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The Decade

A century is about events. A decade is about people.

George Friedman

When you say the words, “ten years,” it doesn’t seem like that big a deal. It’s just a measure of time; one decade. What does that even mean in the scope of things? I saw a meme the other day stating I still think 1990 was 10 years ago. Sadly I did a quick mental check and my first thought was “no – it was 20 years ago!” I was only off by an additional ten years 🤦‍♂️. Hard to believe that’s 30 years ago.

The 2010’s were a pivotal point in my life. When I was thinking about this blog, I wanted to see what I was posting to Facebook in 2010 because of course, this is now our own personal history book. Much to my suprise, the first pictures I posted were the birth of Laney Kate, and her birthday is in the middle of June. There was a time when it took exactly half a year (she’s born on summer solstice) before you posted a picture on Facebook. The quote above by George Friedman really struck me. It was a decade ago our family was made whole with the her birth. Our lives have never been the same ever since. No more babies being born. Our family was complete.

Laney named our sandcastle Fort Buechel.

Besides it being a turning point in my family life, I was reminded by Mindy Richard about the events for work 10 years ago. Again, through the magic of Facebook, she got a reminder that 10 years ago on January 7th she was moving back to the Chilton office. Coming into the new decade Buechel Stone was coming out of very challenging times with the great recession. For months, Mindy and I were holding down the fort in Fond du Lac and were the only two people working in the showroom. We bonded a lot – Domino’s Philly Cheese Steak Pizza was a staple Friday lunch for the two of us. During the day we would take care of the showroom, and after hours I put finished pallets of stone away and staged customer orders. I’d usually get done around 8 or 9 o’clock at night, but it was needed at the time. It was hard on our family, but in the end we were stronger for going through it.

Fast-forward 10 years. We haven’t cut stone in Fond du Lac for the majority of the past decade because we consolidated production in Chilton. The Fond du Lac office needed major updates and repairs, so we decided to raze the building and work towards permits to quarry the land.

The Buechel Stone family saw the passing of our first generation owners Ma and Pa. I was proud and looked up to them and their relationship, and for their trust in each other to start a new business when no one believed in them. They had a great life, and were very much in love with each other. Their occasional bickering or ribbing was very enduring. As a kid you knew 9 times out of 10 if you came to the front door they would be sitting at the kitchen table, each in their assigned seat; Grandpa playing a little video slot game and Grandma reading the paper or crocheting.

Pa and Ma at a Buechel Stone party.

Buechel Stone saw the retirement of Tim Buechel. It was a big change for me and the rest of the business as well. Tim and Scott had been the moving factor for Buechel Stone, and helped us reach a level of growth that I am sure Grandma and Grandpa never imagined. It also made a very different role for me. As a family member working in a family business, I always understood there was a microscope on my work. I was ok with this. Now as an owner, I have a much bigger commitment. It is to grow the business not only to pay Tim for his stock, but also keep in sight Scott too will retire sometime in the future. It is my duty in this next decade to protect and expand to new levels while making sure to develop rockstars in the company and help them believe in the vision and opportunity I see.

To think that 2030 is just 10 years away, or as another meme stated, We are as close to 2050 as we are to 1990. I will just be turning 54. Nikki and I will not have any kids in school, maybe college. We will likely have one or more kids married and possibly have grandkids… It really puts perspective on how much happens in 10 years. While going through the motions and the days, week, and months fly by, I often don’t think about how important each day is. Some are more significant than others. A small event one day can lead to a life changing event in the future. You just never know. I think that’s why each day is truly considered a gift from God. It’s not just because you get to be alive and live your life, it’s because just like a gift, you don’t know what it is until it is opened, or the moment is upon you.

Christmas day on Anna Marie Island, Florida, 2019.

Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.” There are a lot of other things obviously that happened in the last 10 years. It could take a book to cover everything. There were times things were great, and times they were not. What I do know is I am going to try and make the next 10 years even more special. My vision is 2020, with both eyes on the future. I know… a little cliché, but true!

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