Archive for November, 2007

By the light of the silvery moon…

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

I thought I’d share a photo taken in the not-so-dark of night. My old neighbor Joe used to say that, “The full moon here is bright enough to read a newspaper by.” He’s right. Not that you’d want to of course. Anyway, Thanksgiving night I was out with the camera and took this shot. The “extra long exposure” exaggerates how bright the moon is but it is amazing the detail and color that you can see. Note – only a few stars. That’s because the moon is like a streetlight hiding them. (Ah yes, I remember street lights.)

Night shot
Click to enlarge

Our First Snow of 2007

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

My anxiety is a bit high as this will be the first winter ever where my driveway is longer than 30 feet and our street is not plowed by the local street crew. We were blessed with a light dusting of snow two days before Thanksgiving.

snow 3 snow 0 snow 2
Click images to enlarge

snow 1

Almost saw a sunset

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

We wake to some very pretty sunrises like this one where the fog was lifting off the lake and sifting through the trees:

morning mist
Click image to enlarge

Since our house is on the East side of the mountain we never get to see sunsets. I miss them. However, in October I found a trail (perfect for an ATV!) that heads up into the national forest behind our house, over the top of the mountain we’re on. I was too late on this day to catch the sunset. Still beautiful though.

october sunset

Hell Hath No Fury…

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Hell hath no fury as that of a client whose website goes down . . . twice!

We’ve been a little preoccupied (understatement of the year) with a disaster in our business. On Friday, November 2nd our servers (along with 800 others) were all to be moved from Baltimore, Maryland, to Andover, Massachusetts by the company we hire to manage them. They were to be back on line Saturday, November 3rd by 12:00 noon. In short, the company messed things up really, really bad. We didn’t know if our servers were EVER going to come back on line. This effectively put us out of business. Dead. And there was nothing we could do about it. We waited and prayed. Hundreds of phone calls started rolling in from frantic clients. By Sunday night we stopped answering and started leaving updates to the situation every three hours. With hardly any sleep, or food, the waiting endlessly continued with little hope of knowing if or when our servers would come back up.
Our first server didn’t come back on line until Tuesday, Nov. 6th and the final came up on Nov. 7th. This was nothing short of eternity for us and our clients. Many clients were gracious but rightfully upset about the outage. Their website and email is the lifeblood of communication with their clients just as it is with ours. To add insult to injury our main server went down again on Sunday for 26 hrs while they rebuilt all the accounts onto a new server.
We’ve never experiences such a threat to our livelihood. It was like watching someone you love very much, die. This was/is my worst nightmare. I could have been worse of course but it was, by far, the worst thing to have happened to us since going into business in 1992.
Thankfully, this story doesn’t end there. We have lost many of our hard earned clients and tens of thousands of dollars. We continue to piece things back together. Many of our clients have stuck it out and we have not gone out of business. By the grace of God we can continue.

I learned some important things through all of this — Fear.  I’ve never been so full of fear and anxiety in my life. The more God has blessed you with, the more you have to lose. Grace. All of this is God’s stuff. It always has been. Now though, He has proven how temporal it is. He has shown how much grace he has shed upon us. Idolatry: God is God. The servers are not God. The clients are not God and I am not God. I found a lot of sanity in recognizing who is in control and who is most important. I confess, in the heat of things, I had misplaced my priorities for a time. At church on Sunday, these words from Psalms were very comforting:
Psa 138:1        I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to You before the gods [my clients, my servers, myself].

I’d recommend reading the entire chapter if you get the chance. It’s short.

To her credit, Jenny was my hero through this disaster. Yet another grace from God. Proverbs 31:10 – “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.” I couldn’t agree more.

(I promise to post more of our regularly scheduled blog soon.)