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Monday, January 16, 2006

What hard work gets you...

I spent this last weekend working with my father in our backyard. You see, about three weeks ago there were a bunch of fires in Mustang, Oklahoma. My parent's backyard caught fire, but thankfully the firemen were able to save the house and our cabana. Unfortunately, our shed was not saved from the destruction.

Thankfully my parents did have the shed and contents insured and will be able to build a new one relatively soon. Actually, because my father knows so many contractors of various sorts, he is going to end up with a much nicer building that he can finally restore old cars in. I knew that he was going to do much of the removal work himself, and he isn't 25 years old any more, so I volunteered to help out (because, well, I am in fact 25 and have no excuse to not work my butt off for family). We spent almost all day Friday disassembling the shed. It was pretty fun actually. Hard work, but fun. After we were through tearing it down (got it down by lunch, thank you very much), we carefully stacked all the wood pieces in our just delivered dumpster. We knew we had a lot and needed to be conscientious about how things go in to make sure it all fit. It seems that was more work than the actually tearing it down part. As the night wore on, I found myself really enjoying this time with my dad. It's times like these that I am thankful Tina Marie and I moved to Oklahoma.

I was so tired Friday night that Tina Marie and I decided to spend the night. We got up somewhat early on Saturday morning and started helping our neighbor tear down his shed. What was interesting about his shed is that from the outside you couldn't even tell it was burned. Somehow the fire made it's way inside the shed and was burning it inside out. This was a bit more fun than tearing down our shed because it involved chain saws and a Bobcat (the tractor, not the animal). We filled our second dumpster by 2:00pm and then it was finally time for me to go home. I had earlier received my first assignment of the semester and needed to go buy The Complete Works of Plato before I could begin.

As I was sitting on my couch Saturday night my mother called and asked me a strange question. She said, "Would you rather have an 8-cup or 12-cup coffee maker?" I of course responded that the 12 would be better, still not knowing why she asked. She said thanks and then hung up the phone. You see, my wife and mother went shopping while we were working in the backyard and my parents decided to reward me with a brand new Barista Aroma Grande coffee maker from Starbucks.

Needless to say, I was pretty excited about this. You see, we received a really nice coffee maker as a wedding gift that kept causing us lots of problems. First the electronic buttons wouldn't work correctly, then it started leaking, not stuff that you want to deal with, especially if it costs as much as it did. Tina Marie had taken it back earlier in the day and got a store credit to buy other items that we needed, but we had no coffee maker! Things were going to be really bad the next couple of days. Then, out of nowhere, my parents come through and buy us a coffee maker that is nicer than the one we just returned.

So, for those of you that might shy away from lending a helping hand, just remember (but don't tell Kant!) there is always the possibility that self-satisfaction with a hard days work might not be your only reward.


evawebdiva said...

Hi Paul....
Interesting post. I came across your blog when searching for Buffalo Bills fans. To my surprise, I found who lives just down the road from me. (okay, maybe not that close but theoretically close.)

So why the alliance to the Buffalo Bills?

Just wondering..Eva

Jennifer Gleason-King said...

Hey Paul - Congrats on your marriage. Hope all is well. Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your stories and posts on here and my space. Tell your family hi for me. I miss you all -come visit Mustang Assembly if you get a chance. Jenn (Gleason) King