Daily Archives: September 21, 2014
I never claimed to be a landscaper. While some people seemed to cherish time spent in yard work, manicuring their lawn and nurturing blossoms, I was lucky to find time just to mow the grass and gaze wearily upon all the weeds growing along the fence line.
Over time, those unencumbered weeds steadily grew thicker, taller and stronger. They encroached upon my yard and upon my peace of mind. Ridding my yard of this army of weeds, including the impervious poison oak, seemed an impossible task.
I decided that the only way to rid my backyard of this ongoing growth of greenery was to get professional help.
Jim arrived right on time, as scheduled, to begin the job. He extended his calloused hand in greeting and quickly laid out his plan of attack for the week. He shared his projected timeline and went straight to work.
He unloaded his work tools and placed them near the fence line. He started the tedious job of digging, pulling and cutting the offending vegetation. Despite the heat of late summer, his arms were covered in long sleeves. He wore a blue bandana around his neck and pulled another from the pocket of his jeans to wipe sweat from his brow.
He worked persistently, with only occasional breaks to drink water from his thermos. After a brief lunch break, he steadfastly returned to his work of freeing my yard from previously unhindered weeds and brush. At the end of the day, he organized his tools and loaded up the debris to be carted away.
I complimented him on his hard work and shared my amazement at how much he had accomplished for one day. Still wearing his work gloves, there was no handshake. He thanked me and said he had a lot more to do the next day.
This routine continued throughout the week. Each day, he arrived on time, deliberately attacked the overgrowth, cleaned up the work area and headed to the dump with a full load of brush.
I was impressed by his persistence and his drive to get the job done. I was also impressed by his attention to detail. The job was not done halfway, as I was prone to do with laborious jobs. He systematically approached the large task, working section by section, until all the brush was removed and preventative measures were taken to stop or slow the return of unwanted greenery. Jim showed a strong work ethic and had pride in his work. He finished the job.
When the job was done, I thanked him for his effort. I told him how pleased I was at the appearance of the yard, which now seemed much larger. I told him I appreciated his work and was impressed by his persistence. A brief smile flashed across the tired laborer’s face, hinting at the pleasure he felt from being praised.
With his work now completed, Jim shared a little bit about his life. I learned that he was relatively new to town, had previously owned his own business but now worked for someone else, was married and that he didn’t always have time to keep his own yard in pristine condition even though that is what he helped others to do.
He pushed up his sleeves, removed his gloves and extended his hand. With a handshake, our interaction came to a close. He walked to his truck and drove away.