Sunday, March 26, 2006

A Happy Day of Leisure

March 22, 1987
Dear Courtney,
Today was the best day I've had this month! It was sunny as hell, no wind, Dan and I rode our bikes up and down Aquetong Road. We made telephones out of cans, I mended my clothes, got my homework done, and Dad was in a good mood all day!
It was great!

Cans. I made a can telephone and thought it was awesome. "CAN" you tell I lived in the country?! Actually, can phones are interesting and magical to kids. In fact, there's a styrofoam cup telephone sitting on my desk at school right now.
Aquetong is an Indian word. You can imagine the various ways I've seen it spelled. We lived where the Lenni Lenape Indians used to live. My mother found arrowheads in the creek when she was little. If you think "Aquetong" was bad, we used to live on "Scholl's School Road". Aquetong is pronounced like "Ack wa tong", not Aqualung.
And a day when my dad was cheerful ALL day? Stop the presses! Usually on the weekends, we'd be put to work, like child slaves. There were always rocks to be picked or dug out of the garden, or wood to stack, or a garage to clean out, or laundry to do, or something to be sanded/painted/washed/ spackled/etc. We'd get sent outside at 9 or so, and were allowed inside for lunch or to pee. If our dad came in and saw us sitting around, he'd say, "What the hell's the matter with you? Get your ass outside-you're not done! I work all goddamned week and it would't kill you to help out a little around here!"
Fatherly love. Nowdays, at 9 am on Saturdays, I'm up, showered, breakfasted, and ready to do something. Not sure what, but my hands itch to get busy. Yesterday, for example, I worked on moving the contents of the old compost bin into the new one I made. I sewed, I did 4 loads of laundry, I changed the sheets, I picked up the dog poo in the yard.
Today, I sewed, washed my car, ran the dishwasher, went to Hancock Fabrics, Jo-Ann Fabrics, went to knitting, came home and washed the fabrics I bought today. And now, I rest.
Thanks Dad, for making sure I'd always feel bad about sitting around and doing nothing. But thanks also for making sure I developed a healthy work ethic. There will always, always be something to do.

1 comment:

Robin said...

That last paragraph? Story of my damn life!