3 Inspiring Sons…and their Little Sister »

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Money. Mansions. Mentors.

I was in 8th grade when my family moved from Anchorage, Alaska to Mesa, Arizona. We were a family of 11. My oldest sister was a senior in high school and my youngest sister was 2. During those years we were financially challenged. To me, Mesa was a wonderland. I’d never heard of Kmart before. I bought a swimsuit for $5 and knew I had hit the jackpot. The closest thing to Kmart I’d seen was a Pay-n-Save. And they definitely didn’t have swimsuits for $5.

But that is entirely beside my point.

That summer I got my first job. I worked for Sister Heckens, who owned a housecleaning business. We didn’t do housekeeping. We did housecleaning. Most of her work was in Scottsdale, Arizona and those she had contracts with already had housekeepers. We came every couple of weeks and did the deep down dirty disgusting work.

Sister Heckens mentored me in the art of deep cleaning. I would ride along with her to various mansions and she gave me instruction and feedback on my performance. I would scrub toilets with a pumice stone and tile with a toothbrush. I scoured floors on my hands and knees… until they shined like the top of the Chrysler Building… {name that movie}. When I vacuumed, the lines had to disappear in the plush carpet.
She paid me $4 an hour and I loved every minute of it. I’m not sure what I loved more. The money. The mansions. Or the mentor.
We had adventures along the way. Like the time we forgot to turn off the alarm at one particular fancy house and the security company sent a helicopter to see what the trouble was. Or how about when we found a paper bag full of weed?
Today as I was giving instruction to Joshua on the art of thoroughly cleaning a floor {the second step of which involves vacuuming along the edges of the floor and in all crevices}, I thought of Sister Heckens. I thought of all she taught me and how it has affected my life. Thank you Sister Heckens.
And I know my children thank you too.




At least someday they will.

Jake - OH I JUST HAVE TO LAUGH!!! Josh, you look great doing that work. I am proud of you, and know that you do great work. I am proud of you guys, and wish I could have been there to help clean…Love U…Dad

Paris-family - ANNIE!


The Stouts - One day I will have to have you visit and mentor me on the proper way to deep clean. The other day as I was mopping my floor I thought about you. About when I was staying with you in corpus and you came up after me and mopped the floor again. I laughed as I thought back, and wished that I had had the foresight to stop and ask you for a lesson on mopping.

Blog Buddy - Your family rocks! There is a fine art in maneuvering a vacuum…

Leslie :~D - You totally forgot the best part of Mesa… ME! LOL! Just kidding… but really… Mesa is a good place. I'm starting to look forward to possibly going back. We're putting our house up for sale tomorrow in preparation, even though we don't have the job yet. But we know a change is comin' so we are going to be ready, even if that means renting for a few months. Real estate has been slow to begin with, but we are moving into the really slow time, fall/winter, so we'll see! If Cordell gets the job, he'll hopefully start in November, and we could be here a long time without him, and as you well know, that sucks!

Sheila - I used to work at Pay-n-Save when I was in high school!

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