I’ve feared, like going back to college after a few failed tries in my 20s and fear of leaving a steady and reliable factory job for a B2B sales job.

I didn’t really fear the specific moves, I feared failing the attempt and losing income if I failed in sales or money if my grades were too low for my company to reimburse the tuition. In my 30s and 40s, the income was limited. Making these fearful moves took care of the income problem. Ironic, isn’t it?

How did I overcome these fears? This was chronicled in an early daily prompt when I talked about the person who gave me these words’ “…stop selling yourself short.”

As simple as that, fears were overcome. First world fears for sure, but fears all the same!

Daily Prompt – Most Valued Quality of a Friend

A good representation of friends and acquaintances.

What quality do you value most in a friend?

Psychology Today lists the following characteristics of a good friend.

How much do you agree with each statement?

  1. I am trustworthy.
  2. I am honest with others.
  3. I am generally very dependable.
  4. I am loyal to the people I care about.
  5. I am easily able to trust others.
  6. I experience and express empathy for others.
  7. I am able to be non-judgmental.
  8. I am a good listener.
  9. I am supportive of others in their good times.
  10. I am supportive of others in their bad times.
  11. I am self-confident.
  12. I am usually able to see the humor in life.
  13. I am fun to be around

We don’t waste a great deal of energy on people who can’t be trusted. So that’s right up there.

They must be fun to be around.

Here’s an interesting caveat; I want friends who don’t judge me, but they need to be able to see when I need correcting and be good at helping with that task.

Those are the most valuable traits of a friend…but the more good traits the better the friendship.

Daily Prompt – My Jobs

Daily writing prompt
What jobs have you had?
Thankfully, most jobs were not like this one. Project manager and liaison between a crew replacing fall protection on this train trestle above the Mississippi River and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad who owned the tracks and trestle. The temps during this job were always above 90 degrees F and many days above 100 degrees F. It was a fascinating project to manage.

What jobs have I had? It seems that R Dub has been gainfully employed at least for a little while every year since turning 12 years old.

I grew up in a rural part of Nebraska, a state which is mostly rural. So working on farm fields was my first taste of income. Mostly detasseling hybrid seed corn for either Dekalb Hybrids, Fontanelle Hybrids or The Robinson Seed Company.

What is detasseling corn? In the very simplest of terms, detasseling involves removing the tassel at the very top of the corn plant, mechanically and by hand, to prevent unwanted pollination. This job is only listed from ages 12 to 15, but I did supplement my income several years during college by pulling two jobs; farm fields and the fast food industry.

As an adult, I went full circle after some unwanted work force reductions in 2015 when I was ‘downsized’ twice in one calendar year. My first ‘real’ job out of college was quality control, my first job after being let go twice in 2015 was quality assurance. Other repeat jobs in different eras was Production Supervisor. I supervised production crews in my 30s at 3M and then again in my 50s at Hubbell.

Sales was by far my best earning years. 7 years selling 3M safety products then an additional 10 years selling safety products for Honeywell. Now I have a sales related job managing the Customer Service department for Hubbell at their Gleason Reel facility in Mayville, Wisconsin. My hope is to finish my career in this position prior to retirement.

One interesting side note. My summer at the beef packing plant had a celebrity working in my brother’s department. Marg Helgenberger was also a summer temp there between semesters at acting school. Marg later went on to star in many TV shows including; CSI, CSI Vegas, ER, China Beach, Under The Dome, plus soap opera Ryan’s Hope and a handful of movies. Side note to the side note. Marg’s mom and my mom graduate from the same class in North Bend, Nebraska.

A timeline of my jobs since the summer of 1973 when at the tender age of 12 I went to work in the corn fields of Nebraska.

Job history:

Age 12 – 15 Detassel Corn

Age 15 – 16 Soft Serve Ice Cream Shop – Zesto

Age 16 – 18 McDonald’s Grill Kid

Age 19 – Summer Temp at Beef Packing Plant in Schuyler, Nebraska

Age 20 – 22 Night Shift Crew Leader, Little King Deli

Age 23 – 29 Quality Assurance, 3M Valley Plant

Age 30 – 32 Supplier Coordinator. 3M Valley Plant

Age 33 – 35 Production Control Analyst, 3M Valley Plant

Age 36 – 38 Production Supervisor, 3M Valley Plant

Age 39 – 43 Sales Manager, 3M Safety Products

Age 44 – 53 Sales Manager, Honeywell Safety Products

Age 53 (6 months) Project Manager, SESCO Fall Protection

Age 54 – 55 Quality Assurance Engineer, Hubbell Mayville Plant

Age 56 – 59 Production Supervisor, Hubbell Mayville Plant

Age 60 – Present Customer Service Manager, Hubbell Mayville Plant

Daily Prompt – Practicing Religion

Daily writing prompt
Do you practice religion?
R Dub in the tech booth a few years ago. The first Sunday of advent.

Do I practice religion? The practice has changed over the years. It may be more accurate to say active in religion for a lifetime.

R Dub has been an active Christian at one level or another for a lifetime. Baptized as an infant, Sunday school every week from the age of 5 until being confirmed in 9th grade, High School Youth group evenings in the late 1970s, tech booth operator in middle school and high school mid to late 1970s and then again in my 50s, usher 3 months per year in my 20s and 30s and video tech for shut ins during the other 9 months of the year, choir member in my 50s.

That’s good for activity, now for that actual practice part. Adult bible studies off and on my entire adult life. Most sessions at a physical church building. Which is a misnomer, the church is not the building, it is the people. But I digress. Studying the bible and interpretations is crux of practicing religion. Beth and I now study in our reading room…well, that and actually being a good person by the tenants of your specific religion. I think Beth and I do a good job of practicing that part of our religions, but that will be judged at the pearly gates…

R Dub was a Deacon at his church for two terms, that’s 6 years in the early 2000s. What does a Deacon do? By definition a Deacon is steward of the church. Ie, the members of the church. Remember that the church is the people, not the building. We prepared and served communion and baptisms, we prepared the sanctuary for each change in the Christian calendar, we made sure that shut in members received audio copies of each service to listen to at home. Basically Deacons care for the members to the best of their abilities.

So do I practice a religion? Yes, practice. Sadly our religious activity has been limited since the pandemic lock downs forced us out of sanctuaries and after the pandemic we just never really went back except for funerals and weddings. Unfortunately more funerals than weddings lately. We practice at home now, not at the buildings we used to help finance.

To wrap up, we have done better practicing our religions. We can do better with very little effort.

R Dub singing with the Grace Church choir at the annual Christmas concert.
R Dub has spent plenty of time at the pulpit as a Lay Leader, Scripture Read and here eulogizing my father at his funeral.