As the Home Manager solely responsible for the smooth running of my Northern New Jersey home, I am required to do many and varied tasks or find people willing to do them for me. Most of the time I do whatever needs done. Why? Because it’s easier than finding someone willing to do said task. Hard working help is hard to find, even when I offer cash money.
Well, we needed fresh gravel in our driveway. I ordered it and arranged for the delivery, but I told my husband Mike that I emphatically would not spread the darned stuff. After all, 3 yards of gravel is a huge amount and my middle-aged body doesn’t bounce back from heavy lifting tasks very well anymore. And besides, I asked Mike, “Why wouldn’t you want to shovel gravel? It’s good weight training for a runner (just not this runner).”
The gravel arrived. The piles, although well back in the driveway, bothered me. I like everything neat and tidy looking and those gravel piles weren’t. My obsessive preoccupation with visual neatness reminded me of an old friend’s ferret. When the ferret saw dirty socks on the floor the little fella would get all excited; he’d race out from under the sofa, panting, grab the dirty socks in his sharp little teeth and race back under the sofa. (Sometimes he’d even try to rip the socks right off your feet, but only if they were really fragrant.) The dirty socks disappeared and all you heard from the ferret was a whine of satisfaction! I loved that ferret. And his approach to achieving visual neatness.
But back to the gravel piles…
“Okay,” I reasoned, “If Mike left the iron rake outside, then I will spread gravel. Just a little. To make the piles neater. And give him a little head start.” (I’m considerate this way.)
I walked around the side of the house and spotted the rake. I swear it bared its teeth at me in a semblance of a grin when I picked it up. I tightened my hands around
its neck the handle and carried it toward the front yard.
I looked at the piles of gravel.
I was dressed for a run, but I figured my running clothes didn’t care that they would end up dusty nearly as much as I cared.
I leaned over and scratched the rake along the topmost part of the pile of gravel, much like a cat scratches a fresh spot in its litter box. Then I scratched a little deeper
More than two hours later I stood back and admires the smooth driveway.
Sweat streamed down my scalp and into my eyes. My shoes were gray with dust. Rivulets of sweat cut deep grooves into the gray grime stuck to my legs. I was a mess. But if you listened carefully you would have heard my whine of satisfaction at having done such neat and tidy work.
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