Sunday, September 4, 2011

Do you like yardwork?

My Father laughed heartily when I told him, "There's nothing like the smell of fresh cut grass when you know you don't have to cut it" a few years ago. The Saturdays of my youth were tormented by being yelled awake - a call to yard work duty.

It's been almost seven years since "Q-Manor" was sold. Seven years since my parents moved to a townhouse located in a housing community that does all their yard work for them (for an association fee of course). Five years ago I also found myself writing a monthly check to an association that funded the yard work of others. Yard work is not something I miss.

The hardest day that I've ever worked in my parents yard multiplied by the largest snowfall I had to shovel, does not compete with one day working with Be The Change Volunteers. Did I mention that I was the youngest member of the team? Well, I was. Did I let that stop me from being overtly strategic on when I would "check up on MySister" in consistent intervals while awaiting the next "tea time" break? Absolutely not.

Every time I saw a student in uniform I noticed how impeccably white and clean it was. I would arrive at the school and would be instantly dirty. I also sweated profusely every day and didn't see the bit of exhaustion on any of the locals that helped. For the record, I understand that a surgeon is going to be better than me in the fine detail of paint edging with a brush - but to also have other team members (also medical professionals) able to work a shovel better than me is another thing.

All my bellyaching aside, I know that I helped. The fact that I was there to contribute is better than if I was not there. It helped me reinforce my decision: for every large stone I carried and cement bucket I filled was further proof that I wasn't just taking a vacation.

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