Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Good Name.....

Master Hand Grenade is home!  He has finished his summer job just in time to begin his senior year of High School.  Never to remain static for long, Master Hand Grenade has plans to put an application in at the local grocer in hopes of securing a position as an apprentice butcher.  He hopes to work through the school year and beyond in an effort to gain enough experience to become a butcher in his own right.

After getting settled in his room, Hand Grenade came downstairs and we spent the afternoon talking about his summer.  We talked about the lessons he had learned and the faith that had grown in him as he sought to know God.  We talked about the difficult situations he had found himself in and the fun excursions he had enjoyed.  After hours of laughing and reconnecting, Master Hand Grenade offered to show me what he treasured most from his summer away.  Reaching into his pocket, I expected him to produce a fat check or a wad of cash - the fruits of his hard work.  Instead, he pulled out an envelope containing one, thin letter.  "Mom", he said, "this is worth more to me than all of the money I made this summer".

And this is what I read:

August 22, 2013

To Whom it May Concern:

I would like you to know that Master Hand Grenade worked for us this summer of 2013...

Master Hand Grenade...

  • Is a fine young man...honest and caring and can be left to work alone and continues to work
  • Came to work on time and worked the hours and days he committed himself to
  • Was very courteous and respectful to everyone he came in contact with on the job
  • Had a very positive attitude
  • Had a variety of jobs to do, while employed...
    • mowing with riding lawnmower
    • weed eating
    • raking
    • tearing down rock wall
    • cutting rebar
    • steam cleaning
    • assisting with engine rebuild
    • splitting wood with wood splitter
    • stacking wood in woodshed
    • helping with any 'odd jobs' that we had around the estate and home
  • Master Hand Grenade is welcome back to work for us next year, if he so chooses and we would highly recommend him to other employers as a very good employee
  • Please feel free to call us with any questions you may have...
Although Hand Grenade was well paid, even earning an end-of-season bonus, he considered this letter of recommendation to be the greatest achievement of his time spent away.  

As parents, we always raise our children with fear and trepidation.  Are we being too hard on them?  Not hard enough?  Have we instilled good character qualities?  Have we prepared them to take their place in society and still maintain their integrity?  Will they figure out what's really important and treasure those things?  And then we have moments like these....moments when we are given a glimpse of the people our children are becoming - and it is good.

A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches 
and loving favor rather than silver and gold.
Proverbs 22:1


  1. My father was a man of his word. Even though he had little in the way of riches, he had the respect of all who knew him. Your son is well on his way to becoming that kind of man. He is to be commended for understanding that the good name of a person is so very much more important than wealth.

  2. Enola,

    You and your husband are wonderful parents, you've raised Master Hand Grenade and all your children well. With the proper structure, guidance, love, and discipline.

    Your son will stand on his own two feet strong and tall like his father. I wish him the best with getting a job as an apprentice butcher.

  3. Enola, You and your husband are raising that boy to be a true man. I wish my son would be even half of a man as that. (he unfortunately was not raised by myself :(

  4. Enola,


    You did good raising that kid right. Sounds like your very fortunate with all your kids so far and its nice hearing about some good kids for a change.

    When I was out surfing yesterday I saw some girl who was out surfing also and she was about 20 years old and covered with so many tattoo's, she looked like the road map of Houston, Texas. I think that kids that get tattoo's maybe lacked attention at home as young children because the parents were part of the 1980's self centered "Me" generation. The offspring of the "Me" Generation are drawn to attract attention to themselves with body art and other fads because they were almost "ignored" by their self centered parents.

    Its nice to see a kid like your son that is "not seeking attention' through the latest fads but with content of character.

    Another word of advice Enola (and everyone else) if you don't mind me saying it. Keep your kids out of the military and if you have to have them immigrate to other countries later in life where Christians and homeschoolers are not persecuted (anyone who thinks I'm a traitor for making that statement has yet to "wake up" and see what's really going on)

    This country has gone from "decline to self destruction" in the last few years and maybe your forthcoming grandchildren will fair better in another country that will not feel the wrath of God for its arrogance and disobedience.

    On a side note' I saw a good cross section of why this country is in social and moral decline at Walmart yesterday. One same sex couple with a three year old kid. One meth addict "tweaking" in the parking lot and a 350 pound lady in a power chair with the basket in front of her filled with junk food.

    I'm beginning to think that an all out Nuclear Confrontation between us, the Russians and Chinease over Syria may not be such a bad idea.

    1. CPT, seems like your coming around....

  5. When my uncle recently passed away, the town lowered their flags to half staff. He was not a military man nor did he work in political office or have some claim to fame. He was a man of integrity, kind and generous and the town knew they had lost someone special. I am proud for you. You are raising such a man.

  6. It sounds like you raised your son "right" but then I am not surprised. I love your blog and your notes on family. As an aside I received a MSG from Amazon that there would be a shipping delay on your new book. I think they were surprised by the number of orders. Best wishes to you and your family.

  7. That's a neat coincidence: We just had Tim's Special Cut Meats out to butcher our steer. Tim's teen aged son was with him, working hard, obviously knowlegible about the whole process. He shared with me that his his plan in life is to become a butcher, just like his dad. We talked about that a bit (I shared why I thought that was a great idea!) and couldn't help but chuckle when retelling the story later. I don't think a lot of kids these days have dreams of becoming a butcher! I just love this country life. :)

  8. I just had another MSG from Amazon. They said that my order (of your new book) was likely to be delayed past the 3rd of Sept. I had to go into their system and verify that this was alright. It may be that they are printing on demand and that the order volume has overwhelmed that system. Any way it sounds good for you.

  9. Skills, Values, Character, Ambition of Master Hand Grenade... Wow. You are raising such a fine young man.

    I also have a lot of respect for the person who wrote that letter of recommendation. It was very thoughtful and unselfish.
    Montana Guy

  10. You should be so proud. He has not only learned an excellent work ethic, but the value - both financial and spiritual - of a good name. When an employee is worth his weight in gold, well eventually that is what he will earn.

  11. To have a God-loving butcher has infinite value over being a president of a country or business, but not loving God. The only drawback to being a butcher that I can see is that you won't live in a million dollar house and be saddled with those debts and demands on your life. We all know that the world thinks these demands have enormous value in them. It is all about where your heart is. There will be your treasure also. I applaud Mr. Hand Grenade and I pray the best for his life. I know you have raised him to be all that God wants him to be. What more could a person ask for? College? Pshaw....

  12. That is absolutely the best thing he could be 'paid' with. Congratulations to him.
    And Congratulations on his decision to become a butcher. I'm pretty sure he will never go hungry!

  13. My husband & I have discussed this very issue. I have an engineering degree (that the USAF was impressed enough to kindly fund) that I've never really used (but all those calculus courses have made me a great homeschool math teacher!), and my hubby is a carpenter who has no formal education beyond high school who learned everything through OJT. He's WAY smarter than I am, and continually amazes me with how he's able to work things out in his brain, where I need pencil & paper. We're seeing the trend that trades (welding, machining, small-engine repair, electrician, maintenance mechanic,etc.) are really the wave of the future, as well as understanding HOW things work. Your son will be strides ahead of others his age, and if it's something he enjoys, he will be much happier than your average college grad still searching for any job that will pay the student loans.

  14. Wow! As a parent, you can hardly ask for anything more. How wonderful for you and Master Hand Grenade, and also the siblings by whom he is being watched. He'll be an awesome butcher!