Way back when our oldest son Klinton (our fourth baby) was four months old things did not look very good for us, financially. Doug had just completed his Bible schooling and we were back in Wasilla in our first "wooden" house. Previous to that we had purchased a broken down and very dirty mobile home which we cleaned up, fixed up, lived in for two years then sold to make enough for a down payment on our first home.
Doug had a job with Mel's Air Op but try as he would, Mel (the owner) could not keep Doug on through the winter. He was laid off. Doug took jobs here and there to keep paying the bills. I always tell my kids that I never did ever worry that we would ever not be taken care of! I was probably very naive but I totally trusted that our needs would always be met.
Things did get bad enough that we had to ask the State of Alaska for help. Doug did not like that. We were always so incredulous at the amount of money that they gave us for food! Every first of the month we were told that we should return to get new food stamps. When I went in the following month I brought my unspent food stamps and told them I didn't use them all and that they just needed to give me that much less. "No!" The woman at the counter pushed the unspent stamps back to me and said, "Those are yours! You have to use them!" then she proceeded to give me another bundle of food stamps! We never ate so good as we did on food stamps!
As time passed with Doug unable to get enough automotive repair work to keep paying the house bills things began to look bad. The bank was calling and they were going to start foreclosure proceedings. That was so stressful. Doug kept telling them that he was doing his best to find a job and would they please wait. There were so many others in the same place as we were that I think the banks felt their interests were better off if they allowed the owners to continue to live there and care for the houses. So months went by without making a house payment and foreclosure was hanging over our heads the whole time.
Just before Thanksgiving one of the North Slope companies that Doug had filled out work applications at and kept calling and checking for work every week called! If he could be on the next plane, he had a temporary job. Doug jumped at this opportunity and he gathered all his cold weather clothing and was gone.
There I was with four babies and I was a very needy person! I didn't even drive! I didn't know how long Doug would be gone because it was not ever said how long he would have to be gone. I didn't even know when I would hear from him again. This North Slope world was foreign to us.
Now twenty something years down the road we both look back with THANKFULNESS for all the blessings a job up there brought to our struggling family. Doug is such a great worker that he was able to secure a permanent job with BP, the company he continues to work for today. We have been blessed through the oil industry in Alaska. Many other Alaskans are thankful for the jobs that oil brings too.
There always is some sort of controversy going on with big companies everywhere. Always, there is someone that is disgruntled and squawking about something that someone did or didn't do that was something awful for everybody and most definitely it always involves our environment. I know that we have to take care of our world! I also know that babies get hungry! Cars need to go!
I believe that God has blessed us right now with oil. I think God knows just how long this world needs to survive and I believe He has provided all that we will ever need to live in it as long as we have to live in it.
For us, Doug and I, the oil industry has been good to us for almost 27 years now. I am thankful for the job that Doug has been faithful to for twenty something years. 26 years he worked away from home a week on and a week off or two weeks on and two weeks off, now he has a job in Anchorage and has been commuting. He comes home every night! What a blessing to have a husband home everyday! When a date is being set aside for a special event, I still find myself wondering if it will be on a week that Doug is home ----but he is home all the time now! HOORAY!
Today I want to say kudos on BP Alaska's 30th Birthday, from one very thankful wife and mother. Thanks BP and Happy Birthday!