Archive for October, 2014

Eleven+ Years of Working Together

Friday, October 24th, 2014

In 1958, Greg’s grandfather, Bill Chaney, and a partner started a car business with one location on Ross Ave. in Dallas, TX.
In 2003, these 5 people expanded the business to the San Antonio area.

They have worked together for 11 years.

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Together, they have seen the number of employees grow from 5 to about 60.
Together, they started with a single location and have opened up 3 more in this area.
Together–with the help of many other co-workers–they have sold around 10,000 cars.

Over these 11 years, they have celebrated three marriages, the births of six children, and the highschool graduations of three children.
They have supported each other during stressful times both professionally and personally.

Saturday marks the last day of work at the San Antonio location for Victor, one of the original five.
He is moving to Houston with his family to expand the business there.
Some of Victor’s co-workers decided to decorate his office to say goodbye.

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I’m not necessarily big on “love languages”, but if a company were to have a “love language”, this business’ love language would be affectionate hazing.
They celebrate by poking fun at each other.
Claudia was the mastermind behind the let’s-turn-Victor’s-office-into-a-teenage-girl’s-bedroom master plan.

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The plan was so well executed that Victor had to take some of the decorations down in order to be able to get some work done.
There was an amazing level of attention to detail. They created a mock diary with several entries.

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I appreciate Victor so much. He once watched my baby when we didn’t know any babysitters in town yet. (Doing that was way out of his comfort zone.) He has carried our furniture upstairs to help us move. He has celebrated some holidays with us. He cares for this business that means so much to us. He has supported Greg at work and as a friend. I am thankful for his gifts and his story and his life.

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George, Clarissa, Victor, and Rodney, thank you. Thank you for working so incredibly hard. Thank you for using your time and talents to grow and to improve this business. When Greg is working late or under a lot of stress, it means a lot to me that you are working alongside him.

. . . Oh one more thing. . . Victor, my mind is put at ease at this juncture that you will facilitate the growth of this business in the future! 😉   Be you.  Remember you are not alone.

The Bubble Chair

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

So over the last year+ of our family’s life, we have been making changes to our house. We have been rethinking our kids’ rooms to “fit” them better as they go into the next stage of their lives. And while we have been re-decorating, I have been doing just about everything I can think of to make our kids’ rooms brighter–better for taking photos of the stories that unfold there.

Emmie’s room is now bathed in white–except for a bright rainbow-colored rug. The centerpiece of her room is this hanging bubble chair. The photographer-mom in me couldn’t help but dream of telling stories like this. . .

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Bscuela at Earn a Bike (Bike Repair School)

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

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This summer I signed Carter up for a set of bike repair classes through a new community non profit called Earn-a-Bike. The classes are for adults, but we got permission for Carter to attend with Greg. There is a class once a month for five months. Carter has completed the first four out of five.

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Earn a Bike is a bicycle workshop that builds community through bicycle skills sharing. You can click HERE to learn more. Here you can learn how to repair bikes. You can earn a bike by working in the shop. In order to earn a bike, you have to complete the courses and work a certain number of hours in the shop. Carter is there to learn and help, not to earn a bike.

After hearing such enthusiastic reports about the initial classes, I came with my camera to class #4 to try to tell the story.

Class #1 was about wheels, tires, and tubes.
Class #2 covered brakes.
Class #3 covered chains, cogs, and cranks.
…and class #4 was about steering and alignment:

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So class begins as people casually drive or bike up to a bright green building on the main drag of the West Side of town. There is no parking lot. You are just sort of there so you pull to the side and park. Bike parts decorate the fence. And a man name Cristian welcomes you.

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I don’t know much about Cristian. I do know, however, that he loves bikes. He rides a lot. He loves America. He loves San Antonio. He has a big family. He is a good teacher with a sense of humor and a laid back vibe–a great counterpoint to Carter’s intensity. If I had one word to use–though–I think I would pick welcoming. He greeted each and every person warmly and had something encouraging and genuine to say. It is absolutely magical to see him use his gifts to serve other people.

Once I met Cristian, I started to realize why Carter loves this place.

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A high point of the evening was watching Betsy and Devonna problem solve together. Without sounding stalker-ish (since I had just met them!), there was no ego. There was no competition. I observed two smart women sharing what they know and being willing to learn some new things. Teachability, resourcefulness and intelligence are a powerful combination.

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There is great beauty when people come together to teach, to equip, and to learn.
It was a magical evening of laughter, alignment, and community.
Can’t wait to go back.

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