Thursday, June 21, 2007

Twenty Something

My husband Doug made it on to the local television news! He is somewhere in this little picture of him and his fellow workers out on the BP lawn! ha. See the ADN story here. KTUU - Celebrating the Pipeline's 30th Birthday. Also watch the video of this story here. Video - Pipeline's 30th Birthday

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!


Constance said...

I know there has to be balance between using resources wisely and protecting the environment. It's easy to make a lot of noise about something when you're unaffected by it. For your family, the oil industry kept the wolf away from the door. For our family, we're thankful for the Railroad industry!
It's unlikely that we'll all start wearing hemp shoes and taking a bicycle to work. I think it's good that we're looking into additional energy sources but oil is vital, at this point in time. The Lone Star State is also in the oil business, just watch reruns of Dallas! Ha Ha!

Constance said...

I forgot the rest of my thoughts...
I've never had the stress of Dave being out of work like your family did with Doug. My Mom was a single Mom in the 1960's and I remember how stressful it was when she got laid off. We went on Food Stamps but didn't use them all either. She wasn't out of work for too long thanfully and tried to return what we hadn't used. They told her to keep them, it was too much paperwork to try and return them.
I thought that was ironic. No wonder the Government overspends! When you try and "do the right thing", it's too much hassle!

Connie Marie said...


Speaking about alternate energy sources, I just couldn't help but think about that while watching the lightning storms the last two days. WOW! Power made from friction, clouds, water.... God is so cool! All that power and without oily residue...

Last night I was watching and saw a thunderbolt hit the ground right at the exact time the lights went out. hehehe, just like that -- blow out our lights.

It is hard to use Food Stamps you know? It is hard to go to the store, pick out food and go up to the cashier and then hand over stamps while those behind watch. I am sympathetic to people down and out that need to do this.

Looks like the clouds are getting ready for another display tonight. YIKES I hope we don't get hit.

Kerri said...

Congrats to Doug for having the sticktoitiveness where his job was concerned. Now he is rewarded with a shorter commute and the privledge of going home every night! :o)

I've never been on food stamps. The closest to it was getting WIC when I was fostering my niece and nephew. I couldn't keep up with the vouchers. I had to get milk and formula, cheese, beans (or peanut butter), and fruit juice every time. I couldn't use it all up fast enough.

Man, I wish Millie could watch the lightning. I don't know how many times our chats were cut short because one of her sons called and said, "I think I saw lightning. I'll pick you up and we'll go look."

Connie Marie said...

(((((Kerri))))))) I answered you somewhere! I wonder where that post went? I may have had a comment box open at someone elses blog and answered there, haha.

Anyway, everytime I watch lightning I talk to Millie. She missed a good couple of days!