NEWBURY: Maybe he’s right? | Columns
The ever deeper Christian faith is called upon by believers who are sometimes challenged by their commitment to “trust and obey”.
We need only point out COVID-19, which claimed up to seven million lives worldwide, and several times that number which have been greatly affected by the countless joy-sucking tentacles of the pandemic.
We hear the cries of many people blaming COVID-19 for many of their injuries; it’s understandable. Today, however, my focus is on a family that chooses to keep the faith …
Our youngest daughter, Jeanie McDaniel – along with husband Ryan, son Jonah and daughter Addison – recently uprooted their family to serve nearly a year as stay-at-home parents in a children’s home. They also faced a lingering family illness and lived through the trauma of a real estate transaction gone awry. Most importantly, they lost a loved one. The sudden death last August of Julie Choate – our eldest daughter and Jeanie’s “big sister” – still hurts a lot.
Brenda and I, as well as Jeanie and her family, are not used to “throwing towels”. We don’t blame COVID either.
Instead, we light up where we can, while looking for sun rays that are sometimes hard to find …
First a strong suggestion: READ SMALL CHARACTERS. When the McDaniel’s signed a contract to build a new house in January, they were guaranteed to be occupied within seven months. There were many delays, and no dirt was moved. The family has tried to figure out the company’s ongoing litany of apologies, many of which blame the city for permit delays.
At the end of May, they received an amazing email informing them that the price of the new construction would increase by $ 84,000, take it or leave it.
I join the McDaniels in being shocked that they have to respond within 72 hours. Negotiation is certainly possible. However, the company’s sugar-coated assurances / apologies over the past 150 days are in line with its “right now” ultimatum. Large companies have generally “gone the legal route,” fully understanding ALL of the fine print. The McDaniel’s own a house, so their life goes on. I suffered the most for first-time homebuyers who thought they were going to become homeowners, but instead get chained to renting. READ SMALL CHARACTERS …
However, the family felt a ray of sunshine at Addison’s recent 14th birthday celebration on a rainy day. She wanted to go to a new restaurant. Knowing that it could be crowded, we arrived at the end of the afternoon, thinking that there would then be places available.
We were wrong. At the “registration desk” we learned that there would be a one hour wait and that we would have to stay outside until our number was called.
It was raining heavily outside. We rushed to our cars, determined to find another restaurant that would allow us to enter …
Within a mile and a half we found Mooyah, a burger restaurant tucked away in a mall.
There, the atmosphere was inviting and upon hearing that a birthday party was celebrating, director Chad Hall went all out.
He offered her some milkshakes and put three cookies in his takeout bag. Jacob, Chad’s 16-year-old son, was in charge. Jacob repeated my question about discounts for seniors. Hearing Chad said, “How does a free burger sound?” He said this without realizing that I was writing a syndicated column where compliments are frequently handed out. He probably thought that my white hair meant that I had been asking for such reductions for about a quarter of a century …
While munching on a free burger, I learned that he has been in the restaurant business for 26 years and in management for 15 years. He became manager of the local Mooyah franchise just nine months ago.
He places great importance on customer appreciation. We will return to Mooyah.
If at McKinney, we’ll try Country Burger, although it no longer offers ‘double-doubles’. The hamburger restaurant opened in 1973, the same year In-N-Out registered the “double-double” trademark. Recently, the owner received a mandate from the In-N-Out company to remove “double-double” from the menu. She will comply and not even blame COVID-19 …