Valentines, a time for love

Blog: Valentines, a time for love

Valentines is a day to celebrate love. But you know, there are different types of love.
You have Storge, which is really more of an affection. (I love my Hokies)
You have Phila, which is a friendship. (I have some very special friends, whom I love)
Then you have Eros, which is the romantic, head over heels type of love. (I love my wife.)
But I think the greatest type of love is Agape. It is the totally unconditional love. (Jesus loves me, this I know.)
Judy and I have a new love in our life that is of the Agape type. It is for The Warming Station,
the Pulaski homeless shelter run by the Back-to-the-streets Ministry.
We decided we would celebrate our Valentines’ day by giving a dinner party for some special friends. They in return would give a generous donation to The Warming Station.
We very quickly filled one table for Thursday night, and two tables for Friday night. We were very excited. By the week before, I had our menu planned, and our kitchen duties scheduled. We would start off with a Caesar’s Salad. French onion soup would follow, and floating on top would be Judy’s delicious home-made sour dough bread cut into a heart. A chocolate covered strawberry would be served before an entree consisting of a choice of filet mignon or chicken cordon bleu. Sides of mushrooms stuffed with seafood & spinach, prosciutto wrapped asparagus and sweet potatoes would complement the entrees. Of course my finest red and white wines from my wine cellar would accompany the meal. Then Judy’s delicious cherry cobbler, ala mode of course, would cap the night.
I’m an engineer. Everything was planned to the minute. What could possibly go wrong?
Yeah, RIGHT!
It started Friday morning, just an hour before we were to leave to visit my daughter and grandson in Richmond.
The oven went out! No doubt it was the thermostat. No sweat, I’ll take care of it on Monday. On Monday I phoned the local appliance store just to find out they had quit making thermostats for my 20 year old range last June. If I did find one, it would cost about $250 to have it replaced.
So I decided to buy a new range. I called Lowes, and was shocked to find out that slide-in ranges had increased in price from $250 to over $1000 in the last 20 years. They only had one in stock. It was stainless steel, which we didn’t like. It was a smooth top, which we didn’t like. It would take 2 weeks to order one. Plus it was on sale. So we bought it.
It was delivered on Wednesday, which would be perfect as our first dinner would be the next day.
I was concerned after the installation. The installers did a great job, but it just didn’t look right. It was obvious to me that the actual surface was carrying much of the weight of the stove. Plus the depth of the new stove was an inch shorter, leaving a gap in the island. So after they left, we decided to try to figure out something to do about the gap. We slid the range out a few inches, and then we heard the heart-stopping sound of glass breaking. We had broken the glass surface top!
Ok, on Friday we had a stove with eyes, but no oven. Five days, and $1000 later, we had a stove with an oven, but no eyes. But all good engineers always have a good back-up plan. No sweat. We would use an electric skillet to prepare the filet mignon and a George Foreman grill to cook the chicken cordon bleu.
So we woke on Thursday morning, ready to begin preparing for our big evening. The only thing I had to do that morning was go to feed the sheep and go to Verizon to pick up a new iPhone. I went to the barn to feed the sheep, just to find a dead ewe. So now I had to load up my dead ewe and take her to the landfill. My 15 minute trip to Verizon ended up taking an hour because they couldn’t find the phone I had waited three days for. So I got back, and we got started.

I can honestly say, that none of this bothered me at all. I have this philosophy. Now don’t get me wrong, Judy and I are not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. But we are good money managers. I refuse to let any problem worry me which can be taken care of with money.
Other than problems with thrown breakers, the night went wonderfully well. And so did the second night. We had an amazing time of fellowship. Everyone seemed to enjoy the dinner. But best of all, over these two nights, our guests donated enough to pay the rental for the two apartments used for The Warming Station for 1 ½ months. As we presented the check to our dear friend Charlie Barbettini, all of the challenges of the past week evaporated, like your breath on a cold winter’s night.
Show some Agape love to those around you. Bring Hope and Happiness to others.
I hope you’ll send me your comments.
Jerry L. Haynes
P.S. We are now taking reservations for next year’s dinners.

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About Jerry Haynes

OK, where do I start. I was born…., no that line has already been taken.Call me…, oops so has that one. Well, I won’t attempt to spout musical prose, and just be myself. I grew up in the small cotton mill town of Fries, VA. My parents were hardworking members of the middle class. They never earned more than a little over minimum wage, but I can never remember lacking for anything. After graduating from Fries High School in 1969, I started to VA Tech. After two years of partying (1st), going to movies (2nd), and studying, well, much further down the list, VA Tech decided I need a two year break to get my priorities straight. With a number 8 in the draft lottery, I knew that even if the Hokies didn’t want me, Uncle Sam did. I joined the US Navy. I got my priorities straight. I’m proud to be a Viet Nam veteran, but feel guilty I never got deployed. I graduated from Tech in 1977 with a BS in Civil Engineering. For the next 35 years I would work in both the private and public sectors. My first job took me to Tazewell County, Virginia where I soon joined the Jaycees. This ignited my passion for individual development. This passion still burns today.

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