As long as I can remember, every fall my dad would say, “Debbie come on we have so many cords of wood to stack and move some into the basement. Get up and meet your mother and I outside in 14 minutes.”
Of COURSE it was ALWAYS on a Saturday, when I just knew I’d be able to sleep in after dragging my ass to school EVERY DAY! But there was no way i would fix my mouth to say that to my dad! If you know my Dad, you’ll understand.
If I’m not mistaken, my dad would have 7 cords delivered every fall at our house on the lake in Winthrop, Maine. I didn’t drive, didn’t have a job and I was in the 5th grade. Non of that mattered because when he said Deb, come on, I listened.
In the winter, our house was always he perfect temperature. Despite the negative 20-50 below zero at times, that awesome wood burner in the basement kept me warm EVERY night!
In the summertime, as I got alittle older,my dad would yell upstairs at the crack of daybreak, “Debbie, come on you gotta take the beach be downstairs in 15 minutes “ Oh my God, it was the summer, I didn’t have school and I thought to myself, “what thye hell, does Dad know I’m sleeping in! It’s Saturday for God sake!“
You already know I was downstairs and standing at true dock within 13 minutes dragging my rear because I was so tired from hanging out with my best friend the evening before..
But later that day, my dad would say to me, “Deb come on and help me wash and clean and put this boat in the water.” I just knew I was going to die from being overworked! After following my dad’s instructions, I was ready for a long nap and a bottle of Moxie soda!
But that afternoon, my dad told me to come downstairs. I remember thinking to myself, “how am I going to get out of this chore!”
After I most likely slid down the stairs on a towel because I had noodle legs, my dad said, “Hey Debbie, take the boat to the dock at Winthrop beach and pull it in I’ll meet you there “
I think that was the BEST Saturday of my young life!!! I forgot all those blisters I got from raking, the heat exhaustion I felt while walking each pile of debris in the wheel barrel to the side of the house. All I felt in that moment was joy and excitement that my dad rewarded me by letting me drive his boat to the docks!
My Dad is quite literally the toughest and best dad in the world. I didn’t understand all the chores and duties I had as a kid all the way until I moved out at 19. Everything my parents did was to teach me to be accountable and responsible for my actions. And every action has a reaction whether it good or not so good.
Today after work, being exhausted, hot, irritated by the time I got home I looked at the beautiful magnolia tree standing tall and smelling sweet in my front yard. After a few minutes I looked at how my beautiful lawn was covered by the dead leaves that tree had the nerve to drop within only a week of me raking!
I just went to the garage with the intention of just watering the grass over those leaves but then I looked to the left and I saw my rake… I think you know what happened next. And before ya know it, it was 3 hours later and the lawn was beautiful again but not before leaving some painful blisters on my tired hands.
The message here is that in order for us (or our children) to reap the rewards of something we enjoy, there’s a price to pay. I admit I wished I would’ve been tougher like my dad because how else will children learn the lesson? Even in The winter my dad had me shovel the entire walkway, of course the year after I moved out my parents bought a darn snowblower!(I’m still sore about that 😆) It was never a money issue, my dad wanted me to understand how hard he worked so that we all could enjoy the fruits of his labor and not end up entitled such as most of the children are of this generation
I darn sure ain’t perfect, and if I could go back 30 years and redo it I’d do things differently. My point is, I love my parents for instilling within me those work ethic’s it might have taken me a couple decades to see that a good work ethic will take you far in life. I’ve spent the last 10 years Harvesting Life’s Lessons and writing about some of my experiences in hopes that others will appreciate every #lesson in life!