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Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Apology to My Dad

I remember when I was a kid, about the age of thirteen, my parents bought a piece of property on which to build our new house. This land was woods. I mean Red oak, White oak, Maple. Woods. And not just woods. Woods on a steep hill, the top of which was where the house would be built.

My parents decided we would clear the lot ourselves. There were, I think, seven of us kids at the time, plus Mom and Dad. So lots of laborers. It was late spring, so after school every day we climbed from the school bus into the van and went over to what we, oh so affectionately, called "The Lot". On Saturdays, we would spend the whole day there; a picnic lunch and the occasional pizza dinner, "if we worked really hard."

Dad would cut the logs into firewood lengths, while mom stacked the brush and directed. We, the directees, would carry, roll, or push these pieces of firewood from the bottom of the hill to the top, where we would then stack them. Oh, did mention the Gypsy moth caterpillars? No? Well, that year they were at the peak of their population. Thousands. No. Millions of them with their spiny hairs, and disgusting green guts that stained our clothes and stank!

I remember thinking how Dad got the easy job. Just cutting the long logs into shorter lengths with the chain saw. I mean really, the saw does all the work, right? He had no green guts on him!

So here's the apology part. Last Friday, I was the one with the chainsaw while the girls hauled the logs and stacked them. (Thankfully no caterpillars!) Dad, your job apparently wasn't so easy. After only 90 minutes of working the saw, my arms and back were achy. Climbing into bed on Friday night, I questioned if I would be able to roll out in the morning. And in fact, even today I am bending my knees to reach my feet rather than bending my back!

So Dad, for all those mean thoughts I had about how you had the easiest job and made us do all the hard work, I am sorry. I now know it was Mom who had the easiest job...indifferent smileys
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