When anybody works, everybody works: Mostly unspoken but never ignored rule from a 1940’s/1950’s family life. Probably Mom’s rule as Dad was great with a dedicated elbow on the fireplace, bourbon and ice in hand, and focused on a radio news report. Those ingrained rules of life shadow well into retirement insuring that down-time nags like a pounce of righteous lurking nearby.
Last evening as I shuffled the stack of bills, envelopes and stamps I heard the sound–the sound of approaching work. Everyone knows that desk work is not real work, the physical labor kind of work that fills Mom’s requirement. As ridiculous as it sounds, the rule is alive and nagging so I left the kitchen table to find physical work.
My neighbors are amazing…generous, kind hearts and often pretending that they are charging me the going rate for the help that is always just across the north field. Last night’s call to work was Steve’s uni-loader with clam shell coming to move several years of accumulated storm debris stacked in various wood piles. These piles have morphed into condos for invading wildlife: mice, snakes, ground hogs, raccoons and creatures unnamed. (I just spent close to $400.00 to have a mouse apartment removed from the engine compartment of my six month old car.) Wildlife is not my friend when it comes to renovation of unwelcome living space.
Steve was working. It was early evening, long after his scheduled work day. What would have been really great would be to just watch like a pedestrian at a construction site. sigh. When anybody is working, everybody works. Right, Mom? So I did.
Granted Steve worked with finesse and I just smeared the streaks on the patio room windows. Granted he raked and cleaned as he went and I just wrapped the paint brush in a wet cloth rather than do a thorough cleaning. Granted, he amazingly improved the look of the place and I sort of added to this mornings to-do list.
Funny how that all works out. This place is greatly improved by Steve’s work. Mom’s rule obeyed and honored, though a bit on the shoddy side from my end. And not wanting to forget Dad’s contribution, the ice hitting the glass made the closing sound as I locked down for the night.