Wow. Yesterday was a day! I went out to help my mom with some projects and boy, were they ever projects! First, we fixed the gutters on my folks’ garage. Next, we cut down two big, tall tree stumps with handsaws (yes, the ones with just a metal frame and a metal blade with no motor) and pushed them over. The shed and the fence faired remarkably well considering their close proximity to these eight-foot behemoths. Dangerous? Somewhat. But done. We rested after that. Coffee time! Next, my mom and I attacked the squash plant that was overtaking half of the garden. It was incredibly spiny and heavy and big!!! We did manage to get it all into one big black garbage bag, though! The project that would take the rest of our day began: dismantling an old, extremely heavily-built Toro rototiller. Oh. My. God. I was all over the ground, under the thing, on top of the thing, to either side of the thing, as we took out bolts and burrs that had been rusted and heated on there for what seemed like a century. My pop came out to watch. He was very helpful in going and getting tools and things, and didn’t say much because he was unsure of how to get it apart, too. He had some very helpful suggestions. It ended up that, after taking out almost every bolt we could find, it was a matter of two bolts and two very large-diameter, long steel pins that we had to drive out with a punch and a small sledge hammer to get the engine (very heavy) and the transmission (even heavier) separated from each other. I truly respect mechanics and old farmers like my grandpa and grandma who had to work on this stuff all the time without some of the new-fangled tools that make it easier for us today. My dad has this awesome ratchet and socket set that he let us use, and even with their space-age design, it was a very difficult task! We used everything from my dad’s special ratchet and socket set to old punches, chisels, sledges, and breaker bars! And let’s not leave out the vise-grips and the crowbar! I felt like I was in my grandpa’s shop again! It was a good feeling. Problem-solving and physical exercise at its finest. My doctor would have been pleased with the amount of thought and work that went into that! We did manage to get the engine off and a few other components off before it was time to load up the truck and go to the dump before it closed. The grumpy fellow that is normally at the dump wasn’t there. Instead, there was a very pleasant and helpful fellow, who was nice to deal with because we were tired. I showered at my folks’ place while my mom did up our dirty clothes in the washer and dried them. So I got to enjoy my folks for the whole day! We started at 0600 hrs and I left there at around 1800 hrs or a bit later. We were pooped! It was a good day, though. I got in just as much work or more doing that than I would have climbing yesterday, so I was happy. And I got to see Dad and eat Mom’s cooking! We couldn’t have done what we did without Dad’s special ratchet and socket set!
A day off from climbing didn’t quite kill me, but almost! Work at Mom and Pop’s house is hard work! My folks are in their 70’s and still know how to do a hard day’s work. I hope I’m still going that strong when I’m their age!!! I respect them greatly for that! I’m proud to be one of the lucky people who grew up with hard-working parents who instilled in me a strong work ethic and a drive to get things accomplished – an undying determination and perseverance for the task! So many are of the mindset that they are “entitled” to things these days. Truth is, no one’s entitled to anything. You work for it, it’s yours. You don’t work for it, it’s not. Besides that, things that you don’t work for are of much less value and reward. The “entitled” ones will never feel that – they’ll never get that sense of accomplishment, and that’s sad. Their lives will always have an unfulfilled void in them. And they will want ever more for it because they know not what they lack. Keep that in mind. If you have a challenge, WORK TO OVERCOME IT! You’ll feel the benefits of hard work and it will make you a better person. Trust me.