Days 57 and 58 – I Can Talk Words

On August 28th, my wife lost her job. 24 hours later, I lost mine. This blog is a continuation of the day-by-day chronicling of our emotional journey back to employment. This is bound to be upsetting, hilarious and hopeful.

Saturday & Sunday – October 25-26, 2014


10703573_10204792240863398_6428795307795303273_nToday was all about other people looking out for us. Our friend Kathryn makes shadow boxes for sale, and she had her husband come by to just straight up drop off a Star Wars box for me since they know I’m a fan. How generous is that? It’s a pretty fantastic little thing, and oddly perfect (to me, anyway) for Halloween. You can see more of Kathryn’s shadow boxes at her online store.

In the evening we went to a Halloween Party with several friends and several people we didn’t know at all. Made some new friends, which was nice. We’re in an area of town where people are just incredible nice and friendly and share a lot of common interests. We really don’t want to leave her. We will if we have to, but nights like this I’m more reluctant. That, however, doesn’t stop me from being excited about this:

Very, very late at night I got an email from my (step)sister, Kris, who is a famous crafter with her twin, Kim. Kris knew of a couple of leads on jobs that seem perfect me for me in Colorado. Really, really perfect.


When I told Erin and Elora about the jobs and location, Elora asked where Denver is. I told her it was in Colorado, in the middle of the country, where they have all the school shootings. Elora just stared at me, horrified. I got the sense this was not the right thing to say.

Erin challenged me to put this anecdote in my blog, so there you go.

Since the whole stake blew up in the wake of the big ward boundary changes, it’s taken a little while for everyone to settle into their new roles properly. Case in point: today I was finally set apart as the Elders Quorum President of the McKinley Ward. A “setting apart” is a blessing given by the laying of hands on the person’s head by one who has authority, and in that blessing keys and rights are given to the person to be able to perform their new duty. I haven’t been able to do some basic things like calling other people to positions within the Quorum because I didn’t have those rights and keys yet.

Because of the nature of my calling, the Stake President himself had to do my setting apart. Unfortunately, the entire event turned into a comedy of errors.

I was late to the meeting in the first place because I got caught up talking to someone else in another part of the building. When I did finally make it to our Elders Quorum makeshift classroom on the stage, President Nef and one of his counselors were already waiting for me. So was Cami’s Sunday School teacher, who kindly informed me Cami needed a change. We’re going on ten years of diapers here so normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, but in this case I had to ask President Nef and President Biberston to wait some more while I went to change Cami in the men’s bathroom (on the floor, sadly, as there was no change table I could find). This was an event grosser, longer and more toxic than usual due to circumstances best left to the imagination.

I eventually returned and the setting apart actually happened. After the Stake President and his counselor left, I proceeded to take care of overdue business. Or tried to. There was some confusion with the teacher of the lesson and for about a minute we awkwardly played out our version of Who’s On First? in front of the class while I tried to communicate that I wanted to take care of some additional callings before he resumed.

Lead with confidence and clarity, that’s my motto.

When I finally persuaded the teacher, my friend Mike, to sit down, I then presented his name for a sustaining vote by the Quorum as our Secretary. And I presented another name as our Instructor. We do everything by common consent in the church, and if anyone has a problem with a particular person to whom a calling is issued, we are free to speak up and make our objection known for consideration.

This is all usually done very quickly with the request that everyone raise their right arm to signify their vote at the appropriate time. And then objectors are likewise asked to raise their arms as a sign they’re not cool with it.

It’s extremely rare anyone objects. It’s even rarer for the person who leads everyone in casting their votes to completely forget what to say and how to use words generally. I still can’t even tell you what I was supposed to say, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t “Raise your hands if you, uh, agree and then if you don’t you can raise your hands, too. Or whatever.”

I would make for a terrible actor. I have no memorization skills whatsoever. I’m not usually such a tongue tied or off-my-balance leader, but I paraphrase and reword everything and that’s my problem. This is great for avoiding cliches, but terrible for exquisitely crafted monologues. So, you’re welcome world, I decided not be an actor.

I’ll get better at all this, I know that, but it was highly embarrassing for me personally that any of this even happened. Presentation is, I think, pretty important. I blame the diaper. Pretty sure I’d register on a Geiger counter right now.