Hebrews chapter thirteen, verse eight says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever”. Jesus IS the same, but other things in life can remarkably SEEM to be the same!
A previous entry tells about the deck being built. This one will tell “the rest of the story” - with a twist.
Up until now, the hardest I have ever worked on a Memorial Day weekend was in 1972. It was just a few days prior to my graduation from high school. I was invited by an underclassmen friend, Glenn Pickett, to join his family at their summer place in Meredith, New Hampshire for the weekend. Glenn’s Dad, Mr. Arthur Pickett, was in his late thirties and was a very calm, jovial guy. But Arthur’s older brother, Glenn’s “Uncle Pat” was what I call a “piece of work”. Pat was a tough blue collar guy who toted a tool box and was very outspoken and opinionated. Also present were Glenn’s paternal grandparents. The elderly Mr. Pickett had a serious heart condition. He was under strict medical orders to rest.
Uncle Pat firmly and confidently explained it. “That doctor said ‘You give me three months and I’ll give YOU ten years’!” Pat said. Pat must have said that line forty-seven times that weekend! Old Mr. Pickett would try to do some job and Pat would loudly and angrily yell, “What did that doctor tell ya?!”
Although my own father was a hard taskmaster, on that Saturday, Uncle Pat worked me harder than I’d ever been worked in my life! He was not big on patience. I was unable to find the correct tool in his box. “Why, you gotta be s__ttin’ me!!” he not so politely exclaimed.
I was very unhandy and very unathletic. It was a tough weekend for me! Sunday was the “fun” day when we went water skiing in the lake. Well, I tried and I tried and I tried, to get up on the skis, and I nearly drowned, and I was exhausted and scared to death! I was SO happy that Glenn and I had to march in the Canton, Massachusetts Memorial Day parade. For that reason, we had to leave late Sunday night to get back home.
2006 was so much like 1972 it was scary. Randy, who is married to my wife’s sister Lynn (and is a carpenter and contractor) was the “Uncle Pat” of the weekend. Having never been in the service, I’ve never endured boot camp, but this felt like it. I haven’t been yelled at or called stupid so much since I was high school gym classes! If God is trying to make sure I don’t have a big ego, well I’d say it worked! I don’t know why Uncle Pat/Randy types expect nerdy, unhandy, unathletic white collar guys like me to “get” their program. We just don’t. I worked at least as hard as I did in 1972! You will think I’m making this up, but Randy’s father Wally (age 65) was present. He’s had a heart attack in his past and has health issues. He was the elderly Mr. Pickett of the group. Yesterday morning as they were doing the finishing touches on the deck, Wally was struggling in his breathing. “Maybe this deck will need work in ten years.” he said. “If I’m alive I’ll come back and work on it!”
I honestly wanted to say to him, “You give me three months and I’ll give you ten years,” but I thought that would be a little presumptuous of me!
Incidentally old Mr. Pickett did NOT make it the ten years. I think he lasted about three or four. My understanding is that Uncle Pat is still alive. He’s gotta be at least seventy-five today. If he’s healthy, maybe he’d like to work part time with Randy!
The more things change, the more they remain the same...
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