Gary Michael Bjerke

Profile Updated: September 3, 2018
Residing In Novato, CA USA
Spouse/Partner Joyce
Military Service Air Force  
How many pairs of reading glasses do you own?

I've Lost Count

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Gary Michael Bjerke posted a message. New comment added.
Sep 11, 2018 at 9:33 AM

Posted on: Sep 09, 2018 at 1:14 PM

My Story

After I washed out of astronaut training . . . OK, that didn't happen, but I did fly a desk in the Air Force for four years after graduation. Moved to Northern California in '73 and lived lavishly on the GI Bill for a few years in college, then began working as a house painter, naturally. House painting led to a career in kitchen cabinet refinishing, which I couldn't have foreseen doing in a million years, but it's been very gratifying, and the exercise has helped delay the inevitable expansion in "the south 40."

I had always wanted to marry and have kids, but during those college years and for many afterwards, I was never capable of sustaining a relationship for more than a year, max. Somehow wandering through singles bars never helped. I managed to make it to 30 unmarried and felt lonely and hopeless. Work was decent but so what? Surely there was more to life than the daily grind. Another 10 years of that pointlessness and I figured I might just pull the plug.

Then inspiration hit. I'd go back to church (Norwegians are born Lutherans, you know) where I might find the kind of woman I wanted to spend my life with—and maybe get a little insight into what the heck life is about. I got both and then some.

The pastor explained that there was a barrier between me and God—sin. Well that rang a spiritual bell! I knew full well that I fell short of God’s standards, and that I couldn’t live up to them even if I wanted to. In prayer, I admitted my failures and my need and became a Christian on the spot. Soon I felt a purpose and a peace that immediately started to turn my life around.

Three years later I met Joyce—at church! Since I had one foot in the grave by then, we married and had kids pretty quickly, two boys, individually. We enjoyed a solid middle-class life, with the usual edge-of-the-cliff moments as well as innumerable blessings. Our boys became men, left our nest and started their own. Before we could say shazam! we were grandparents three times over.

Back around the time we became empty-nesters, a friend in church convinced me to pick up my horn again, which I’d hardly touched since marching at Millikan 35 years earlier. I fell in love again and have been tooting my trumpet in several local concert bands ever since.

This very month I’m going to retire and begin life anew as a kept man (hey, she’s 10 years younger!). I’ll continue to hone my house-hubby skills to try and make life around here a little easier for her, though. The grandbabies and music will remain priorities, as well as personal maintenance to keep the other foot out of . . . oh you get it. And I’ll see what God has in store for Act II.

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Sep 03, 2018 at 11:18 AM
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Sep 13, 2018 at 12:15 PM

Posted on: Sep 03, 2018 at 11:17 AM

Gary Michael Bjerke added a photo to his profile gallery.
Sep 03, 2018 at 11:15 AM
Aug 31, 2018 at 4:45 PM
Gary Michael Bjerke changed his "Now" picture.
Aug 27, 2018 at 7:24 PM
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Posted: Sep 03, 2018 at 11:15 AM
Posted: Sep 03, 2018 at 11:15 AM
Posted: Sep 03, 2018 at 11:17 AM
Posted: Sep 03, 2018 at 11:18 AM