Friday, September 2, 2011

A Three Story Life in One Story

We went to Drummond Island for a couple weeks this year. We left August 11. I chose that date because I thought it was a Monday. Jane and I tried to schedule dinner before we left. "How about Monday, August 8?" Jane asked. I said, "The 8th can't be a Monday because the 11th is." So I found out not a Monday. It's that kind of summer. The packing was the usual - garbage bags and paper bags and stuff stuffed in the holes. I tried to not mind, and succeeded. There's plenty of time to think on a 365 mile trip, and I thought. My biggest challenge is trying not to mind. My therapist told me, just walk past [insert: dirt, underwear, shoes, dishes, food blobs, dirty laundry, doggie dollops] and say "whatever." I say that enough, and sometimes out loud, Dad will growl "what do you mean by that?" but I don't answer. Once he said "huh?" and I said, "I'm just talking to myself" and Dad asked "what did you say?" and I said, "I don't know, I wasn't listening." So here we three + dog were in a 600 square foot cabin. No escape. No three story divisions - just one story. Oy. The only privacy is out in nature, which is fine with me. I was so private, I walked 4 miles each morning. I chopped wood, moved rocks in a wheelbarrow, transplanted trees, painted shed, waterlocked the sauna. No internet, TV, or cellphones so we were crammed in face to face. If I moved outside, the guys moved. If I moved inside, ditto. And after 16 days, I really didn't mind. While I wielded a shovel and a wheelbarrow, Dad pulled up a chair. "Who knew watching your daughter work was a spectator sport?" I didn't, but I didn't mind. Dad pulled up a chair to watch me scrape, then paint the shed. After a couple of "duh" glances in his direction, he even let me do it the way he taught me to do it 50 years ago. This all reminded me that the physical labor work I can do, the manual skills I have, my Dad taught me. I can repair fancy schmancy wet plaster molding. I can drywall, paint, split wood, shovel, transplant trees, do minor plumbing and electrical repairs because my Dad taught me. Having him watch now is part of the pride in my work he can enjoy. Me, too.

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