Passion

This is an email someone sent me. This guy gets it.
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Having looked into some of your professional interests, …you have passion for things…I like that in a person. I was reminded of another woman I once knew who held certain things very close to her heart and would reveal her passion for them in an inspiring manner. I was reminded of a story and felt like passing it on to you.

There was fire in the woman’s eyes the instant she was told by a neighbor that there was indeed a Husqvarna sewing machine manufacturing plant in Germany. You see, the woman had used a cryptic and almost historic Singer to sew the clothes her children wore for many years. She had only dreams of actually working with a machine that could make her clothes so much better and easier to make. The cost of such a machine in her homeland of America was something that she knew she could only fantasize about owning.

The conversation with her neighbor was somewhat lacking in actual content as the women only spoke English and her neighbor only spoke German, with the broken dialect of the small village known as Wallau, which was located discriminately close to the autobahn linking Frankfurt with Wiesbaden. The abstraction of information did not in any way detour the woman from the basic consideration that there was a factory building Husqvarna sewing machines at that very moment, at a location somewhere within the borders of Germany.

The woman had come to understand that the entire German country was no larger than her home state back in America…which meant that the factory where these magical machines were being put into boxes for shipping…and SALES…was within a distance that she could drive to and return from in one day. Almost in a frantic panic the woman spent the remainder of the day searching through phone directories trying to contact or locate the factory. Her focus on finding the factory was so intense that she neglected to prepare any mid-day meal for her three young children. The prepared evening meal that always awaited the woman’s husband upon his return from a days work in Frankfurt was simply not prepared.

There was only one conversation at the dinner table that evening. The husbands inquiry about the cheese, crackers, and popcorn for dinner, was instantly dismissed. The children’s complaints of hunger were also dismissed. The conversation was very short and very direct.
“I will be driving you to work in the morning so that I will be able to use the car for the entire day tomorrow. We will need to drop you off early, as we will have a long way to travel. So everyone is to go straight to bed, and there will be no whining in the morning – we will be leaving very early and traveling all day.”

By the fire in the woman’s eyes, the children knew they were not to question their directions. The husband once again started to question the meal…and he also saw the fire…he simply got up from the table and went to bed.

The entire morning drive was very quiet. The children were not sure what the reason for the trip was, but they were very understanding of its importance to their mother. When they arrived at the factory the children were rather dismayed at what – by appearance – their mother had gone into such a state about. The eldest made an attempt to express this feeling and was met with a stern reminder that their mother had no interest in the children’s concerns for this one day.

The woman entered the factory and asked how she might, and for how much, purchase a new Husqvarna sewing machine. Well, it did take almost half an hour for someone who could speak or understand English to come from inside the factory to speak with the woman. Unfortunately the man informed the woman that the factory could not sell her a machine because they were a wholesale business. This poor individual then had to listen to the effort that was spent in traveling to the factory and for how long the woman had been dreaming of using a machine having such superiority.

The man from the factory listened to all of this very intently and finally, and very politely, told the woman again that sales of the machines was actually performed elsewhere and that no one in the entire factory really would know what needed to be done to sell one of the machines…As he then made eye contact with the woman, and he saw the fire in her eyes, he immediately looked away in search of something to detour her persistence. The first thing he saw were her three children and so he went over to speak with them, while the woman never left her position at the front counter.

He spoke very nicely with the children and he noticed that none of their clothing appeared to have any of the typical store bought labels and that each garment had none of the normal signs of having been cut from a normal pattern…he realized that their clothing, from head to toe, including their winter coats were home made. His demeanor changed abruptly and he stood up, almost like an ironing board, went over to the woman and told her that she must go now and that there was no way that she could purchase one of the machines at the factory. He did not wait for a response and quickly went back into the factory.

The woman did not move from her stand at the counter for the next several hours. Workers began to file out of the factory to go home. She was told by many of the workers that she must leave. But she stayed at the counter and insisted that she would not leave without a Husqvarna sewing machine. One employee finally approached the woman and threatened to call the manager of the factory to remove her from the factory. The woman finally smiled and said “I wish you would”. The employee left and returned with an older man who was dressed in a noticeably different suit than the other men. He came up to the woman and asked the woman if she would please leave as they needed to close the factory. The woman’s reply was simply that she would be glad to but that she wasn’t going to until she paid for and was given a new Husqvarna sewing machine, and he had to listen to the same song and dance that each person before him had to hear.

When the woman finally quit telling him all the reasons why she wasn’t leaving without the machine, the man stood there and looked into her eyes, without saying a word. He stepped closer and looked deeper into the woman’s eyes…he suddenly turned and marched back into the factory.

He was gone for quite some time, but when he returned he had a man following him. The man was carrying a fresh new box that said Husqvarna on it. Neither man stopped to talk with the woman, they went straight to her son and asked where his mother would like the box to be loaded. After the three returned from putting the box in the car, the manager went to the woman and asked her how much she intended to pay for the sewing machine. He did not even listen to how much she offered but simply asked her to leave the payment with the lady she had first spoken with. As he turned to go back into the factory, he looked back to the woman and said that he had not seen that fire in a woman’s eye since his mother had died. He asked the woman if she would have indeed stayed at the factory all night …the woman’s son answered from behind the counter,
“Mom packed blankets and lots of food and told us there would be no whining if we had to sleep at the factory… ”

I still have the Husqvarna sewing machine

Sorry about the long story, but I do like a woman with passion.
Jay G. Miller, P.E. Las Cruces, NM

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