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Parenting by Zenas

November - A Month to give "Thanks"

November - Kindness and Friendliness: being gentle and considerate and having affection for another. Activity: Crafting - to be proficient at a skill.

Another conversation with Rex:

Zenas: "Hey Rex, you just gotta listen to this, it just couldn't get any worse!"

Rex: "How so, Zenas, you talking about having babies, college or car stuff?"

Zenas: "Common Rex, how could having babies be anything but the best! I'm talking about cars. You remember last month when one of our daughters ended up needing some work done to her car . . . . as in the timing belt had to be replaced, then there was a tune up required and the icing on the cake was the need for a new catalytic converter . . $4,600 later?"

Rex: "Oh, yea, I remember all that. What could be worse than that?

Zenas: "Well, shortly after we spoke, I took my wife's' car in for some typical service needs . .. . just a simple oil change, rotate the tires, check the fluids and lights, things like that. You know, I'm thinking fifty or sixty bucks worth of work. Then I got the call."

Rex: "Oh no! What happened?"

Zenas: "Brakes were down to 10%, rotors needed to be replaced, tires were worn almost to the treads, and yes, the timing belt was 5,000 miles overdue!"

Rex: "Ouch! At least you have to be thankful that your wife wasn't driving down the road somewhere and got stranded."

Zenas: "You are certainly right about that, Rex. I am thankful that didn't happen! A broken timing belt in her car would have meant the entire engine gets yanked from the car and sent to the scrap yard! Ouch to that one! But it doesn't stop there!"

Rex: "Oh no, not more!!??"

Zenas: "Yup, about a week later we get a call from another one of our kids. She took her car down to the station because it was having a hard time starting. Now bear in mind, this car has been in the family since 1995, was purchased from my father -in-law when it only had 60,000 miles on it . . . . just a babe! It now has over 250,000 miles on it and doesn't owe us a thing!"

Rex: "Ok, Zenas, don't tell me . . . . timing issues!!!"

Zenas: "Rex, you hit the nail on the head! That was at the head of a long list of things needing to be taken care of. The bottom line . . . . she needs a new car! Have you started that savings plan for your new baby yet?"

Rex: "WOW, I can't believe all this happened to you within a months period! Three cars all needing major repairs within a one month time period!"

Zenas: "It was actually five cars. My car hit its first major maintenance milestone, then all this started happening. And then to top it off, vehicle number five sits in our driveway, just waiting for our daughter to return from her year of study in South Africa. Guess what? Yup, that car also needs to have the timing belt replaced! "

Rex: "So let me get this right, Zenas. You just had to pay for major repairs or maintenance on FIVE vehicles all within a several month period??!! Am I hearing you right?

Zenas: "Yep, Rex, you have perfect hearing! Start saving for the time this event occurs in your life!"

It's the Month to give Thanks:

Hitting the "pause button" in life is sometimes very important to do! Day to day events can build on one another to create pressures that, at times, feel unbearable. The "pause button" allows us to take a deep breath, step back and see a fuller picture of our life. In particular, I give thanks that our daughter was able to get her car off the beltway when it stopped running; I give thanks that my wife now has new rubber to drive on, especially since snowy winter roads are much more demanding than dry summer roads; I am ever so thankful that our college freshwoman is able to lend her sister her car till next spring and the need to figure out additional vehicle needs has been pushed back till next spring; and lastly, I am thankful that our daughter studying in South Africa will be returning safely home to us.

We have come a long way in the past three hundred plus years. The Pilgrims were rather fortunate. . . . they didn't have to worry themselves about timing belts and college tuitions. We are rather fortunate as well. It is pretty certain the furnace will warm the house in the morning, the coffee machine will have a hot, fresh cup ready as we arrive in the kitchen, and on the day we cook the "big bird", a flick of a switch starts up the oven. Yes, we do have plenty to be thankful for.

Read other articles on Effective Parenting by Zenas Sikes