People First: Jan

Jan knows the UK and lives in Texas now, but the journey from one to the other allowed her to see the rest of the world.

She lived in Mildenhall. I’d heard of it. Used to live near there myself.

She joined the USAF to get trained, qualified and see a world ‘outside of the 50’. She left after just three years because she met and fell in love with the man who became her husband (best-laid plans and all that!). Training and Qualifications put on hold, but still traveled and saw the world. After all – her husband was still in the forces.

Now she is an antique dealer and her husband works at the nearby USAF facility. Well not just the USAF, turns out it is the only joint USAF and NATO training facility in the world.

Who knew? Continue reading

People First: Alex

“I spent the day with my dog.”

“What kind of dog is it?”

“A Boston Terrier.”

“Oh wow, do you have pictures?”

“I did, but I lost my camera and so all my pictures.”

“Oh no, you know these days it’s so easy to keep your photos backed up in the cloud, so you’ll never lose them.”

“I know. I have Google storage and Verizon cloud, but I just never get round to doing it, because it isn’t important.”

“Well maybe you will now.”

“Maybe. But now there’s an opportunity to create a set of new memories.” Continue reading

People: Nenah

I worked in San Diego in those days. Everybody around me was promising the world and just doing it what it took. Nobody was asking questions. It was crazy. I held to my truth. But I was the only one that did. But it still all blew up.

That was ten years ago. Now I am here, for me, nothing has changed. I work hard. I reap my rewards.

I love Commercial Banking. It is what I do. All of it.

I find the deals. I work the deals. I close the deals.

I never let go of my core principles.

I didn’t react.

Our truths are our lives. Those truths can do move.

No legacy is so rich as honesty.

William Shakespeare

People: Rebecca

“I live about 30 minutes North of here. There really isn’t any work up there. My husband is a mechanic from Mexico. He has his own auto repair business and helps me look after the children. I drive down here to work. I like it, the hours are flexible so it makes the family side easier.”

“I have 5 children. My firstborn is 15, the youngest is 2. It’s good because my mom helps, particularly with my eldest. He likes her and she likes him. It’s a good relationship and they bonded at birth”.

She will miss him when he moves away.

Continue reading

People: Riley

Riley was angry. Not visibly. But it wasn’t hard to ‘see’.

He had been fighting the fires as they encroached on his house with his father. He could see the fire down the street, but right then he felt it was all manageable. He was about to cut down the fences while keeping the house wet with the water hoses.

That’s when the Fire Department arrived.

“We’ve got it”. They said. “But you and the family need get out to safe ground.”

Riley looked around, the fire was a quarter of a mile away, the Fire Department had arrived, there was a water hydrant right there in the road.

“We’ve got it.” They reiterated – you need to leave.

Riley and the family left. They only took what they needed.

They returned the next morning, their house was gone. All the houses from where the fire was through to his were gone. The house next door was still standing.

Apparently The fire had ‘jumped’, quickly with speed – there weren’t sufficient resources, once a fire took hold the strategy was to not to ‘protect’, but to ‘contain’.

It would have taken them maybe 10 minutes more to load up their cars with the boxes of pictures, the memorabilia, the family history … packed for an entirely different reason, but left behind because they ‘trusted’ the authorities, the professionals, the people who ‘knew what they were doing’. All that was now gone, along with their house.

Yes – Riley was angry. ‘If only’ – he had stayed, it would have been different. ‘If only’ – they had loaded the cars, mom would not be crying every day … 6 months later. ‘If only’ – the fire service had done their job. He had a lot of ‘if only’ in him…

But he knew in his heart that they had done their job. He was really just angry at himself. He seemed to feel that he had failed.

What he didn’t know was if he had stayed whether the outcome would be different. And if it was different, would the outcome be better or worse.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal held in your hand, with the intent of throwing it at someone else. You are the only one that gets burned.

Buddha