Special to Loveland Beacon:
Thoughts to inspire and encourage us from Brian Martin
LOVELAND, OH (December 9, 2020) – What follows was written by a Loveland man who is a faithful Christian, business owner, and neighbor who just happens to offer the unique perspective of surviving a lifesaving organ transplant. He asked for the opportunity to share what he and Loveland Beacon hope will be encouraging and inspiring words and insightful thoughts. Be inspired. Be encouraged. Here now are words of encouragement from the desk of B. Martin.
Back in the 80s and early 90s, I sold Christmas Trees at a local family-owned store called Swallens. You may remember Swallens; it was like Walmart but had a special feeling of a small family. It was a wonderful place to work. In the winter, I would build Christmas tree racks and carry the trees from the racks to the customer’s vehicle. In summer, I would work in the nursery carrying plants and bags of mulch. Besides learning how to get sap and mulch out of my clothes (and hair) I learned how to relate to customers, get to work on time, and met many incredible people. I even met my wife Sheri there.
So, Christmas, back in those days, meant building Christmas tree stands, making big fires in a large 50-gallon drum, and tying trees on top of cars (with the hope that my knots would last until the customer got home). I can still smell the pine needles in the fire and the hot chocolate brewing in the outdoor shed. Customers would line up, we would pull the trees from the racks, spin them around to show them off to customers and then gather the selected trees in a row to start loading and tying them to roofs of cars.
There were five of us young guys that worked there and somehow Jimmy was nowhere to be found when it was his turn to load a tree. Once the cars were gone, all of a sudden Jimmy would pop up from behind the shed and ask, “Hey, is it break time yet?”
We had no families to support; we each drove old clunker cars, so we had no debt. A couple of us even roomed together in a small apartment. We didn’t need much money. Having fun together was way more important. I didn’t even care that I made $4.25 an hour and I never gave the 20-degree cold days a second thought. I loved my job and the people I worked with.
If we as a community are not careful, the true meaning of Christmas can get away from us. Enjoying what we do and the people we get to see every day is such a blessing. Yes, money is nice and certainly a necessity, but being around people you care about is the best gift in the world.
COVID has impacted all of us in one way or another, but with every trial comes a lesson. Being grateful for what God has given us and sharing it with others are the important things and the things we will always remember. The person you get your morning coffee from, the cashier at the checkout line or the person at the bank drive thru…and yes the people we live with are all a blessing to us and are opportunities for us to be a blessing back to them.
Have a wonderful Christmas and God bless from my family to yours, Brian
Brian has lived in Loveland since 1999 and is married with two children. He also owns TMC Construction Services here in Loveland. Brian is available to text, email, or chat with anyone who needs prayers or just an ear.