Senator Jeff Kruse - Thanksgiving 2013


Senator Jeff Kruse
R-Roseburg, District 1

Phone: 503-986-1701    900 Court St. NE, S-211 Salem Oregon 97301
Email:     Website:

 Working Hard For You







While there are clearly a lot of things going on in the world of government and politics, one should still try from time to time to step back and get perspective on all things.  In our farm market we have a bakery and for Thanksgiving we usually make over 500 pies.  To accomplish this added work load we set up a couple of old pizza ovens for increased baking capacity.  For more years than I care to count I have been the one operating these added ovens.  I usually start around 6 on Tuesday night and work straight through until sometime Wednesday afternoon.  It is the type of job that tends to be very busy at times with other periods of time waiting for pies to bake or cool down.  What I wish to share with you now are some of the reflections I had during the waiting time.  This is personal, not political, and I hope you find some value in it.


I want to start out by rejecting the commonly heard statement that “life is unfair”.  Life is life and I believe it is our responsibility to make the most of it we can.  It is a fact both good and bad things will happen to all of us and, in my case, I would suggest the quality of my life is determined by how I choose to deal with everything that happens.


This year my little family business (Kruse Farms) is celebrating its 90th year.  It was started in 1923 when my grandfather bought his first 15 acres of land.  I am the third of what is now four generations of the family involved in our operation.  There have been a lot of good years as well as a lot of very tough years over this time span.  What has allowed us to still be here, I think, is the fact we have never given up and have always been willing to put in whatever work was required.


I have had the advantage of having a grandfather and father who instilled in me several things.  Among those are a strong work ethic, a sense of responsibility and the need to give back to the community.  I want to focus for a minute on my mother and father, who have had a greater impact on my life than anyone else.  They have had a hard life filled with uncountable wonderful things and moments.  They had the vision and drive that made our business what it is today.  Additionally their community involvement scanned several decades and numerous organizations.  My dad, for example, was on the Roseburg school board for 20 years and the state school board for 10 years.  My brother and sister and I have tried in our lives to live up to the example they have set.


Both of my parents are now in their mid-eighties and over the last year have gone through some physical and medical challenges that have them currently living in an assisted living facility.  So we have been dealing with more adjustments both as a family and as a business.  I have two people who I love and respect more than I can measure whose minds are still sharp but whose bodies are letting them down.  This is not fair or unfair, this is just another one of life’s changes and I know in time they will adjust to the new paradigm. 


For me Thanksgiving is about more than turkey, football and shopping (although those are not bad things); it is more about reflection.  I am grateful that my father is now pain free for the first time in years.  I am grateful that my nephew Evan is now part of the family business.  I am grateful that my children are both doing well (although I rarely get to see them).  I am grateful that I am now cancer free, which I wasn’t a year ago at this time. 


There have been a lot of things in my life that have not gone the way I wanted them to, and in reflection I would have to own a great deal of the responsibility for the results.  I would suggest a person probably can learn more from their failures than they can from their successes.  It is what I will continue to strive to do. 


I hope you find some value in this personal reflection and may God give you the strength and wisdom to make of your life what you want it to be.




Senator Jeff Kruse








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