Each week in kindergarten, Miss E has a letter of the week. It’s a random order they follow. You never know what the letter is going to be for the following week until you get the Friday newsletter from Mrs. T. Much to Miss E’s delight, last week was “P” week.
P is for Pinke, our last name that has been passed down through generations. My husband’s great-grandfather, Henry, a carpenter, came over on a boat from Germany to the P, prairie, starting our family’s roots here. Today, for our family, P for Pinke Lumber. P is for Pinke Homes. Both our family businesses that my husband and his parents own and operate on a daily basis. I help out in marketing and promotion areas. Hunter, our teenager, works daily in the summer months at our business. Our girls consider themselves chief carpet sellers, only because there is a pink carpet sample they are sure every customer would like to buy.
The kindergarten students bring an item that starts with the letter of the week each Monday. Since Miss E could not bring Pinke Lumber to her class, she brought her class to Pinke Lumber and Pinke Homes for a field trip. Mrs. T and a couple other teachers made it happen. Nathan, my husband was “P” prepared with a list of “P” items in the lumberyard from paint to planning to projects to plywood.
Miss E carried her daddy’s clipboard with the list of “P” items. One thing about Miss E is that she looks at me and acts just like her daddy. They are organized and detailed. She made sure every item was crossed off the list!
The kids learned about people, planning and projects! One student’s mom works at Pinke Lumber and another student’s dad is a carpenter building a Pinke Homes house and many other projects. The class was excited by all the connections they had on the field trip.
But no one was more “P” proud than Miss E. She beamed, showing her classmates all the “P’s” at Pinke Lumber.
The main building of the lumberyard is over 100 years old and we are just the third family to own it. I thought about if any other classes from generations before in our small town had been through the lumberyard alley on a field trip. Whether or not they have, it made me thankful for our history, our family business and to see a next generation in our rural area seeing all that a small town business has to offer.
Miss A isn’t in school yet but she was right in the mix of kids on the field trip and also very proud to show kids the “P’s” of Pinke Lumber and Pinke Homes.
As we walked outside, one boy said “P! Puh, Puh Puddle!” It had just rained but thankfully no one ran towards the puddles.
I know that six years ago when Nathan, Hunter and I moved back to Nathan’s hometown, Nathan never dreamed of where we would be today. He never thought of the baby I was pregnant with at the time would grow up to become kindergartener, attending the same school he grew up in as a child. He certainly never thought of the baby now kindergartener would want to show her class that “P” is for Pinke Lumber and Pinke Homes because of her pride in our family and business. He never thought of the blessings wrapped up into jumping off the corporate wheel to come into a family business alongside his parents.
But last week, it was evident as Nathan, his dad and I walked the kids through the business, we are blessed and proud of the journey that has led us to where we are today. We are proud of our business, family life and to have our kids growing up in a small town, in a small school that has teachers educating our kids in a hands-on way that they will learn, thrive and prosper for a next generation continue on tradition in rural America.