An Atypical Time in an Agent’s Life


I have enjoyed reading various “typical day” posts lately on other blogs, so I thought instead of sharing a typical day, I’d share an atypical month:

Sad News for Us

My father-in-law, a Baptist minister, passed away at age 89 after two strokes. While our family is sad to lose him, his funeral was a celebration of his life. 

Snow, Snow Everywhere!

I realize snowfall in Virginia is laughable in comparison to other places, but the number and intensity of our storms has been atypical this winter. We drove to Connecticut in between storms, only to be greeted by a storm when we arrived. Instead of visiting my mother-in-law on our first full day in town, we had to hole up in the hotel room.

And Speaking of Hotel Rooms…

Because of a variety of circumstances, my father-in-law’s funeral in one state and internment in another state required that my husband and I be on travel for eight days. So we stayed eight days at the Hampton Inn. 

Contracts Abound!

All the while, I kept getting messages that contracts were pending, on their way, or attached to emails arriving on my smart phone. Thankfully, this is the one aspect of this time period that is not atypical. My 88-year-old mother-in-law asked if all the ringing notifications got on my nerves. “Oh, no!” I assured her. She also said, “You are always on the phone.” I forget that not everyone is as plugged in as I am.

Are You in a Cult?

The nice lady who prepared our free breakfast every morning (Yay, Hampton Inn!) asked us why we were there and we said we were there for a funeral. And we were there. And we were there. And we were still there. On our last day, I asked her if she wondered if we were part of a weird religion where burial requires eight days. She laughed, but I still wonder if anyone there did a Google search on weird religions.

Florida Christian Writers Conference

No time to settle in before leaving for the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference!

This conference is headed up by the lovely Eva Marie Everson and the awesome Mark Hancock. Of course, Hancocks are always awesome. Everyone was wonderful and understanding about my late arrival. By the way, this is a very good, informative, and enjoyable conference. This year, several key note addresses were given by our agency’s own Ellie Kay! ( Do consider attending next year.

And finally, Snow!

Today is Monday and in honor of my arrival home, more snow! So a-shoveling I will go.

And there you have it: an atypical time in the life of an agent.

Your Turn:

What has been the most atypical time in your life?

11 Responses to An Atypical Time in an Agent’s Life

  1. jackielayton March 6, 2014 at 5:15 am #

    This has been an atypical week for me. My husband rarely travels for a week at a time. In the past I’ve never had any major problems though when he’s been gone.

    Sunday I took him to the airport in Lexington, KY. After hugging and kissing him, I headed to Target. After an hour, I headed to the check out lines and saw rain pouring down. I was so flustered, I forgot to turn in my coupons. Of course I got drenched. Tim’s flight was delayed for “plane issues,” then they de-boarded, and reboarded and took off as the rain was turning to ice.

    Monday I drove myself to work through Titan’s wrath. We’re a pharmacy and don’t close due to inclement weather. I got there okay, despite nobody knowing where the lanes were on the curvy, country roads. On the way home my car began to vibrate, but there was nowhere to pull off. By the time I got to my cul-de-sac I couldn’t get in my drive and stopped in the street. My front right tire was shredded into the hubcap. It had to be towed, but I was thankful God protected me on the way home.

    I called Scott, my twenty year old who is at college, to take me to Toyota. In the process of helping me, he ruined his phone. (Long story.)

    Wednesday morning I fell down the wooden stairs at my house, and this morning I’m sore all over from trying not to fall.

    I’m ready to get back to typical, and I’d even settle for boring.

  2. Angie Dicken March 6, 2014 at 6:14 am #

    Wow, Tamela you’ve had quite a busy couple of weeks. I am so sorry about your father-in-law, but glad you were able to celebrate his life with your family!
    My most atypical time was when we moved here. The movers underestimated how long it would take to pack up our house two hours away, and my boys needed to start school. So I lived out of a hotel with four kiddos by myself for about a week! Hubby had to stay with the movers. It was a time of getting kids off to a new school, figuring out how to cook in a hotel room, and letting repair men into our new house while I tried painting a massive amount of walls—with a 5 month old and a 4 year old in tow! Wow, crazy time!!
    Hope you have a great rest of the week!

  3. Ellie Kay March 6, 2014 at 7:56 am #


    I’m sorry for your loss and was amazed that you were able to come to the FCWC at all with the travel you had to do unexpectedly. It was a delight to meet you in person and I only wish we would have had more time together. I sure hope you told Steve what I said to you the first time we met! You may have had an atypical day, but then again, you are an above average agent and there’s nothing “typical” about that! Blessings to you and yours and we are praying for you all during this change of seasons in the family.

    • Tamela Hancock Murray March 6, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

      Ellie Kay, Indeed I did tell our own Steve Laube! So cute. :)

      I definitely want all our blog readers to know what I said to you as well, that Ellie Kay is more than a famous name on a great book.

      You really care about people, and I appreciate you.

  4. Teresa-Rae March 6, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    You write well, Tamela. I felt like I was right there with you! Thanks for sharing. I love these types of posts.

  5. Nancy Emmick Panko March 6, 2014 at 9:32 am #

    Deepest Sympathy to you and your family on the loss of your father-in-law. We recently lost my father and the vacancy left in this earthly life is certainly felt. He was 91 years old but so sharp and a vibrant character. I have come to the conclusion that no matter how old, when a parent passes a chunk of you passes as well. As both my parents have now passed, I am an orphan in the last decades of my life. It feels a strange as it sounds.

    • Tamela Hancock Murray March 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

      I have both of my parents still, and I dread the day the Lord calls them home.

  6. Steve Myers March 6, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    My sympathies to you and your family Tamela.

    Atypical has meant the flurry of what I’d call the ‘tyranny of the urgent’ (Penned by Charles Swindoll in the 1990s book SIMPLE FAITH) and the dazed surreal reality that comes afterwards.

    We have been running a doggie assisted living home for well over two years when it turned in late December into a doggie nursing home. My guts ache when it gets to this phase as we know they will pass at some point – the key thought is ‘how’ and ‘when.’ Its so painful to loose them too. So we had a doggie ICU going the last week of Miss Chloe’s life and as much as I prayed for God to take her from home and her own bed it just did not play out that way. On that last day of Feb 21 I thought she would go several times but perked up in my presence. She always did. When pain became an issue my threshold of to euthanize or not came to the crisis head. I gave her a full (not 1/4 or 1/3rd) Tradmadol as per the Vet. Those 25 minutes waiting for it to work were difficult with her on my lap in the jeep. But she eased to sleep on my lap and the last hour was peaceful with my best friend so close to me. Then the vet worked us in and gave her another injection of tranquilizer. She was really out. Ten minutes later the drug that ended her life. And the friend I loved and gave me unconditional love was gone. So hard walking out of there.

    We functioned but death even in Christ has if not a sting a lingering haze. From cremation arrangements to cleaning house, including moving the last from storage eliminating that ongoing rental bill, plants inside for the ice storm freezes, and then dealing with death of my best long time Radio Station employer from 1980 (when I was 21) to 1986 (to 27) was tough. He was 89 but being with him he always in the past decade seemed to by in his 60s. It was hard to believe in the 1980s he was in his 50s where I am today. That was like living WKRP IN CINCINNATI and what were the best years of our lives – those there who have remained close to me like family in the years and decades since.

    CS Lewis was portrayed by Anthony Hopkins in the 1994 film SHADOWLANDS. At one point (and Lewis was quoted often in the film) he talked about Winter from the new year to the hope of Spring. “Give me anything but this in-between time, winter not yet over, spring not yet arrived – this waiting room of the world.” I’ve never been a fan of January through April. In DFW its like Spring arrives over a weekend when God like Walt Disney puts his hand over everything bare that comes to green and colorful life. But in the shadow of the groundhog with six more weeks of winter – and a cold snowy icy one at that this seems more Atypical than usual in the waiting rom of the world.

  7. Jeanne Takenaka March 6, 2014 at 10:31 am #


    I truly am sorry for the loss of your father-in-law. Even when you know it’s coming, the hole left is big. I’m glad God kept you safe during that time.

    I’ve had a few atypical seasons. When I first married my husband, I moved three times in 2 1/2 years. When we said, “I do,” I lived in California, and he lived in Las Vegas. Six weeks after our wedding, I moved up to be with him. Four months later, we moved to Montgomery, AL, so he could attend a military school. Ten months later, we moved to Colorado Springs. It was crazy as we tried to figure out what married life would look like for us, as I tried to plug in and get to know other people in the area where we lived, and find all the short cuts in our city.

    There’ve been other atypical times due to health or his extended travel schedule, but I won’t bore you. :)

    I hope your life calms down a wee bit now. :)

  8. Effie-Alean Gross March 6, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

    Tamela, I’m so sorry for the loss of your father-in-law. I was married for over 40 years and never had a mother-in-law or father-in-law. Like you, I’ll be with them in heaven. As for my atypical day, I guess it was the one when I confused my husband with his identical twin…oops! Have a blessed day in the love and strength of our Lord.

  9. Patti Jo Moore March 6, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    Thank you for sharing with us, Tamela—whew! You’ve been busy (Hampton Inn should hire you for a commercial now). ;)
    I am truly sorry for your loss, but am glad despite the weather you and your husband were able to join in the celebration of life for your father-in-law.
    I must say that here in Georgia we’ve certainly had an atypical winter! But I count my blessings when I read about folks still covered in snow and ice. :(
    Blessings on your week. :)

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