"Everyone brings joy to a room – some when they enter, and some when they leave."
This is my last Manager’s Message. On January 2, 2023, I will officially retire, and bring to a close my tenure with South Texas Electric Cooperative. As I reflect on my 42 years in the cooperative program, I am struck by how quickly time seems to have flown by. The past 8 years and 4 months at STEC, in particular, seems to have passed with the blink of an eye. My strong encouragement to each of you is to savor each moment of each day. Cultivate and value your relationships. Commit to growth and learning each day.
On my wall, I keep a poster of "An Old Rancher’s Advice". I have tried to live out the tenets listed on the poster, and I offer them to you here:
1. Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
2. Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
3. Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
4. A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
5. Words that soak into your ears are whispered . . . not yelled.
6. Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
7. Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.
8. Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
9. It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
10. You cannot unsay a cruel word.
11. Every path has a few puddles.
12. When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
13. The best sermons are lived, not preached.
14. Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen anyway.
15. Don't judge folks by their relatives.
16. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
17. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.
18. Don't interfere with somethin' that aint' botherin' you none.
19. Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
20. If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
21. Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
22. The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'.
23. Always drink upstream from the herd.
24. Good judgement comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgement.
25. Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.
26. If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
27. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at STEC, working with some of the most talented and dedicated individuals I have ever met. I am thrilled that the Board selected Clif Lange to lead the cooperative into the future, and I know that STEC’s future is incredibly bright.
My prayer for each of you is for peace, joy, and good health. I will miss you.