Today is Labor Day in the United States and the labor of love in the hours I have spent working on and repairing my home, as I'm sure you have on yours, came to mind. Actually a couple of weeks ago, it came up first.
I was thinking about how I spent my first Labor Day in this house. I spent it cleaning out a clogged sewer. It was a nasty mess having to use the snake to clear the drain.
I discovered several things that day. One, sewer cleaning is not one of the "maintenance" chores I enjoy doing. Painting, yes. Caulking, yes. Sewers, no!
A second thing was how strangely the pipes were laid out in this particular house. Yet I have come to realize many houses have strangely laid out plumbing systems.
Third, and the reason all this came up a couple of weeks ago, was I discovered a great neighbor, Ron. Ron was over as soon as he saw a "lady in distress" and he was over almost every time since then.
Ron was also the one who when he saw me on Evening Magazine yelled at me the next day to see if I could "Kung Fu" his garage. Most people wouldn't have gotten a kick out of that, but I sure did. You see, that is exactly what needed to be done to Ron's garage since he has always had "stuff" from other people's garage sales. These were things he had bought and now had as part of his garage sales. He meant to say Feng Shui, but those were foreign words to him. Kung Fu wasn't.
Ron had purchased a home about 100 miles from us where he spent much of his time these days with his wife of 40+ years. We didn't see him much as he only came in September to have a garage sale the same weekend as the church 3 blocks away and to do repair work on his rentals in the area.
The last time I saw Ron was about 2 months ago. He didn't look well and we found out his heart was failing him. There was nothing more the doctors could do.
Ron died 2 weeks ago. Almost everyone in the neighborhood had the same comments about him. He was always there to help, especially if it had to do with fixing a home.
This post is dedicated to Ron. He knew how to fix all the little and big things that can go wrong with a house - all the things needed to keep it in good repair.
I think Ron would have enjoyed seeing what the neighborhood did this Labor Day weekend. We banned together to find enough green compost bins to remove a bunch of privots along one neighbor's fence. The fence needs to be repaired and the privots were in the way. Ron, we used one of your compost bins in the process.
I personally was on the roof painting eaves, putting the final coat on several of them. I also managed to get the front porch washed and another coat of paint on it before the winter rains set in. I know you would love the ingenuity we used in finishing the porch. We used plywood, one of your favorite materials.
So Ron, I want you to know we definitely will miss you. You brought a lot of love to our lives. You brought a lot of love to the labors you so graciously gave to all of us as a "helping hand" neighbor.
Your love of life and your love of labor to make a house a home are gifts I hold in my heart. Bless you.