My family has always bonded over manual labor. Not sure why, exactly; it’s always been that way. It’s something that just is… When I was little, it was never a question of “if” but rather “what” chore you were going to do. Although, I always had a choice. Did I want to clear the table or wipe the silverware? Did I want to dust or vacuum? Haul wood or … well, you get the idea.
And a holiday weekend, with “daylight burning,” is no exception.
There are definite disadvantages and advantages to being the young, flexible one. My mother is 62; the other two in my immediate family circle are 72 and 76. Which means I get volunteered, or commandeered–however you want to look at it–to climb down/under stuff or up/over stuff at the farm. Which isn’t usually *so* bad. Usually. I’m fine with tight spaces. Dark spaces, um, not so much. So you can imagine how much I like crawling under the house to say, clean out the dryer vents. Not my favorite job–even if it IS a good ab workout. There aren’t as many spiders under the house as I thought there would be … but I know where the field mice go to die.
Even though it revolves around manual labor–this family bonding, and I don’t think I’d trade it for anything. I’ve had such amazing moments with my “old people.” Like a few years ago when Clay and I framed in the second bay door in the shop. He complained the whole time about how I hammer like a girl. I kept reminding him I was working with an old man, what did he expect?? Or the summers earning my PhD (post-hole digger), fixing fences, and learning how to use the cowboy hammer. Or making Grandma Littlejohn’s tea with Arlene. Or trying to learn the recipe for potato fudge (that’s never been written down–even through 4 generations). We squawk at each other and squabble in good humor. But we get a *lot* done. And more than one family legend has been born over the years 😉
But, I digress.
I trimmed the butterfly bush yesterday, and got the burn pile started. I don’t mind admitting I love burn days. There’s just something about watching open flame. I heart fire
The other chore on yesterday’s list was, yay for me, an “up over” one, not a “down under.”
I got to scramble up to the top of The Bus to replace the refrigerator vent cover. (Clay got a wild hair a few years ago to trade in the travel trailer on an A-class motor home.) After the cover repair was finished, I decided it needed a bath. Which is the point I started out to make. I heart the pressure washer only slightly less than playing with fire. Only *slightly* less. And because I had to drag it to the roof, I didn’t have to share. All told, I think it took me a good 3 hours to finish hosing the lumbering, monstrous beast down. But I’m pleased with the results.
There is something cathartic about tangible progress in a project; to see a material change from one state to the next. I think that’s why I enjoyed yesterday’s chores so much. I know, “enjoy” and “chores” in the same sentence. I chalk it up to an overdose of chocolate (fudge > pie > cake). Pruning, fire, pressure-washing: what I did today made a difference.
As my grandpa used to say, “there’s satisfaction in a job well-done.”
How does your family bond?