I've been in a fog. Forgot about these news stories. Have I ever even seen them before? So proud of my kids on tv. What poise and grace they had. I was willing to do one news story in print, not on camera. Mostly i did it to give Nan Kinzler and Fern Hernandez a shout out. If you Ever need anything done on your house, i know the people! I'm attaching it below. Go to www.roddial.com for all of them
(the cute picture of me didn't copy over of me ; - ))
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A solid foundation
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | Amy Fowler | 3
Rod and Jennifer Dial dreamed of building a home where they could raise their kids. They dreamed of playing with their grandchildren and growing old together as they poured the concrete foundation for that home.
In September, Rod took his daughter on a kayaking trip that would end in tragedy. Though her 17-year-old daughter was safe, Jennifer had to redefine her dream. Facing a future without her husband of 25 years, she had to decide whether she still wanted the home they began together.
A month after the accident, she made her decision.
“I realized that we needed to build this house,” she said. “Rod was very pragmatic, very practical. I felt like he was saying ‘OK honey, you’ve had a month. Let’s go.’
The budget for the house was already tight, family friend Denny Lowe said. He said Rod ordered used materials off Craigslist, did much of the labor himself, and did whatever else he could to keep costs down without sacrificing quality. As a general contractor, he knew all the shortcuts.
However, after the accident, Rod’s contracting business dissolved and Jennifer had to figure out how to finish the house with only her income as a part-time Realtor while facing the prospect of putting four children through college (the oldest two already graduated), two of whom planned to perform full-time missionary work.
“I need to be thinking simpler and that’s OK,” she said. “Boy, something like this happens and it makes you realize things are not really important.”
But, she wasn’t alone. She said Rod’s friends and sometimes people she didn’t even know began to approach her with offers to discount their labor and supplies.
Then a friend of the family, who Rod and Jennifer knew more on a personal level than a professional one, stepped forward.
Nan Kinzler, a local architect and builder, offered to take over the general contracting at no cost while Fern Hernandez worked to secure the specialty trade labor.
“It just was the right thing to do,” Kinzler said. “I didn’t have a second thought.”
She said looking around at the hundreds of people who came to mourn Rod at his funeral, she felt like she could feel Rod tapping her on the shoulder.
“It was that moment of, I have a choice to just go, ‘Wow this is terrible,’ and just let it move on past me or, ‘Wow this is terrible. How can I help?’” she said.
Jennifer said she knew Kinzler and Hernandez were the right people, because they had the same vision as Rod.
“I think (Nan’s) an even more attention-to-detail builder than Rod was,” she said. “He built a great house, but I think I am getting the same quality just because of them.”
Once she had a general contractor, Jennifer said everything else started to fall into place. People from throughout the construction industry offered to discount their labor or materials. Some are working for cost. Others are using materials salvaged from other jobs. In all, she said about a dozen people are helping out in one way or another.
“They all are willing to lower their price a little bit when they hear the situation,” she said.
Even people she has no connection to are moved by her story. She said she ordered a door off Craigslist and once she paid the man, he turned around and donated a portion of the payment back to the college funds at roddial.com.
She said she knows Rod is happy to see his family so looked after.
“I think he is very grateful,” she said. “We’ve lived here for 20 years and we’ve built some great friendships. I think he’s smiling down at just his friends who are showing so much love to us.”
And though she said her energy isn’t what it was before the accident, and she still has days where it is hard to get out of bed, she moves forward because of her children.
“The biggest thing for me is I don’t want this to cripple our children,” she said. “Our faith makes us believe that we’ll see him again and he’ll still be my husband and he’ll still be their dad. That’s what keeps me going is the idea that we’ll still be together and we’ll still be a family.”
Edgar Vargas says:
November 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm
Behind every good man, there is a great woman, I praise sister. Dial’s courage to keep going and raise her kids on her own, god will be with her as she reaches her goal to raise her kids, and she is not alone, her kids are with her and they are great kids and will give her the courage to live as if brother Dial was here, and his spirit is watching ober. May god bless her and give her all that she needs as she strives to reach all her goals.
Kristen Duke says:
November 14, 2010 at 8:13 pm
What a beautiful article…we love the Dial Family! Can’t wait to see their new home in all its beauty.
Diane Carter says:
November 16, 2010 at 7:00 pm
It’s that time of year again, Thanksgiving, and , as usual, I keep remembering Rod’s great smile as he leaned back on the couch in your living room that Thanksgiving we shared together. Rod had a teenage girl on each side of him, and he had an arm around each of them. The girls were smiling and cuddled up to Rod, with the look of little girls trusting the world and the people in it. He even made this grandmom feel joy inside because of the love that radiated from his face. It was if he was saying, “It doesn’t get any better than this–being with my family and friends.” I’m grateful I became one of the Dial’s friends, and I too will miss Rod this year, but I still have a memory of his smile, and that’s worth a lot. Diane Carter