Friday, December 19, 2014

On a Personal Note- Change is in the Forecast for the Parrish Family

WBOY will say goodbye to Chief Meteorologist, Jason Parrish, of the past 10 years, tonight at 11:00 pm

I usually write about my most recent DIY project, share a Trashtastic Project, or share my weekly style posts.  But today, I want to get personal.  Because today is a big day for my husband (LC) and I. Do you even know (I tell you on my about me page) why I refer to my husband, Jason Parrish affectionately on the blog as LC?  Can you guess (#withoutcheating) what LC stands for?  I mean, after all, his name is actually Jason Parrish, so those are not his initials.  LC stands for Local Celebrity. My husband is the Chief meteorologist at WBOY in Clarksburg, WV.

In our neck of the woods, he is very popular with the public.  He is on the 5:00, 6:00, and 11:00 news every week night. People have come to rely on his weather forecasts for the past 10 years.  And everywhere we go, people want to talk to him, and they tell him how much they love him.  They want his autograph, or a selfie with him.  Some people have been so happy to meet him that they have cried!  Sometimes it can be annoying, I'm just going to be honest.  But most times it makes me happy to see how many people love my husband.  Because I know what they don't know.  I know what a good, kindhearted, generous person he is.  Not only does he help keep us informed about the weather, he helps keep us safe by keeping us informed.

If you are not a local reader, you are probably wondering what I am rambling about.  But if you are local, you have probably already heard the news.  Today is the end of an era for Jason.  Today is his last day on the air at WBOY.  His last day serving the people of North Central West Virginia as the chief meteorologist.  My good friend Jeff Toquinto wrote about his leaving on his blog ToquiNotes (and it just so happened to be one of his most popular blog posts ever!).  It is actually live on Connect Bridgeport right now.  His leaving also made TVSpy.

So, I thought you might be interested in reading about this big change in our lives!  My husband loves the weather.  And ever since I have met him, he is constantly watching the radar.  He is a perfectionist, and he wants his forecasts to be the most accurate they can be.  In case you did not know this, weather is not an exact science.  I have never met anyone that I can say is more dedicated to his profession or has a better work ethic than he does.  But being a chief meteorologist comes at a price.  The profession has it's downfalls.  The biggest being the hours he works.  He goes into work at around 3:00 every day, and he gets home at about 12:30 am.  So when we are all coming home from work and school, he is on his way to work.  And when he gets home from work, we are all in bed.  So, when the kids have sports or activities in the evenings, he is at work.  And whenever there is severe weather, he goes in to work.  When there is a snow storm, he has spent up to 19 hours straight in the weather lab.

I stopped in and paid him a visit today before his last shows.

Jason's day goes a little bit like this.  He wakes up each day at 6:30 and he is the one who makes breakfast for the kids and takes them to school by 7:30.  He then comes home, and if he is lucky he goes back to sleep until 9:00-10:00.  Then he gets up and eats and goes to cross fit.  He also runs any errands he needs to do and takes care of normal every day life.  In the winter, during the school day he does Snowbird talks at public schools throughout the viewing area.  Snowbird is kind of the "weather mascot".  It is a person dressed  in a Penguin costume, and they go around to public schools and do a reading program that encourages the students to read books.  He does between 1-3 of these per week for several weeks.  At 2:30, he picks the kids up from school.  He either brings Mr. 6 Year old to me at my school or takes him to work.  He has to be at work at WBOY at 3:00.  He then starts working on his broadcasts for the evening news.  He does 3 shows per evening.  He builds all of the graphics and the entire show.  And just in case you were wondering, a meteorologist is not reading from a teleprompter.  They are talking to you off the top of their heads, every day.  I cannot imagine doing that!  After the 6:00 news, he usually tries to come home for dinner, or if one of the kids has a game or activity, he tries to catch a few minutes of it.  Then he goes back to work to do the 11:00 news.  He comes home at around 12:30 am.  He needs some time to wind down, so he does not go to bed right away.  He usually makes it to bed by 1:30-2:00 am.  Only to wake up the next day again at 6:30.

When Mr. 6 year old was born, it was fine for the first several years of his life, and it worked out for us.  We didn't really need a babysitter because he was home with him during the day, and I was home with him during the evening.  But when he started school, the amount of time he got to see him started to dwindle away.  Not to mention the other two kids, who he rarely saw.  After several years of this routine, I am sure you can imagine how difficult it was.  He is exhausted all of the time.  There is no way it can be good for his health.

Several months ago, Jason was approached by a friend at Cross Fit who worked in pharmaceuticals. She asked if he was interested in applying for a position as a pharmaceutical representative.  She thought he had a good chance of being hired.  On a whim, he decided to apply.  He had applied for a couple of similar positions in the past and did not get hired.  But he decided that he would apply and see what happened.  He was not looking for a new job.  Therefore there was no pressure to get the job.  He didn't really care.  He had a job, so he was very nonchalant about it.

Low and behold, he was contacted for an interview, and it was online.  He had to do a skype interview that would be watched by who knew who, and if he did well, he would be contacted for an in person interview.  He really didn't put much thought into it, because he did not think he would be offered the job.  But to his surprise he was called for an interview.  So he had a second interview with the person that would be his supervisor.  He went into it with pretty much no thoughts about it.  After all, he knew he would never be offered the job, and hadn't been looking for a job.  Much to his surprise, he was contacted again right away for a third interview, this time with his would be supervisor, and someone higher up.  And it was out of town, like 4 hours away.  He decided to go. After all, he felt that he had nothing to lose.  So off he went.  After the interview, he called me and said that it had went amazingly well.  He thought they really liked him!  They told him he would hear back from them about the position in one week.  The next morning, they called and offered him the job!

When they offered him the job, he was astounded!  It was a good job.  It was, shall we say, an offer that he could not refuse.  It was a chance to be around in the evenings.  A chance to be a part of our family in a way that he had never been.  It was also incerdibly scary.  To completely change careers at his age?  It also offered benefits that he would never get at his current place of employment.  and after much prayer, and talking, he decided he wanted to take the job.

The time it took to make this decision, and to work things out at WBOY so that he could be let out of his contract early was painstakingly stressful.  He was a valued employee whom they did not want to lose.  And that I can understand, because he is the type of employee whom no one would ever want to let go.  There were negotiations, hard feelings, tears, and much worry on the parts of everyone involved.  And through it all, I prayed.  And I prayed.  And then I prayed some more.

Albert Zipp, the news anchor he spent most of his years at WBOY on air with, suprised him with a visit and stayed for the 6:00 news!

From the very beginning, I felt in my heart that God opened the door for him.  I had a peace in my heart that comes from knowing God had a hand in this whole thing, from beginning to end.  Even before he interviewed, I knew this job was his.  I never had a doubt that God was the one offering him this job.  Does that sound weird?  Maybe, but I am telling you, that is the truth.  And no matter what obstacles arose - and trust me there were many -, I always believed with my whole heart that if God meant this job to belong to Jason, he would clear the way.  And he did!

On January 11, 2015, Jason will start his new job, and a new chapter in his life.  He will no longer be in the public eye.  He will be missed by many, and for years I am sure people will still approach him. I know people are sad to see him go.  Of all of the thousands of comments he has received on social media, all have been positive but one.  One person wrote "good riddens".  Do you know what I have to say to that?  I say if you are going to make a negative comment, make sure you know how to spell riddance!  Ha!  Everyone else has prayed for him, wished him well, and told him he will be missed. Thank you to everyone who has watched him for all of these years.  And please know that he read every comment, and so did I.  Jason is a very sentimental guy.  He takes things to heart.  and your well wishes mean the world to him.

 As for me, and our children, we will be welcoming him home in a way that we have never known.  In all the years of our marriage, I have never had him around in the evenings.  We have mainly spent our time together on the weekends.  I am sure it is going to be an adjustment.  And maybe even a pain.  It will take some getting used to for us all.  We might butt heads and get on each others nerves. But I will be thanking God for every minute.  No matter if it's good, bad, or ugly.  I will remind myself how hard it has been going it alone with the kids every evening for all of these years.  And I will try my best to never take the time together that we will now have as a family for granted.  Are you reading this, Jason?

So, if you are the praying type, I hope you will say a prayer for our family.  And for Jason, that he will have success in this new venture.  And that we will not kill each other!  I imagine it to be kind of like when two people retire.  You never know what its going to be like spending so much more time with someone than you ever have before.  But I am looking forward to not having to go to every evening activity alone.  To having help with driving the children from one place to another.  To being able to have time to make more family dinners.  I could go on, but you get the picture.

So that is what has been going on in our personal lives!  Change is definitely in the forecast for our family.  But I predict there will be a lot more sunshine than rain.

Have a great weekend!