Don’t forget to take time for your family

Published 9:10 am Saturday, September 22, 2012

Column: Pat Mulso, Preserving the Past

Pat Mulso

We had a perfect fall afternoon for our Autumn in the Village event at the museum last Sunday. The power of prayer was evident with the drastic change in weather from Sunday to Monday. I would like to express a sincere thank you to our 79 volunteers that collectively worked over 300 hours to make the afternoon a huge success as well as Trails Travel Center for donating the Apple pies, Hy-Vee Foods for donating the food and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Freeborn County Chapter No. 31190 for $600 supplemental funding. We had many young families out for the afternoon and hope everyone enjoyed the walk back in time.

Our family has a new member, our granddaughter; Kepler Ann was born Saturday, Sept. 8, in Missoula, Mont. Her mother had complications, so she was delivered by cesarean section. Mother and daughter are home and doing well and Dad is back to work. We are glad we have cell phones and computers to stay in touch and receive photos of our precious new addition. A trip West will surely take place this fall to see how this little angel is growing and blessing the lives of our family.

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In this fast pace, ever changing world that we live in, I hope each of you realize how important it is to take time for your family. Sometimes we are pulled in so many directions and the right choice is not always the easy choice. I have an example of such a time; it happened to me back in the 1990s. I had a job in sales management, in charge of one district in a division of 18 districts. When I took charge of this particular district it was at the bottom of the division in sales, and I worked diligently to bring it from the bottom to the top of the division in sales increase. During this time there was a contest that could be won by the division for a cruise, and to win, every district in the division had to qualify. I did my part to support the team and our division won the cruise. The cruise, however, was to be at the same time as my mother was receiving her high school diploma at the age of 75 and she was speaking at the graduation. My mother had regretted having to drop out of high school during the Depression to go to work her entire life and had wanted to go back to school many times during her life and never gave up that dream.

I asked my boss if it was mandatory that I attend the cruise, she said no, it was a reward for the hard work of the whole division and she expected me to attend. I notified her that I would not be able to attend as I was taking vacation to attend my mother’s graduation. At my annual review, I was told I was not being a team player. I made a noted comment that I had done my part to support the team but felt my choice to attend my mother’s graduation was not out of line. A couple years later my position was eliminated when my district was merged with another. I felt as though I had been discriminated against because of my decision. I talked with an attorney and was told it would cost me dearly to fight the large company and advised to take the severance package. My mother quickly assured me that it was their loss and that God had other plans for my future. I never regretted my decision to attend my mother’s graduation, and if I had not lost that job, I may never have applied for my current position at the museum. My seventh anniversary at the museum as executive director was on Sept. 15. I love my job, and it is an exciting time as we see the addition taking shape. I look forward to the completion of the building project and to continuing the preservation of Freeborn County history for future generations. We have raised over $1 million but need to raise additional funds to complete the inside of the addition. Please consider making a donation. When you renew your membership add an extra amount and designate it for the museum building fund. Any donation over $250 will receive a charitable donation receipt for tax purposes. Help us to complete the museum addition in a timely manner. We appreciate your continued support as we work to continue preserving the history of Freeborn County and its people.

The museum will be hosting a four-hour defensive driving class on Monday, Oct. 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The cost is $19 and you must pre-register. Call the museum at 373-8003 to register or with any questions regarding the class.

The village at the museum will be closing for the season on Friday, Sept. 28. Please plan a visit yet this month if you are able to take a walk back in time through our 18 village buildings and shops. The museum will also be changing to our winter hours starting on Tuesday, Oct. 2. The museum will be open from 10 am to 4 p.m. from Oct. 2 through March 31.


Pat Mulso is the executive director of the Freeborn County Historical Museum in Albert Lea.