One morning last week, i awoke grousing about all of the things i had to do. i complained about not having the time to read for a couple of hours, workout to combat aging for an hour or so, record all my records, write more on my book, yadda yadda yadda. Dark day, feeling bad, feeling old.
So i started with my honey-do list. You know, that never-ending list which is continually interrupted by more instant honey-do’s and require you to do about twenty other tasks to get to the one she wants you to do for her immediately. This time, i put a twist in it and put what we both wanted done at the top of the list.
i began with replacing a wood-rotted, termite-weakened beam in the trellis outside our master bedroom. This included beginning a sanding and scraping the entire trellis in preps for painting. Next i worked on our tomato-strawberry, herbs, and onion garden boxes. Then i planted some more gladiola bulbs in large planter boxes. Finally, i began to repaint the crowns of the posts on our stucco fence. Our next door neighbors to the northwest decided to invite Willie Wonka to visit and painted their house and their side of the fence, including my side of the post a bright yellow.
There are a couple of stories here but i will bypass them for now.
The point is i worked all day. Nothing artsy-fartsy, nothing technically sophisticated. Just work. When it was concluded, i felt…well, satisfied. i wasn’t trying to influence anyone to do anything to make me some money or prestige or power. i was just doing something useful and working up a bit of a sweat. It reminded me of long, long days working the well deck of the USS Anchorage (LSD 36) with loads and unloads. It reminded me of digging graves in Cedar Grove Cemetery in the hot and humid summer days. It reminded me of mowing the adjacent acre yards of J. Bill and Bessie Lee Frame and Fred and Ruby Cowan across Castle Heights from our house.
Satisfaction, a good tired.
It seems to me such enjoyment, such satisfaction of just doing good work has been mostly dismissed by the way we have progressed (sic).
i thought about making a point or two here about some important things. i put all of that stuff behind me, forgot about dealing with other people in the thorny miasma of relationships we have created, and just put my effort in doing something productive.
That is enough to make it a good day for an old man. It’s too bad we all can’t have those kind of good days.