Background Story to How Wood With A Past was Founded
Meet The Millers
For this week’s post I thought it might be good to introduce you to my family and share with you a little bit about us. Both my wife, Lori, and I have Amish roots. I grew up in an Old Order Amish family. My parents had nine children, five boys and four girls. I am the second youngest and son of a deacon. My mother passed away several years ago and my father is still living on the family farm. My brother and his family own the farm today but have quit farming and instead are running a sawmill business on the farm instead.
Lori comes from a family of four children, she has two sisters and one brother and she also is the second youngest child in the family. Her father was raised in the New Order Amish church and her mom was raised in the Dan Gma sect of Amish.The Dan Gma members consider themselves Old Order Amish, but they are more strict than the regular Old Order Amish and so they refer to themselves as Dan Gma. A guy by the name of Dan started this sect of Amish and it stuck. (Dan Gma = Dan Church)
Lori’s parents have an interesting story, they were married in the Dan Gma and as soon as they were married they began the process of leaving the Amish. Lori never grew up in the Amish church like I did but she was taught to speak Pennsylvania Dutch and grew up with the same values and traditions I grew up with.
If Lori were to tell you about how we met she might tell you she noticed me first. Something about my green eyes stood out to her and she wanted to get to know me better. Lori was a server at the Winesburg Dariette and my friends and I would stop by there regularly after softball games to grab a bite to eat. I starting noticing Lori too and soon we began dating.
Softball was a big part of my life back in my younger years. Lori would come with me to games and tournaments and cheered me on. When I wasn’t playing softball we would go to the movies, eat at places like The Outback Steakhouse and spend time with our friends.
We dated from the summer of 1993 to December, 1995 and then I got down on one knee and asked Lori to marry me. Our wedding date was on April 13, 1996 the following year and Lori, her mom and sisters got busy planning our wedding and soon we were walking down the aisle, said our “I do’s” and started our lives together.
We have two children. Quinn just graduated from high school. He is 18 years old, a straight A student, played baseball and Football and plans on attending college in a year from now. He decided to take a year off between high school and college and work alongside me. He is interested in learning about business and sales/marketing and will be helping me with my Wood With a Past business in those areas.
Ava is 13, ready for eighth grade and her main interest is her friends. She is a free spirit, aware of her feelings and growing in confidence. She is also sports minded and is getting into track this year.
Our mornings have settled into a comfortable routine. Lori and I wake up, brew coffee and sit and enjoy a cup with each other before getting our day started. We are in the process of building a house across the street from where we live and we enjoy watching our house being built before our eyes.
Our family isn’t that big on watching television but we do enjoy watching Survivor, America’s Got Talent, Fixer Upper and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Lori enjoys watching David Muir’s half hour news show in the evening and because I’m not a news junky I spend a little time in my office most evenings while she is catching up with her news.
We have traveled quite a bit, most road trips, but other trips too. Our honeymoon was spent driving trip through Tennessee ending up at Myrtle Beach for a week. We took two weeks to travel leisurely and enjoy every day we were gone!
Lori looks at vacation time as a time to run away for a little while and just get away from it all but she is always ready to come back home. We both love to get off the grid for a little bit and have spent many vacations with Lori’s family on some lake in New York or Canada. Catching fish is always the highlight of those family vacations.
Other travels have taken us to Colorado on skiing trips, to Seattle Washington to visit Lori’s sister and to Colorado to live for a year and a half. (I will probably tell you more about Colorado in another blog post or two later on.) I’ve been on missions trips to far places like Uganda, Africa, helping to do the mason work for a schoolhouse for the Watoto Children's Ministry. Lori has been to Hawaii, she used to be a travel agent and had attended a conference there. She wants to return one day and explore the islands further.
When we are on road trips we love to support local mom and pop shops. We find them when we are watching Diner, Drive-ins and Dives. It is always interesting to find them along the way and experience those.
Lori’s sister attended college in Washington and currently lives in Seattle and us traveling there to visit opened our eyes to recycling. We were introduced to more of a green lifestyle and it has been pivotal in our journey of recycling and looking for ways to repurpose items.
We both live with a sense of adventure and have not only traveled around quite a bit but we have both started businesses. In a prior post I mentioned how I had owned a construction company and my brothers all worked for me. Lori had also started a business called The Kamali. It was a gently used clothing store and she worked it for two years before deciding she wanted to close it down and do something else. One thing we have kind of given each other grace on is to try something and if doesn’t end up being something we are passionate about we can move on from it.
As I look back over all the things we have done as a family and all the places we have been to and nuggets we have gleaned from other parts of the country I can’t help but see how everything has prepared us for this business of reclaiming wood and making it into beautiful new pieces for others to enjoy. I like to think of Wood With a Past as being “a product of the green movement and meets our Amish heritage and my desire to make an impact in the world.”