Chair Sittin


I drove our new truck to the nearest supplier of masonry sand and had them dump a large scoop of the stuff into the back of that glistening beautiful hunk of molded steel.  Its bed is not quite as large as that of the one it replaced so the sand spilled over on the tailgate and then some fell to the ground.   The scoop fellow loaned me a shovel, and I started rearranging the sand to get it off the tailgate.  Twenty minutes later all the sand was in the truck and I’m headed home.  The guy that loaned me the shovel sat in his shed all that time and watched me struggle with that sand and never once offered a hand.  I probably would have turned him down, thanking him for offering, and continuing my effort.  Maybe, when you deal with the public, you become immune to doing anything other than your job.  Once the scoop is dumped, your obligation has ended.  I’m left wondering if that fellow comes to work each day planning how much of his eight-hour day can be spent sitting in that chair?  I know criticizing others is not a useful thing to do, but it is if I use it to analyze my actions.  I think it could be said that to criticize is neither to praise, nor denounce, but to try to get closer to the truth within yourself.  I can only hope that I’m not like that man, sitting dolefully, waiting for his next customer and hoping he can finish the job in 5 minutes and get back in his chair.

I had some old financial documents to shred, so my wife and I loaded them into the back of the truck (6 boxes), and I headed off to our local AAA (American Auto Assoc) location that offered the service for free.  I wanted to get there early (0815) so I wouldn’t have to wait in line very long, but upon arriving, I could see at least 15 vehicles in front of me.  If you are like me, you dislike waiting, but when it comes to getting something for free, well that’s another story.  I don’t think I realized that about myself until the ordeal was over and I’m on my way home listening to somebody singing about time slipping away on the radio.  Saint Francis De Sales said it so eloquently; “Patience is needed with everyone, but first of all with ourselves.â€

 I watch a TV show titled, “Better Thingsâ€, and I enjoy it, but my wife, not so much. That’s really part of what love requires, doing things for someone that you don’t really enjoy.  If I were to guess who does the most of that, I would have to say that my wife does.  That’s probably true in most marriages, doesn’t make it right, it’s just the way it is.  Anyway, back to the “Better Things†episode.  Pamela Adlon, the co-creator and lead actress, is a single Mom raising three daughters.  She grows weary that her children do not recognize how hard she works to give them everything they take for granted.  Now, I’m just guessing here, but isn’t that the plight of all parents with children?  Well, she demands they perform a eulogy, pretending she had died.  She wanted to hear what they would say about her.  At first, they resisted and then consented to doing it.  It was a moving experience and I think that more shows should strive to do that very thing.  It begs the question, how many of us would like to peak around the corner and see what our loved ones had to say about us after we migrated to the other side?  I read once that the thing people dread the most is speaking in public.  I am a member of that group, but I do speak at funerals.  Somewhere, spinning around in the back of my head, is the suspicion; that person is hovering overhead watching the proceedings.  There have been funerals I couldn’t speak at; Mom, Dad, Brother, Uncle KD, strictly because my heart was shattered and I’m not someone you want to see crying.  Yes, I think we all should strive to overcome our fear of speaking in front of others when the occasion demands it.  It can be done, I am living proof.  “The dying man has probably lost, during the course of his life, things more important than what he is about to lose by dying†… Friedrich Nietzsche

I recently completed a 10-day trip to visit with friends and relatives that live pretty far away.  Just like me, they have problems in their life and are dealing with them the best way they know how.  One person I visited who is 93, lost her eyesight.  I do not know how well I would handle losing my sight, but I know it would be a terrible thing to lose. Another person was no longer able to drive his car due to health problems. I have two remaining aunts (sisters, ages 88 & 93) and they are struggling with health problems also. Visiting with those fine people and seeing them struggle took some of the twinkle out of my eyes. Somehow, with all the blessing I have, I feel guilty.  Maybe, that’s what encourages me to make those long-distance treks?  To, somehow, bring some cheer into their lives.  I can only hope that when the time comes that my life isn’t so great, someone will try to spread some cheer my way. John Keats said it so well; “Thank heaven for what happiness you have, and after thinking a moment or two that you suffer in common with all mankind, hold it not a sin to regain your cheerfulness”.

A few weeks ago, I decided I needed to find someone to help me complete a project I started back in April 2017.  It involved laying interlocking pavers on a trail from my backyard to a point that leads to our front yard.  I traverse this path many times with lawn equipment and it seemed like a project well worth doing.  I prepared a sign “Back Breaking Work/ $10 per hour†and included my phone number.  I posted the sign down near our street and left it a couple of days.  Not one person called.  My son suggested I put it down at the major road that runs thru our small town, and I did, with the same results.  Finally, I brought that sad sign home and placed it in our garage and I look at it occasionally, wondering why no one called?  I know that as a teenager I would’ve made that call quickly, hoping I was the first one, and that job would be mine.   I finished it myself and am somewhat satisfied with the results.  I know that trail will still be here long after I’ve left this old world.  I just hope that whoever uses it will know who made it.  I often visit a set of concrete steps my Grandpa McCoy made when I was 5 years old and can still hear his refrain, “Boy, don’t you step on these until they dry, or you’ll be sorry!† William Feather said it so eloquently; “Next to doing a good job yourself, the greatest joy is having someone else do a first-class job under your directionâ€.  I kinda agree with that.