Home of The Western Guard, Madison, MN

As a child, I was blessed to spend a week or two each summer with my grandparents, at their home in Madison, on the prairies of western Minnesota.  My Grandpa Babe owned a printing business and was the publisher of the town’s weekly newspaper, The Western Guard.  While my brother was content to hang around my grandparent’s house with his nose buried in a book, I was more eager to go to “work” with Grandpa.  I loved hanging around his print shop.  The staff were so generous to keep finding me little projects to do and showing me how all the various equipment worked.

Wednesday was always “Paper Day.” I would get up early with Grandpa, drive over to neighboring Montevideo where the Western Printer’s co-op had its large tabloid presses, and watch Grandpa work with the press operators to get the printing plates all set to run.  While the presses were running, we’d grab a quick lunch in town and then go load up the printed papers into Grandpa’s Ford panel van to haul back to his print shop in Madison.  Next, it was all-hands-on-deck, as the sections of the paper were stuffed together, the subscriber’s address labels were glued to the front, and the mailing bags were sorted and packed.  Then the van got loaded up once more and I rode with Grandpa as we dropped off the mail bags at the post office and delivered stacks of papers to be sold at the various stores around town.

I learned a lot from my grandpa during those summer weeks “working” with him and his staff.  Probably, the most important lesson was that on days like “Paper Day,” the job’s not done until the job is done and everyone helps.  Some days will be long and hard but stay focused on what needs to be done so you can feel that sense of accomplishment when you get across the finish line.  Without a doubt, Grandpa Babe helped to shape the work ethic that still drives me today.

This Sunday, we’ll be measuring time, not just by the minutes, hours, or days, but by the generations.  What have you learned from the generations that came before?  How might God have been at work through them to make you who you are?  Lastly, how are you helping to shape the generations that will follow and how might God be at work through you?

Giving thanks for the generations that came before.  May God’s peace come to you this day.  -Pastor Peter

Let us pray…

Dear God, we give you praise and thanksgiving for all the seasons of life, and we ask that you open our eyes that we may see the unique gift of each person’s life, created out of your love.  Amen.

From “Litany of Thanksgiving for the Seasons of Life” by Sarah Hipps, retired educator/chaplain, PCUSA.