I’m just getting home tonight from a very special dinner that I’m invited to annually. I’m so glad I went! When arrived home from Mission of Hope earlier in the day, I was tired. I was questioning if I should go to this dinner or not. The sounds of staying home and relaxing, and watching the finale of American Idol sounded very inviting! But, at the last minute, I decided to change my clothes, freshen up my hair and make up, and hopped in my car to go. Forty minutes later I arrived at the restaurant, and from the moment I walked in, I knew I had made the right decision to attend this dinner!
When Ali was born, 17 years ago, I quit the job that I held at National Oats. National Oats is no longer in existence, but was purchased by Raslton, and is still that today. I had worked there seven years, and it really was my first “big girl” job. I was the youngest employed there when I first started…only 19 years old. National Oats and my friends there had a part in helping me become who I am today. I lived with Tina through much of the time I worked there. Being employed there was a wonderful experience, and my co-workers were more like a family to me. It was wonderful! It was a smaller company, so we did lots of small company things which involved us employees. The bond we had as co-workers was truly something special!
This bond has continued all these years. As I mentioned, I left that company 17 years ago, yet when I see any of them, it’s like we are still connected together. Each May, those of us who are no longer employed there meet for dinner. Tonight there was 20 of us. I missed it last year, and I’m so glad I didn’t miss it this year. We talked about old times, we shared what’s going on in our lives now, we shared about our families. It was such a blessing to me. One of the guys who has always been special to me, and who is old enough to be my dad, is having a ten-hour surgery next Wednesday. He as jaw cancer, and he is having the cancer removed and biopsied. I’m glad I was able to talk to him and encourage him. I will be honored to be praying for him!
I could have flown home…I was so full of joy and happiness! This evening lifted my spirits, as I was able to connect with so many of my “old friends.” I’m still the youngest of the group, but age really has nothing to do with it. These are dear friends of mine, who I cherish. It’s fun that a couple of them work just two miles from my home, and they work with my brother, Steve!
I look forward to next year’s dinner, and I hope to stay connected to many of them better throughout the year. I was blessed so much by being there last night! It was evident again to me how God has guided me every step of the way in my journey of life, and how He used (and still is using) National Oats and the people there to bless me, encourage me, teach me, and help grow me up! I am very thankful tonight!
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