Employment hurdles and otherwise life goes on

The Handy Man has had the kind of week that would cause most folks to pull out their hair. Scovill called and told him to come in for orientation. When he arrived, he was sent to the nurse for a mini-physical. He didn’t pass…at least not immediately.

You see, the Handy Man has a slight disability. While serving in the Marine Corps many years ago, he was in an accident that shattered his left shoulder. It healed, eventually, but he does not have the ability to lift his arm above 30 degrees from his hip. That doesn’t mean he cannot use his arm. He has adapted. He can swing it up or throw it up over his head, he can use his right hand to place his left hand on objects to hold them. He just cannot lift his arm by itself. Most people would never know this if they casually observed him at work because it has never stopped him from accomplishing anything he set out  to do. He refuses to see it as a disability, and indeed, he has learned to adapt so well that it really is not that limiting. He does occasionally call on me or,  more often, one of the children to help him with a task that requires something to be held in an elevated position. But even then, he can usually find a way to do whatever he needs to do.

The nurse at Scovill was not willing to accept his assurances that this would not keep him from being able to lift a fifty pound box. She wanted a doctor’s letter stating that he was physically able to do that task. The Handy Man was a bit upset, to say the least, so he went out to the van and prayed for some inspiration. And of course, he had an idea. (Sometimes God answers quickly!)

We have a loose association through mutual acquaintances with a local Christian doctor whose wife runs a small food ministry. They have been sharing bread and vegetables, and occasionally other items, with several families in the area, and we have been the grateful recipients of some of this bounty.  The Handy Man drove the mile down the road to their office and explained to the receptionist (who also happens to be the doctor’s wife) what he needed. She worked him in, and when the doctor came into the room, he insisted on doing a full physical. He had the Handy Man lift the end of his exam table, which he himself was unable to lift, and determined from that that the Handy Man could indeed perform the necessary tasks. He dictated a letter to his wife, and gave an official copy to the Handy Man as well has had his wife fax it directly to the nurse at Scovill. He then asked the Handy Man if he could pray for him, and of course, the Handy Man was grateful for that opportunity. When the Handy Man asked if they could please bill him, the doctor said that he was not charging him for this visit. He just wanted to help the Handy Man get this job.

The Handy Man went back to Scovill and the nurse told him that she had passed him and given the green light that he was a “good hire”.  The Handy Man watched several videos about workplace safety and was told they would call him. He called them Friday, and he is to report on Tuesday morning at 7 AM. We are hoping this is for training, but we have no idea if this is true or not. We still have no information about pay or anything else. So, we wait some more.

We chose to keep believing that God will provide for our family. We are walking through every open door He gives us. It is all we can do.

Meanwhile, the last few weeks have been fun. We had Lindy and her beau up for Labor Day.  They are cute together, although getting a picture of them together is impossible.  Since Little Princess, Lil’ Adventurer,  Curious George and I sit with my father on Thursdays,  Opa gets to go on some field trips with us.  We went to the apple orchard and got a tour of the farm a few weeks ago.

Opa helps Curious George with his coat:


A few weeks ago Star Child brought home some college friends. They came back last weekend, too. Only a few stayed the night. Our  “adopted” children were all here–well, all but the one whose fall break did not fall with with others as well as her little sister.  You didn’t know about our adopted daughters?  We have our five daughters and then we have Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, and Ten. (Ten is new to my list of adopted daughters. Her mother informed me that as much as our daughters are together, we might as well claim her. Little Princess calls my friend “Momma T”, so it seemed fitting. The adoption seems to go both ways as most of the girls’ mothers have also claimed MY children. ) Six graduated with Dee and is Star Child’s roommate at college as well as on the archery team with her. Seven graduated with Star Child. Eight will graduate this year. Nine is the one who is away and could not make it home, and Ten is her younger sister. One of the girls’ college  archery teammates is also very good friends with Star Child and Six. He is now claiming himself as Boy 4.  Yes, our family is weird and crazy, and I would have it no other way. When Boy 4 got up to do dishes, I knew he was keeper. He also loves home-cooked food, and nothing delights my heart like feeding hungry teenagers.

Six, Star Child, Boy 4, and Seven:


Just like a family photo:


On other news, my children have had some adventures.

Three weeks ago Star Child and Six, Seven and Boy 4 were home. They all decided to go for a walk in town…and by all, I mean ALL. Dee (sporting a growing baby belly), Gladys Mae, Little Princess, Lil’ Adventurer and Curious George were accompanied by Star Child, Six, Seven and Boy 4. And they took the dogs with them. Our great dane is getting a bit tubby in Star Child’s absence, and Star Child determined that what Mischief really needed was a walk through town. While they were out, Curious George fell and busted open his forehead after tripping over a leash while they were getting water at McDonalds.  The Handy Man drove to town with the first aid kit but quickly determined that stitches were needed instead. So Curious George has a nice scar now, and he has managed to win the honor the most stitches (so far) of any of our children on his head. I think we have a few children who have had more stitches total, but he definitely has had more on his head, and he is the youngest one to need stitches.


Lil’ Adventurer has lost another tooth. He has  a steady income stream at the moment.


Gladys Mae started working at Papa John’s. It has become a family tradition. Dee is feeling somewhat better, and we have learned that we are expecting a granddaughter!  Little Princess went on vacation in August with her best friend (our number Ten) and had a blast.  And our children adopted a huge Imperial Moth caterpillar this week. We hope it will make its cocoon in the clear box with which we have provided it. They want to watch it emerge in several months as a beautiful Imperial moth.

Gladys Mae and I having a fun moment:


Dee (belly view):


Ten and Little Princess on vacation with Ten’s family:

Rachel and Ellie

Our new pet:


So life goes on. Our children are growing up, and we are just enjoying the ride. The Handy Man starts his new job on Tuesday (we hope!).

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