Following in His Footsteps

My first real job was at Morrisson-Reeves Library in Richmond, Indiana.

Where was your first real job?

Before that I had done a lot of babysitting – lawn mowing – some dog sitting and I would cover a friend’s paper route for 3 weeks every summer while her family went on vacation in exotic Minnesota. But – my first real job was at the Library.

I was hired to work as a “shelver” in the adult department.   This meant every day after high school and on Saturday mornings I would hang out with lots and lots of wonderful – glorious – lovely – amazing – intriguing – beautiful books. Patrons of the library would check books out of the library and when they returned the books I would put the books back where they belonged so other patrons could check them out again. (People who came to the library weren’t just people.   They were “the patrons of the library.” Sounds kinda fancy – doesn’t it?)

What did you do at your first real job?

I loved my job. Seriously – my job was the perfectly perfect job for me. Books and restoring order to the universe. I was in heaven!

Did you like your first job?

Soon my best friend was hired to work in the same department with me so it just got even better! Before too long we started meeting the other student employees of the library and “hanging out.” And then one day I met a student employee from the children’s department named Jason McFarland . . . (Seriously – I have know Jason – FOREVER!)

Who did you work with?

I loved the Library and I knew it like the back of my hand. I could find almost any book or periodical there. I knew where the librarians liked to hide from the patrons. (Yes – there were days when my bosses hid from the patrons.) I knew which librarians were awesome and which were to be avoided at all costs. I knew which patrons would “helpfully” re-shelve books in the wrong place all of the time!!! I quickly learned who wanted help finding the Chilton Auto Repair Manuals – who was seeking a new thriller and who was simply there to wander the aisles and hang out with the books.

I still smile when I think of those years at Morrison-Reeves Library.   It was one of the first times in my life that I had found “my people.”

Who are your people?

I asked them to take this photo and they obliged me. . .

These days I watch as Jack sets off for his first real job at the Louisville Zoo. Jack loves working at the Louisville Zoo the way I loved working at Morrisson-Reeves Library. Jack is passionate about the animals the way I was passionate about the books. Jack knows the Zoo the way I knew the Library. He knows the Zoo’s quirks – bonuses – sweet spots and flaws. In short Jack knows what makes the Louisville Zoo the Louisville Zoo.

This week Jack took us for a guided tour of the zoo. Having our own expert docent was such a delight and a joy. I highly recommend the experience!

Jack declared that I too should stand in front of a GIANT frog for a photo session. Every family needs one or two of those!

Jack knows all of the animals’ names (both their species names and their cute “human-ish” names too).

He knew I would be absolutely enchanted by the butterfly exhibit and I was . . .

It was hot enough that everyone was slightly jealous of the tiger’s swimming pool!

Jack knew if we were patient the tiger would very likely come say “Hi!” and he did! He also knew that the tiger was scratching his back when he was hanging out down by the metal door.

He knows the Polar Bears and the Grizzly Bears rotate in the exhibit.   He can tell the difference between the different seals (they all looked big and gray-ish and wet to me . . .).

Jack also knows where to purchase the best brownies and the most varieties of Dippin’ Dots Ice Cream can be located. This is – of course – absolutely essential information when touring the Zoo and cannot be found on the Zoo maps or guides . . .

This poisonous little guy was Will’s favorite creature of the day.

Jack knew once Will stepped into the recently reopened HerpAquarium his brother would never – ever – ever want to leave (and he didn’t)!

Most importantly we got to “meet” Jack’s favorite animals and to hear all about his adventures at the Zoo. We got to see the Zoo from an insider’s perspective. We got a glimpse of Jack’s life when he is working at the Zoo.

I have always enjoyed our visits to the Louisville Zoo – but seeing it from Jack’s insider’s perspective was so intriguing. I loved every minute of our special tour.

Jack is particularly fond of these little fellows. I concur that their shells are gorgeous.

Have you asked a loved one to share about her passion lately? Have you expressed genuine interest in something someone else delights in recently?

Have you asked a question and just listened while a friend explained about his delight and joy in something you know nothing about? Have you expanded your horizons a bit? Have you let someone teach you something?

Have you learned something new from an insider or an expert? Have expanded your mind? Have you let someone else shine while you took a backseat?

Another of Jack’s favorite fellows these days . . .

Give it a try! It is such a blessing and a joy!

You are all in my heart – thoughts – and prayers.

In Christ and with Love –

Pastor Kerri

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