Friday, March 20, 2009

The Lady Electrician

When I found my car battery stone dead in the PDX parking lot, I got help from a woman working on the ticket machines. The person she talked to told me to stay right there and wait for the white truck. So I did. And had an interesting conversation with the fixit woman.

She and her sister had worked at a glass factory for 20 years. When the machines broke down, they would call in the repairmen. Eventually they realized they were telling the repairmen how to fix the machines. "This is silly," they thought, so they both went back to school and became electricians. So now she works for the Port of Portland, and her duties include doing routine maintenance on the ticket machines.

The Port is laying people off, but she didn't think there was too much chance she would be laid off, because the ticket machines are where they make their money.

I thought all that was rather cool.

But one thing she said made me sad.

After she told me about her journey to becoming an electrician, she added, a bit sadly, "What I really wanted to do was stay home with my children. I have four. But I guess you can't do that in this day and age."

When I related this later to Amy, she said, "You should have said, 'Oh yes you can!'"

I said there was no point, because her children are all grown and why rub her nose in her regrets?

But to any young moms out there who think you have to bow to the culture and you can't stay home with your children in this day and age, I want to say, "Oh yes you can!"

Quote of the Day:
"I didn't think it would be interesting because it has this tannish yellow cover and this apple that looks like it's made out of toothpaste. [But] I don't know that I've ever read an author who was so Christian and yet so not annoying."
--Emily, who (surprise!) has strong opinions about books, on Howard Hendricks' The Seven Laws of the Teacher


  1. I was in an abusive marriage and was heartbroken to end it because I had always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. God provided two jobs that allow me to stay home and actually be a stay-at-home single mom. One of them recently laid me off, and after a few days of panic, I realized that God would provide another job for me to be home with my daughter... it IS the desire of my heart, after all. Two days later my job hired me back permanently. I'm so blessed. If I can stay home with my daughter (and even home school her), anyone can.

  2. So does Emaily recommend the book mention in the quote of the day?

  3. Yes, Emily recommends the book!

  4. I really enjoy your column, but had I stayed home with the kids, we would have had to have raised them on welfare. My husband has been underemployed or unemployed much of our marriage, due to having two chronic illnesses he got when our oldest two children were very small. We were still paying off my college loans when he got sick.

    I did not bow to the culture. I bowed to the reality of financial necessity. It's nice that some women get to stay home and not face what I face five days a week, but you're right...I don't need my nose rubbed in my regrets. It just sounds like gloating to me.

  5. missmoose--why would you have regrets? You did/do what you had to do.
    I was addressing the young women, like the one I met, who want to stay home, and could, but don't purely because of cultural pressure.

  6. I would not regard Amy's comment as 'rubbing her nose in her regrets' in reference to the fix it lady but rather as hope that she could pass on to the moms of her grand children!

  7. That's a terrific book! WTG, Emily.