No One is Around; We Cleaned up the Yard a Bit, One Positive Step Every Day.

When the self-quarantine began I was accustomed to seeing few people on the levee. A short time after it started people began showing up, I met a few that have lived on the Island for years. Their life is spent commuting 2-4 hours one way each day, sleep, work, commute, and it begins all over each daybreak. I’m happy they are able to enjoy the river for a while.

I tossed my hat in the ring, hunkered down to watch Mrs. Lebec work, it fascinates me.

Sitting on the river side porch as I normally do for at least a short while in the morning drinking coffee with Swiss Miss, (Chocolate not my girlfriend) I was expecting a lot of “Good Mornings”. I got one from Mrs. Lebec, that was all, it wasn’t until a few moments ago the first walker came by. He’s a young guy walking his small spotted Heinz 57, most likely related to Skunkpuppy somewhere down through the annals of time. Then Joe and his wife walked past, and that was it.

I have a lot to do so I spent little time on the porch, vying instead to weed the garden. Mrs. Lebec asked me why I get up in the morning at the same time (7:15) unless my left leg alarm clock pain goes off as it does several times a week. In that case I’m up closer to 6:00. I told her with so much to do wasting time by not getting dressed for work is a real impediment to my progress towards my goals. She tells me there is nothing I have to do that has to be done today or most of the time ever, slack jawed I was shocked. Yeh she’s right, but without a bit of urgency in ones life my curiosity would never be satisfied.

“Let’s sit around and watch the Peacocks for a while” I told her.

She and I have a motto “One positive step every day.” It doesn’t have to be an earth shattering event, the tasks are chosen by how we are feeling. I’m not talking about how we feel emotionally or mentally, it’s more for me at least, having the physical ability to do it. On one hand she is in great physical and medical condition, while on the other end of the stick; rides me.

I cleaned up my mess in the Garage, still, as I was working on it wondering if I was unorganized or just confused. To my credit I made the executive decision I was neither, it’s a matter of becoming more efficient. I explained it to Mrs. Lebec as she was up in a tree removing strings of lights two grandsons placed in it a few years ago. “Be careful, a person of your age could break a hip if they fall.” I have a real way with words.

“You’re as old as I am.” She instantly shot back.

“Yeh, I am so be extra careful not to fall on me.” I thought I’d toss in that bit of caution just to raise her awareness.

“I don’t find you one bit funny or cute.” She replied while nearly falling off the ladder right on top of me.

“I’m going to leave the lights on the ground for you to deal with, your so much better than I am at stowing stuff.” Stroking my ego it worked.

Most of us have gotten caught in that flurry of activity, once we get started the great ideas break the dam and begin to flow. She brought the bundle of lights in to the garage and laid them on the floor. I thanked her for her service and began to load the box which ended up being too small. Not to be discouraged I wondered where to store them until the fancy comes upon her er us to string them once again.

I decided to clear a shelf to store the lights in the garage and whatever shelf I clear stuff from will find a new home in that Twilight Zone we call “The Shed.” I moved four shelves full of stuff I never use, a few steps could have been saved if I merely tossed it in the trash on my way by. OH no, not me. The route my valuables take is a bit convoluted, it follows this path. Originating inside the house at some point it is decided “something” needs to be done with it, “put it in the garage for now.” is the normal agreement. It marinates on a shelf for a number of years until it catches my eye, the instant thought is I should do something with that. So into the shed it goes for an undetermined length of time, I don’t like to let things steep for any longer than 5 years, but who is keeping track, right? Upon completion of the required time of preparation the item is tossed onto the trash trailer, or if it’s not available (full) the “pile” is started. As in “What’s that stuff over there?” Mrs. Lebec will ask. “That is the dump pile.” I tell her, no further explanation is needed she knows exactly what has just transpired.

“Toss this old bike on the trailer” she tells me to which I rely “Heck no I’m working on that.”

“Maybe you should call Richie and ask him to take it away.” His mother said to me.

“You call him, he likes you more than he does me, besides the youngest boy loves to do stuff for mom, it establishes bragging rights when he sees the older ones.” I reasoned with her.

She did, he didn’t, and I suppose was the loser if indeed an incident has winners or losers. The garage is a bit cleaner, the shed has an empty spot, and the trailer is just a little bit heavier. “Tell him I’ll pay him a hundred bucks.”

He didn’t answer the text or call back, we did hear from him the last time this happened after three weeks when he needed to “borrow” a few bucks. We paid him the hundred bucks and the garbage remained in the yard, right where it is today.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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