Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The ZipStrip incident of 1976

Good morning, I pray that the day is finding you well. I woke up this morning to the sound of pitter-pat; rain falling softly on the roof of our house. I was cozy in my bed and thought how wonderful it is to be snuggly warm with rain falling softly on the roof. That is when I realized that Laurie and I had moved all the stuff from the garage outside so that an inspector could come and look at the garage. A few days ago we had received an email stating that “they” would like to look at the garage and we needed to move our “stuff” outside so that the inspection could take place. The email went on to say that “they” could not properly inspect the garage because of all our “stuff.” I responded that we would be happy to comply, and that we are more than willing to move our “stuff” outside for the event. I reminded them that the “stuff” was our belongings and we would rather put our “stuff” outside on a sunny day. After much scheduling the decision was made for today, since the weather reports showed sunny weather. Last night Laurie and I moved our “Stuff.” In case you are wondering why I keep putting stuff in quotation marks, it is not because I think it is particularly fun to say; in fact, I could find many other words that are more fun and paint the same picture. It is because I found the term more than a little insensitive. The email could have been written, “We would like to inspect your garage. We will not be able to do a thorough inspection because of the limited access that we have. If you would be willing to help us by moving your belongings to a temporary location for the inspection we would greatly appreciate it.” When I was a kid growing up in Kansas my dad would take on projects that initially I would think had a low chance of success. Here is a short list of things my dad tackled: Red; no, not the color but an old appaloosa horse that had been foundered. Foundered is a term used to describe a horse that had become lame because there hooves had grown so long that they actually walk on the frogs of their feet. Needless to say, without going into what frogs are, Red could not walk. Dad bought him, we carried him into the trailer and brought him home. I thought dad was nuts. Changing a duplex into one large home. Stucco; a term that describes a lath and plaster system of ceilings and walls. Just think, “I wonder what they used before they invented drywall, “stucco.” Installing a hot water heating system all by himself. One day dad was stripping paint off one of the window sills of this duplex turned huge house and I walked in. He turns to me and says, “Do me a favor and go to Milton’s and get some zipstrip.” Milton’s was the name of the lumber yard in town, it was named after Milton Lampe, the guy who owned it. Otherwise known as Lampe hardware. As I think back to my little town, most of the shops had people’s names in them. I had learned over time, mostly from the redhandled screwdriver incident of 1974, to ask clarifying questions. I asked, “How much zipstrip do you need?” Dad, who was obviously frustrated said, “You know how much I need, just go get me some blankity-blank zipstrip.” So I did. I drove the pickup to Milton’s. I walked into the office and said, “I need all the zipstrip you can spare.” Milton looked at me, seeing that I was more than just a little tweaked said, “What’s going on Roger?” I recounted the story and told him my plan. Milton laughed and said, “Let’s go to the warehouse.” We loaded all the zipstrip that he had, everything from pint cans to 5-gallon buckets. Milton said, “Just bring back what you don’t need, and tell me how it goes.” I get back to the house and I walk in with a little pint can of zipstrip. Dad who had cooled off while I was gone said, “Thank you.” I said, “No problem.” And went back to the pickup to unload the rest. Dad watched in fascination as I proceeded to unload into the house enough zipstrip to strip the paint on every house in our little town. A smile came to his face and he said he was sorry for overreacting to a simple question; especially since the red handled screwdriver incident of 1974. Dad even went back to Lampe Hardware to help me return the ziptrip. Milton had a good laugh. Dad thought it was pretty funny too. I remembered the zipstrip incident of 1976 as I read the email about our “stuff.” The thought occurred to me that I might find some way to make him pay for his insolence. I am much older now and have hopefully learned a little during my life. One of the benefits of memorizing scripture is it tends to come to mind when you are faced with things. This scripture came to mind. “A kind man benefits himself,
  but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.”(Proverbs 11:17) Laurie and I ran outside and covered everything with tarps, the blue ones. We are grateful that the inspections are being done. We are thankful that Christ is in our lives. Christ gives us the ability to see things differently; to not get upset over trivialities. I thank God that thru Christ there will not be another zipstrip style incident of 1976. Blessings,

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