Recalling a Labor Day of Love

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Cleaning out the barn with a little help from my friends.

Sometimes my to-do list stops me dead in my tracks. Like an overloaded freight train, the boxcars of chores sit idle,Β  progress stifled by whining, denial and procrastination. Hoping to inch along in the right direction, I assuage my guilt by adding ridiculously effortless things to the list, tasks I’ve no doubt already done, but hey, a check mark is a check mark. Oh look, I fed the dogs, flushed the toilet, made a pot of coffee, put on clothes andΒ  brushed my teeth.Β  Oops, forgot to run a comb through hair (as if that makes a difference). The good news is sometimes this Thomas the (stalled) train gets fuel by helping hands.

Every summer my sister escapes the stifling heat of Florida and pays me a visit. I’m a good host, offering unrelenting Boz and Gracie love, a gently swaying hammock, well-maintained bike, cozy sunlit guestroom, bottomless bucket of raspberries and a climate where temperatures rarely exceed the mid-seventies. As a dedicated teacher, she calls my place her rehab and relaxation center. I am glad to oblige, as honestly, I’d last two minutes as an middle school teacher; the classroom would be in ruins and I’d be stuffed in a locker.

So on this Labor Day, I salute my hardworking teacher sister who on her vacation labored to help me clean out my barn. I also sing praises to my friend Tamara, also an awesome teacher, who joined in the fun and took on the role of drill Sargent (“Clean? You call this clean, mister? Drop and give me twenty!”) Together, we made quick work of my cluttered, chockablock tarp-covered nightmare.Β  And I have the photos to prove it. Unfortunately, I forgot to take before photos, but truth be told, that’s a good thing.

bulldog walking in front of barnGracie saunters by my 100-year-old barn, replete with its latest tarp covering. (Roofs aren’t cheap) As the original machine shop, the barn now houses all of my equipment and flanks the spot where the original 20-stall dairy barn stood . As far as rainproof coverings go, the structure’s been befitted with a blue tarp, encased in a brown tarp, and later re-wrapped in a green tarp. I believe its latest reflective silver cloak elevates the board-and-batten cube into architectural art. Cristo and Jeanne-Claude would be proud, I dare say.

Boz finds a comfortable spot to supervise while witnessing history in the making.

Unusually clean shelves, courtesy of two bossy girls and their tough-love tactics.

Like domestic archeologists, we unearthed some remarkable finds: a tractor, four Christmas tree stands, a farm sink, and perhaps the most indispensable thing of all…

…a tub of twenty eggbeaters. (The trouble with me and Garage sales.)

17 COMMENTS

  1. Tom, Twenty eggbeaters??? Why? Bet it feels good to walk in the barn- almost as good as getting the winter fire wood in the shed. Ta for now. s
    PS The wild plums continue to produce which is an unexpected delight this year as the blackberries are sloooooooowwly ripening.

  2. Tom, Wow! What a ‘BIG’ accomplishment!! How great you must feel having tackled such a big project!! I have one question, How much does your
    teacher sister & your teacher friend charge? They
    most definitely have the gift of being able to give that motivational “push” that people like myself need! lol I keep wanting to ‘play’ in the garden!! πŸ˜€
    P.S. I love to see what you do with all those eggbeaters!! πŸ™‚

  3. Check “that” off the list, and make it a very large bold one for a job well done. Thank goodness for friends and family. When motivation gets bad around here, I call my cousin, we both commit to projects by phone, (she lives 80 miles away) and then we check in with each other at the end of the day. Makes doing projects (especially ones you may not be fond of) much easier somehow. It does work. Congratulations!!
    PSβ€”20 eggbeaters as noted, a hoot! Dare we ask why?

  4. Hmmm….teachers, Fl, visits…you just gave me a scathingly brilliant idea for my double nickels birthday in August of 2012…see you then?
    Thank you to Linda too! xoxoxo

  5. I CANNOT remember to do the math before hitting submit. This is my fifth attempt, but I cannot give up because that would really be a sign of lack of intelligence and because I think you’re keen. I’m going to add “flushed the toilet” to my daily list of accomplishments. If all goes well I should have at least one accomplishment every day.

  6. 20 eggbeaters–wow! Love the you provide such R&R for your sister. πŸ˜‰ Congrats on the cleaning success. Looks like you had a lot of fun while doing it, which of course is just as important as getting it done. Oh, and sometimes I add stuff to the list, too, so I can check it off. It’s usually more than the mundane stuff, but either way it’s important to note one’s accomplishments. πŸ™‚

    Shirley

  7. OMG…how did I miss this post…totally LOL’d! I really think your sister should take a mini-vacation at my house next year…I have a basement screaming for her attention!

  8. Scott, that could be arranged. She’s fascinated by Portland, a city so unlike South Florida. She marvels at the idea of an environmentally aware city where bike paths, public transportation and green programs are the norm. I tell her it’s fake, just like the moon landing. πŸ˜‰ You know I LOVE Portland, as all Seattleites do.

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