Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Stephanie Bascom: Real Estate Expert

I am coming off a losing streak. I have exhibited some unseemly behavior in my resentment of the amount of money that we will have to pay when we buy a house in the next few months. I was shocked by the cumulative amount of the interest I will be paying after 30 years (an amount which comes out to being almost double the principal-yes, I will pay for this house twice for the right to live there.) In my fiery emotion, my wife has remained patient. This house thing is yet another purchase in a line of purchases that I have had trouble with (I nearly wept upon the purchase of my first car-ask my parents.) It is counteracted by the joy that I know my wife and kids will take in a new house. Steph is patient with me and my frustrations over the money we will spend. And she seems to be a veritable fount of information regarding the real estate process. I don't know where she learned all this, but she seems to know a lot. It's a good thing, because my patience for it all is so little that if it weren't for her, we'd probably get knifed in this whole process even more than we already are. She is a great source of support and strength through it all, and I love her.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


One week later

Well, I have had a few days (and two days off) to think about things here in Minnesota since the Trader Joe's opened. One thing I have realized is just how much we all need time away from our jobs. Ironically, the time we need it the most is when we are needed at work the most. The stress of work last week proved to be quite high at times, but I am thankful for the time I could have with my family last weekend.

The store continues to do well, but it has slowed down to a more managable pace for the moment. We are beginning to feel the strains of summer in the air, as I am reminded of the warm summer nights here in the Midwest. True, it is only May, but it was warm last night, and rather pleasant.

The Twins continue to stink, so I am left to watch the exploits of the Dodgers from afar. Aside from the presence of my family of course, the Dodgers are a powerful link for me of my home. The time I think I became their biggest fan was the time we spent in Chicago. It is interesting what things come to the surface when you make a big change such as this one.

My kiddos continue to grow up before my eyes. My son is beginning to call for me when he needs more food, and my daughter is able to identify which American Idol contestant she likes. Watching her read her Bible and begin to see basic elements of the faith is a wonder.

And through it all, my wife is my partner. She supports me, and helps me through the tough times at work. I am grateful that God gave us each other, as we stumble through life, trying to understand what it means to be Godly parents, and enjoying watching our daughter and son grow up.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Contributing to the Minnesota Economy

I think if I set up a tent in Maple Grove and peddled Charles Shaw wine, I'd be a millionaire (not to mention in prison).

The response has been exciting and overwhelming. We are hoping to reload the ol' pistol tomorrow, as we have ordered a monster load to attempt to cope with our gigantic sales. HUGE! HUGE!

Trader Joe is happy...I am tired...but it is exciting.

Monday, May 15, 2006


It's Showtime!!

We open today. As I tuck my Hawaiian shirt in for the first time in over 6 weeks, I am excited. Yes, it is my day off...yes, I have worked a lot in the last couple of weeks...yes, I know not what today will hold. But to see the finished product is a thing of satisfaction. All we need now is the presence of Johnny Pineapple to finish the job. Opening a store has given me so much to think about and learn about my job. And it has been a real change of pace. Now that we will be open, I feel like I am saying good bye to friends at summer camp. I know I will see all of my coworkers day in and out, but not as much. It's been fun, but we did this all for this day.

It's easy to lose focus on what is really happening. This store is for the customers, not for us. Today, all my merchendising will be thrashed, signs will begin to disappear, and the real challenge begins. But I am reminded of the words of Christ..."The Sabbath was created for man, not man for the Sabbath..." Sometimes we miss the real reason for a thing's existence. I hope I don't do that.

I'm bracing myself for Johnny Pineapple.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


4 more days

This morning, there are four days until the big day when we open. As I get ready for work, I am excited, but I also think of my family back in LA and what they are going through. My grandma is in the hospital, and it is hard to be far away.

Right now, I am sad about the circumstances, but still I take joy in my wife and kids, and in the time I can spend with them at the end of long days at work.

Nana is in our thoughts and prayers right now, and it is a comfort to see my daughter begin to understand what prayer is, and the difference that it can make. With all of the sadness that life brings, there are always things for which to be grateful:

God is good.
I have food to eat.
I have a job.
I have a home.
I have my health.
I have a wonderful wife and kids.

Thank you Lord for these things.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


"One sleepy girl"

These words were uttered at 8:11 CDT this morning, a mere ten minutes after this photo was taken. Corrie still needs to figure out that rest is to her benefit. This is something many people still need to learn, and I hope I do not sound arrogant in my assertion that I am not one of them. Resting is not difficult for me. On this Sabbath, the rest I can take in my kids, and in the joy of worship and the Lord's table is a unique pleasure.

But enough platitudes, back to the girl. She woke up with a cheerful glimmer in her eyes, and proclaimed herself to be one sleepy girl as I showed her this photo. There is a sweetness to her demeanor first thing in the morning that I don't always get to observe. She greets the day with excitement for what it will bring, and comfort in the presence of one or both of her parents.

As I write, it is 8:17, and Jack is still asleep. This is very unusual, and it goes to show that the kiddos had a busy day yesterday. I would no doubt be asleep as well were it not for the responsibilities of the day that await. And yet, something tells me that in 20 years, when I am again able to sleep until 8:17 and beyond on my days off, I will take joy in my grown children, but also be so glad I enjoyed these times when Steph and I go in to the kids' room together to greet our kiddos at the beginning of another day.

Monday, May 01, 2006


C'mon, give me something!

Why is it that as soon as I move to the Twin Cities, the Twins decide to take their team to the john? I tell ya', as I sit here watching them get their clocks cleaned by the.....Seattle Mariners, it is hard to get excited. Our life in the Twin Cities began with our trip here in early March. While visiting, Kirby Puckett passed away, and we saw an amazing outpouring of emotion from this city.

Then, as Linus van Pelt once said, the game started. All the attention toward the Twins right now is devoted to their extravagant demands from the tax payers of Hennepin county regarding a new stadium. Last weekend, the Twins were outscored in their three games with the Tigers 36-1. Mind you, this is the Twins, not the Vikings. My daughter has continually asked to play baseball with me lately. Today she asked several times if we could play baseball in St. Paul. It may be necessary very soon for us to venture to Midway Stadium in St. Paul and take in our first St. Paul Saints game. Minor league baseball may be an improvement over the Twins right now.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?