Thursday, December 21, 2006

Worth the Effort

Sometime in the last month or so I completely lost focus. Faced with all the daunting tasks ahead of me with this remodeling project I just became numb and was moving only out of a sense of duty rather than having any real goal in mind. For months I’ve been working at least full-time and when I’ve returned home I’ve been working as long as I could on the house. It was not uncommon for Victoria to come out and rebuke me for being on the top steps of a ladder late into the evening without a flashlight. My back hurts, my knees are bruised, my arms and legs have been scratched with everything from roof flashing to oven sheet metal, my fingers ache and only a few of them don’t have splinters in them. You know how every Olympics there is that one marathon runner who got a cramp early in the race but still manages to hobble her way to a last place finish? That’s kind of how I felt. I just kept plodding forward because that was what I was supposed to do but there was no joy left in the task and I had no hope of making my goal.
Well that changed Saturday afternoon. My wife and I had just finished buying all the groceries for the family dinner and Stephen and Reuben showed up to help with the cooking. We bragged about whose knives were better and had a lot of fun standing around the kitchen getting the food ready. They were both a tremendous help in preparing for the party. Stephen was cutting veggies and mixing ingredients, Reuben rolled most of the egg rolls and then slaved over the fry daddy for hours to get everything ready. Slick and Shalene made a trip to the church to "borrow" some chairs for the event and pick up the sushi. I suppose in most families this would have been the women getting the food ready and the guys going after the chairs, but we're more than a little unorthodox in many ways. But we're okay with that.
During the dinner there were rave reviews from all the family. Marcus even suggested that we do it every month. We had a great time together and the new kitchen just facilitated that.
Afterwards Reuben and Angela refused to leave until all the dishes were washed and dried. They didn't leave until well after midnight and they had an hour drive back home.
I went to bed that night exhausted but with a renewed sense of the importance of family. My new kitchen is just a thing. Ultimately it is meaningless. It's just a bunch of wood and appliances. However as a gathering place for family it is priceless. Thank you to all my family. You made that day such a positive experience for me that will never be forgotten.

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