This last summer I had a really lucrative opportunity to work at a particle board wood mill for the summer as a college summer hire. I was scared to death of the environment and although I had been assured that it was not only safe but also something that I could do, I knew quite well that I was unfit for the task. I got my steel toed boots, safety gear, and lunch pail and trudged off to the war zone, quite afraid. It was only through an absolute miracle and the very present hand of God that I landed my dream job. I mean, ‘dream’ for working in a mill. Worst case scenario would have been shoveling saw dust under a whirring wood saw on the line during the grave yard shift and instead I was able to work as an organizer, mapper, planner, and the occasional painter during baker’s hours; things that I actually could do. My hats are off to laborers who work dangerous jobs! Compared to a middle school band room, that mill was a thousand times more dangerous. I know that the idea of 50 sixth graders honking away on new instruments might be more terrifying for some than proximity to a saw blade, but that’s my home. Moral of the story is, I met some of the nicest guys at the mill and it made me really appreciate the other occupations that are out there. I wasn’t the only woman there but I can tell that’s not my natural line of work. Today’s holiday pays tribute to every worker who has lost their life or been injured at work in unsafe conditions and is meant to raise awareness about practiced safety measures and improved workplace safety. While I am thrilled to have created other sources of income for myself so that I’m not obliged to go back to the mill again, it did teach me a lot, gave me strong financial footing for this school year, and showed me (for the millionth time) that if I pray about something and give it to God he will provide. Here I am today with all of my fingers and toes! Happy National Worker’s Memorial Day and I hope that everyone gets back from work safe and sound!
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