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Don't Rush Me

Thoughts whilst raking and not thinking

November 20, 2013 - I kinda know myself. And, if I am anything I am a procrastinator. While I may have a former spouse or two who would call it just being lazy, I tend to think of my procrastination inclination as a good thing. It keeps me sharp and keeps me on my toes.

This past weekend was one of those Holy-Give-Me-A-Few-More-Hours-Oh-Lord I need to get some stuff done before the snow falls weekend. I needed to accomplish a number of chores. I needed to:

1. Rake leaves off the lawn.

2. Rake the leaves off the roof.

3. Mulch said leaves.

4. Inspect said roof and patch any suspected leaks.

5. Winterize lawn mower.

6. Clean garage for winter parking.

* * *

While raking and bagging and not thinking I thought: I wonder if I put these big, brown paper bags full of leaves around the base of my house would they act as insulation and cut my energy consumption bills? Then I thought, I wonder what the neighbors would think of that? (Me saving money they weren't.)

* * *

My Astro "cap." Presented to me as a "special" award after my JV football season with Clarkston High School. It hangs in my garage to this day. (click for larger version)
And, whilst not thinking I also thought one of the sure signs of the apocalypse might very well have revealed itself to me last Friday. Then, the University of Michigan Wolverines were underdogs against Northwestern while at the same time your Detroit Football Lions were favored over the Pittsburgh Steelers, in Pittsburgh. When was the last time that happened? Answer: Never. My advice, stock up on water, whiskey and .22 shells for bartering.

* * *

I also know this about myself, I like to get my money's worth on things. I bought my lawn mower (used) in 1992. It was winterized this past weekend for next year's lawn maintenance. The leaf blower/sucker I bought in 1999 is now only a leaf sucker-upper, but it still works. I have bottles and tins of nuts, and bolts, and screws and washers that go back years. Some were my dad's and some nuts and bolts and screws my grandfather saved. He stopped saving those fasteners when he died in 1967! Oh ... and I still have the empty pony keg from his wake. Some day I will make a table out of it.

Much to the chagrin of my sons, I like to get every drop of ketchup out of the bottle. Shamus and Sean aren't too hip on the ways of their old man; they don't understand why I add a little warm tap water to the ketchup bottle they were just ready to throw away and why I make them use it before opening a new bottle.

I guess those are some of the reasons I'm known far and wide was The Cheapest Dad In Town. I don't like throwing away stuff for newer stuff until the older stuff has been thoroughly used up. Some of the aforementioned spouses might call me a hoarder, I tend to think of myself as a new renaissance man, the eco-frugal man. The more I keep, the less goes into the landfill.

Hey, it makes perfectly good sense to me -- so lay off my back, man!

* * *

It was with a smile I watched my children of the corn rake and rake and rake this weekend. I smiled not because the cheap labor cost associated with employing Shamus and Sean, rather because they raked, and raked and raked with my old busted-up and missing tine rakes. They raked without complaint, no less!

After the boys raked, I straightened out the garage which always takes longer than it should because I find stuff to look at and think about. This time around it was no different. I found an old baseball cap that was given to me in 1979! It was presented to me at the awards ceremony following my Junior Varsity football season.

Yep, while some guys merely were given awards like Most Valuable Player, Most Improved Player and Player of the Year, I was given a navy blue nylon cap with one word emblazoned on the front with bright yellow plastic letters.

Clarkston High School Head football coach Kurt Richardson (of the 200-plus win club) had yet to win his first game, but he won my admiration. He gave me my Astro cap and the nickname some of my high school buds still call me, Astro.

Why? Well, according to legend I had an inclination to talk a lot (enthusiastically) on the sidelines with or without my mouthpiece in. Mostly though when it was in. And, to KR I sounded like that dog on the TV cartoon, The Jetsons -- Astro.

* * *

Just so you know all was accomplished before the 60 mph winds blew through town Sunday night and my trusty TeamRush Mobile (a rockin' 2008 Ford Escape, with all the power a whole four cylinders can muster) was nestled, safely inside the newly cleaned garage.

Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: don@dontrushmedon.com
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