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Building pride and gratitude in the trades

Proud linewife does not even begin to describe it.

I mean, I’m writing a children’s book about linemen and I don’t even have kids. But, I have a lineman!

As I browsed through some old photos of my ramblin’ man, Spanky, hanging horizontally to the ground, 40 feet up in the air on a power pole, I couldn’t help but swell with pride. I have so much appreciation not only for electricity, but the life the line trade has afforded my husband and me. It’s allowed us to travel to 40 countries over the last 11 years—and that wasn’t even for work, that was just for fun! It’s given us a life of adventure and newness. I know my husband feels the same way.

Besides working all over California from Eureka to Bakersfield, Spanky gets to tackle new tasks each day. He may be doing a job that has the same general result—electricity—but some days he’s setting new poles, some days he’s repairing damaged pieces of the pole, some days he’s hiking through thigh-high snow and then other days he’s hanging from a pole overlooking the Pacific, breathing in the ocean air.

This trade fosters a sense of adventure that is contagious, but it also fosters an extreme sense of gratitude.

On one of Bob Goff’s “Dream Big” podcast episodes, I remember Goff and his guest talking about raising children with gratitude and what that looks like. They agreed that it wasn’t just about being grateful for the food on one’s table, but also being grateful for the farmer’s that grew the crops, the workers who picked the crops, the truck driver who long-hauled the food to the grocery store, the grocerers who shelved those items and everyone in between. It’s about having a linear idea of gratitude.

I’m sure we’re all thankful for electricity, but how often do we appreciate the linemen out there working tirelessly and risking their lives to keep our houses lit up and our heat on? I’m sure we’re thankful for rooves over our heads, but how often do we appreciate the loggers who harvested the lumber, the truck drivers who hauled the logs and the carpenters who framed our homes and make the placement of a roof possible? Every trade has this same lineage of hard-working men and women who have done back-breaking work to make our lives more comfortable and our pursuit of happiness that much more attainable.

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