There is a certain ringer we gave our tow line phone, and every one of our kids knows it. Our foster buddy wasn’t with us for two weeks before we heard the ring somewhere in the distance while grocery shopping and he announced to me, “Tow Call!”
When I was a little girl growing up in the Roman Catholic Church, I loved Palm Sunday. Maybe it was because the sun was melting the dingy grey snow piles in Western New York, and we knew the next week we could wear our new Easter dresses, and possibly our new white patent leather shoes if we could get mom to believe our promises that we wouldn’t stomp in the snow piles with them. Or maybe it was because it was all part of the season changing, showing decorations of bunnies and chicks and Easter eggs and, of course chocolate, candy and jelly beans.
What Fridays Look Like For Me Now
This was such a pinnacle year in our life as a family, as well as a TNT team. This was the year all of our kids would (finally!!!) be in school all five days of the week. For fourteen years, I had juggled the whole working-mom-stays-home-and-works-crazy-hours thing, paying babysitters, tag-teaming with Tim as to who would work what shift… and finally, finally, the day that I had dreamed of had arrived: 8:15am on the first day of school, out they all went tumbling out of the van, toting backpacks and blowing kisses… and I was FREE! Free to run errands, free to research our next business plan and project, free to work on our books and accounts during the day so I could be home in the afternoons and evenings. It was looking so.good.
But then I got a call that changed our lives forever.
The Christmas Party That (Almost) Wasn’t
I sit here this evening, ever so grateful for every blessing I can think of in this moment. Like, the kind of moment where even the clean sheets and warm air blowing through the air vents make my heart fill to overflowing. Half of my kids are tucked in to bed, clean and warm and peaceful, while the older ones are waiting downstairs to hang out with their Dad, piano tinkling and faded laughter from siblings drifting up the stairs.
Christmas is my favorite time of year, with traditions from such a happy childhood combined with the empowering of an adult and parent that gets to make the magic come alive for others. This year, with the addition of our first grandbaby as well as our first official foster kid, the whirlwind of excitement in Christmas prep has had me overjoyed so much more than overstressed… I thought.
I am sitting in my room this morning, trying the “work from home” thing in hopes of proving that I can be productive when I do not go in to the office and get carried away with shenanigans in the shop that do not belong to me. (Read: our team handles customers much better when I do not stick my nose in and botch up the process.)
But my mind is whirling from cleaning my inbox after several days off and deleting too many Pinterest emails after I opened them (the possibilities are endless on Pinterest!), and my heart is racing from the pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting that my mom made as she visited this week. They make a great breakfast with coffee when you are trying to be creative. You just have to balance the sugar-to-protein ratio to keep from overdoing it… which I have not.
Exciting things keep happening at TNT, and it’s all occurring so quickly we can barely keep up! We try to celebrate every accomplishment and milestone, though at times I confess it seems we go from party to party to milestone to accomplishment to celebration. In the middle of the whirlwind, if I would ever start to get overwhelmed by it all, I stop to breathe and choose to call it blessed.
This month we were able to celebrate a very special accomplishment for our TNT family: Lloyd Hodges renewed his inspector license and was found to be one of the oldest licensed inspectors in the state of Virginia!
So, we’re adopting! I know that this blog is for and about TNT, but I’ve learned a few things over the past 15 years in business and marriage: so much of you is your business. Rephrased with guts, I would say “so much of ME is MY business.” We can’t help it. It’s our dream, our passion and our hope, fueled with our blood, sweat, tears and time. So it naturally comes through that who we are is so much of what TNT is. And any one that has ever had any type of relationship knows that your relationships affect your life. And your work.
The Franklin County Fair was a great experience for TNT this year. We had been able to use our beloved Cool Bus and sponsor the fair last year, but the weather did not cooperate very well and Friday and Saturday, the two largest days of the fair, ended up having to be cancelled. We had a blast even in the two days we were able to participate in 2015, so we were bound and determined to give it our all this year.
TNT is so happy to announce that our winner of the $2,000 prize in the “Hit A Deer, Win Gas For A Year!” Campaign is Cindy Thurman of Glade Hill, Virginia!
Cindy and her family have been loyal customers of TNT for years, and we couldn’t have been more pleased that it was her name that we literally pulled out of a paper bag for the drawing from our customer database!
TNT Auto Body Repair has found a way for the dream of the Service Center in their name to come true right in front of them! The opportunity to work with Lloyd Hodges Garage and expand their Service Center has been such a wonderful chance to both continue a community legend, as well as offer even greater services to TNT fans. TNT is able to offer oil changes, brakes, alignments, tires and so much more! Customers from Rocky Mount through Smith Mountain Lake can now enjoy regular vehicle maintenance in addition to the auto body repair that comes with stellar customer service and a lifetime warranty. Adding a full time mechanic has opened the door to grow TNT as well as preserve Lloyd Hodges Garage as a legacy and community landmark for Mr. Hodges.
“Hit A Deer, Win Gas For A Year” was the theme for TNT’s advertising and promotion this past year, where every customer who came in for a vehicle repair from November 1, 2014 through November 2, 2015, was entered in to a drawing to win a $2,000 gas gift card. You may have seen their mascot, “O” (as in “O Deer!”) around town at community events, or even appearing on Cable 12. It was TNT’s way of trying to put a silver lining around their customers’ otherwise dreary situations.
How does one preserve a community land mark and protect a legacy while providing modern day service work to customers needing current technology in their modern day vehicles? That is the question Tim and Tara Wall of TNT Auto Body Repair and Service Centers in Glade Hill, VA, have been trying to answer with J. Lloyd Hodges of Lloyd Hodges Garage in Glade Hill, VA.
“We are so glad TNT is keeping Mr. Hodges’ place open. It’s close to home, and we’ve always had our inspections and service work done there,” remembers Norma Turner of Glade Hill. “When I was growing up, my Dad wouldn’t go anywhere else but to Lloyd’s, and now it’s become a sort of family tradition. It’s so good to see it stay open.”
This Saturday, April 18th, TNT Auto Body’s Cool Bus will be shuttling a group of partygoers to socialize under the stars for United Way’s first-of-a-kind fundraiser, Shine & Dine. This nod to Franklin County’s heritage celebrates the night at The Early Inn in Rocky Mount with thimbles full of locally distilled moonshine and local foods tasting with the beautiful backdrop benefitting the United Way. Guests can get gussied up for a fun photo booth for selfies and laughs. A fire pit with folklore stories make this an amazing date night for an amazing cause. All ticket sales go directly to benefit the United Way, which is just now reaching 40% of their $382,000 goal. TNT hopes to promote a safe an enjoyable event while supporting such a worthy cause. Executive Director Nancy Bell has worked tirelessly to create a night to remember for our town that also helps United Way help others. Tickets for the event and the shuttle are still available online by clicking here.
TNT just had the privilege of congratulating the children of Glade Hill Elementary School in some of their recent activities and accomplishments. The children received a visit from “O” Deer, the TNT mascot who has surfaced this year to implement TNT’s promotion, “Hit A Deer, Win Gas for A Year!” in which every customer throughout the year is entered in to a drawing to win a $2,000 gas gift card.
No one needs to tell you that being in an accident is stressful. Even in the best of circumstances, having a vehicle in need of repair seems to make everything around you move in slow motion. Finding time to schedule an estimate with a local auto body repair facility can seem like a daunting task in and of itself, let alone dealing with your insurance company.
But what if there was an option that actually saved you time and money? All while fixing your vehicle safely and efficiently?