Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Story about Phil

Some years ago, my extended family was enjoying lunch in the outdoor dining area of a restaurant. Maybe it was Mother's Day. Suddenly Phil said, "Look at that!" A car tire was rolling across a neighboring parking lot.

Now I had read enough Richard Scarry children's books at that point that a random rolling tire didn't strike me as incredibly unusual. Until I thought about it: a random rolling tire is pretty unusual.

After a few more seconds, someone commented that maybe we could spot the car it came from. And, sure enough, there was a car, now sans tire, stopped a little way past an intersection on a busy road.

Again a pause. Then Phil said, "We should go help them."

Of course! While Phil and my brother-in-law helped the young family retrieve the bouncing tire and find all the lug nuts (yay!), my brother redirected traffic to keep all the workers safe. Apparently, the bouncing tire was already the spare, and the young family, in trying to get to visit Mother, had not tightened the spare sufficiently.

That, to me, encapsulates who Phil is. As a problem-solver by trade, he sees problems, both large and small, and figures out how to solve them. And he is more willing than anyone I know to go and serve others. I confess I would never have considered going to help that family. (Changing tires is not part of my skill set, but even if it was, I don't know if it would have occurred to me.) I am capable of caring for my family, but beyond immediate needs, I don't have a servant's heart. Phil has a servant's heart.

Today Phil turned 40. We had briefly considered a party with friends, but knew we would need a sunny day. Happily, we scrapped that idea. Besides three sons with chicken pox and several of us with sore throats and sinus issues, a cold sleet started to fall around 5pm. It would have been an incredibly miserable party.

Instead, we enjoyed pizza and cake, made and decorated by sons and Grandma. The boys made paper chains to decorate the motor home and cards. Phil got a large Lego set and the boys got small ones in goody bags. A good time was had by all.

When Phil turned 30, he had one son, not yet a year old. In his thirties, he added three more sons, and more recently, the promise of another life. He went to grad school full time while he cut back work to part time, and finished his master's. He left his stable employment where he was doing very well in order to start his own engineering firm. That earned him more money for less work.

And then we moved to unimproved land, and he has had to acquire a whole new skill set: shearing sheep, butchering hogs, wrangling cattle. Concrete work, metal construction, masonry. Fencing, tilling, planting, composting.

It's been a busy decade for him.

Before we married, he said he didn't think he would live to be 40. I'm glad he has.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to 40, Phil! I've been here a month; it's not so bad. :) Happy Birthday!