Hunger, Vacuum Cleaners, & Moving North


Janice and I have begun to fast regularly. I don’t mean “fast” as in speed of motion, although Janice does drive fast regularly; I mean fast as in to go without eating for a certain period of time. Why? Well, the reasons get less and less convincing as the day goes on. Actually it’s no secret we’re trying to raise support for our apprenticeship at MMS Aviation and fasting is our way to petition God on that particular subject. But I didn’t start writing this blog to glorify ourselves (Hey, Look at us! We went without food for 24 hours! Yippee! No one else has ever done that!) but rather to complain about fasting.

It starts in the morning. You open the fridge and a pack of bacon falls out. You close your eyes, grimace, and throw it as hard as you can back into the fridge. Then Adi eats half her toast and gives the rest to you. Never has a soggy, wilted piece of toast ever been so appetizing. And it’s only 7 am!

I used to work at Bullseye Marketplace in Three Rivers, Michigan. One random day I decided to fast. When I got to work, I found out the lady behind the meat counter had a birthday and had made dozens of soft, moist, chocolate cupcakes topped with swirls of confectionery delight. She wouldn’t take a “no” for an answer and chased me screaming down the hallway, tackled me, and then practically shoved several cupcakes into my mouth. She has a strong mothering instinct. I took my share of cupcakes and stuck them in a secret corner of the cooler for the next day.

Later in the day I was given the job of cutting down the bulk five pound blocks of fudge so we could repackage it into smaller containers. I didn’t normally do this job but the boss saw me wondering around and put me to work. The perk to cutting fudge is that there are always leftover corners that are ugly and don’t fit into the packages. The secret is that they taste just as good as the nice pieces of fudge. I found that the standard for good looking fudge gets quite high if the person cutting the fudge is hungry. I don’t know, that one looks pretty ugly. Better not chance it. I’ll just put it over on this reject pile.

Yesterday I was fasting again. I was taking Adi for a bike ride down a beautiful alley in Goshen and every single person in the neighborhood was lounging in their backyard, grilling steak garnished in every savory variation imaginable. The smokey haze was so thick that I could almost taste it. Goodness knows I was trying my best to taste it; pedaling down the alley with my mouth open and my tongue flapping around.

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A perk of fasting with somebody else, such as your wife, is that if you can get them to fall to temptation then it’s their fault the fast is broken. And since the fast is broken now anyway, you can indulge in food and put the blame on your wife. This only works if your wife has no will power.

“Honey,” I wave a piece of bologna in front of her, “Look at this!”

“Hey, put that back in the fridge!”

I tried bargaining with her. “If you hold me down and force me to eat something, it’s not my fault I ate something, right? If you do that to me, then I can do the same to you.”

Janice mentioned something about my theories being not theologically sound. I had no choice but to stick it out. That’s what a good wife does for you; holds your feet to the fire and makes you a better man even when you’d rather wimp out and eat a whole stack of McDoubles. Fun fact: my friend Brian once ate seven McDoubles in one sitting because we told him he couldn’t do it. He proved us wrong.

New Vacuum Cleaner

We got a new vacuum cleaner the other day. This might strike you as a little odd since I posted a photo on our Facebook and Instagram proclaiming that my calling was to fix our old vacuum cleaner. You may be tempted to think that I wasn’t capable of fixing it, hence the new vacuum cleaner. Your suspicions would be correct.

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The problem all started one day when Janice said that the sweeper was a little loud. I prepared a diagnostic checklist in my mind and and turned on the old Electrolux to see how bad it really was. It sounded like a P-56 Mustang in a steep dive being chased by Germany’s entire Luftwaffe, which is not how a vacuum is supposed to sound.

There are two motors on vacuums; the roller motor (which turns the brush) and the vacuum motor (which provides sucking power). The vacuum motor was buried deep in the center of the upright part of the sweeper and so I crossed my fingers and hoped it was the roller motor.

I was wrong, the new roller motor didn’t fix a thing. I spent $20 on the part that I didn’t need. I dug deeper into the vacuum. Now, modern entry level sweepers were not made to come apart. Good quality products are put together with solid materials and reusable fastening components like screws or bolts but vacuums are put together using plastic clips and thin, useless plastic tabs that break if you breathe on them too heavily. My invasive investigative surgery produced many broken plastic tabs and cracked frame components. This meant that, even if I got it all back together with the correct parts, the vacuum would be as sturdy as a wet noodle. I decided to get the Electrolux’s affairs in order.

Upon further research I found that Wal-Mart sold a bagless Bissell for $49.95 and it got hundreds of five star reviews. I immediately bought it and it works much better than our old one ever did. We’ll see how long it lasts. I ripped apart the old Electrolux and listed its various organs for sale on eBay. With any luck, I’ll pay off the new vacuum cleaner!

Moving North

We are moving from Goshen, IN to just north of Sturgis, Michigan. It’s about forty five minutes north of where we’re living now.

Hopefully by November 22 we’ll be moved across the state line and into the new house. Well, it’s not new and it’s not a house; to be honest it’s an old trailer but it does come with four acres of outdoor space nestled in the rolling countryside of Michigan. This means Adi won’t be cooped up in a yard the size of many people’s living room and I won’t be having panic attacks when she wanders in the direction of the road, which is always about five feet away. We’ll also be closer to Grandma and Grandpa Detweiler which means we’ll have a free babysitter!

Janice has been packing up various junk around the house. We started with the basement since that’s where the least used junk is stored. The idea is that every time we go up to Michigan to visit the in-laws, we’ll drag along a van load of stuff and drop it off at the house we’re going to move into. Our friends live there now but they bought another house and are in the process of moving. As they are moving their stuff out we are moving our stuff in.

I’ve also been looking for a new job. The last two Mondays I woke up at 3:30 am to drive bleary eyed to the local RV factory so I can get on my hands and knees to beg for a job. RV factories are strange. You can try submitting a resume but I get the feeling that they take the resumes and throw them right into the recycle bin. The best way to get a job (I’ve been told) is to have references from people who already work there and to keep going in every week asking the managers (called group leaders) for a job. Eventually somebody will not show up for work and you’ll get their job. Factories have a high turn over rate so it’s a matter of time until you get your shot.

There is an RV factory 18 minutes from where we will live in Michigan. I’m trying to get in there so I have shorter commute. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job doing estimates for the horizontal drilling operation I work for now but work is slow and nothing beats factory pay. I took stock of my situation and came to the conclusion that we don’t have enough money (shocker, right?) Don’t get me wrong, there is more to life than money but we want to get everything paid off and in order so we are ready to start our MMS Aviation apprenticeship when God decides it’s time for us to go. Being a factory drone isn’t my idea of a good time but it will be easier to handle if I know it has an end goal in mind. What I could not handle is putting screws in the same piece of trim forty times a day for the next forty years. I’d rather live under a bridge eating squirrels over a dumpster fire. But two years? I can whack that out, especially if it puts our family in a position free of debt and capable of leaving for mission work. That’s what we want to do, 100%.

Always Grateful,

Josh & family



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