I suppose I should write something, huh?

It’s been a while since I have blogged regularly. That is probably going to change sometime soon. Some of my projects are winding down, and hopefully, life will resemble something more than work and sleep most of the time.

Not that it matters, because life being what it is, you find joy wherever you are, if you are aware. I have been aware, lately, that joy is when I am working. I know, that seems strange, but it is true. I find myself not looking forward to going to work, and then, somehow, throughout the day, my spirit is lifted.

The three fellows I have working with me right now are wonderful to work with. They show up on time, and the key words in this sentence are truly, “show up”. It wasn’t always that way. As recently as three weeks ago, I had a crew that just didn’t want to work. Several fellows would work three, maybe four days maximum in the week, and the rest of the days, they would come up with a convenient excuse as to why they couldn’t be there. One fellow recently had his grandfather die for possibly the third time in one year. Seriously.

Poor fellow. I can’t imagine the grief.

But the guys I have now are salt, let me tell you. The youngest, Aaron, is a transfer from California. When I asked him why he decided to move to this sometimes very cold place, he answered, “My pregnant girlfriend’s family, and she, decided to move here because of a new job for her father, so I decided I wanted to follow.” Good for him. We all wait joyfully, hopefully, and expectantly, for the birth of their child, due any day now.

Aaron is a wonderful, quiet young man of twenty-three. No job is too menial for him, and by that, I mean, NO JOB. He will sweep floors, pick up trash left by other contractors around the jobsite, and if that’s not enough, tape cardboard to newly painted doorframes so they are protected from damage before the opening. Already he has protected over fifty doors, and there remain another fifty at least. He does it all with such a pleasant attitude, I am almost ashamed to give him these tasks. The trouble is, he doesn’t have much experience, but he is learning, as I try to have him help me every so often installing cabinets.

Then there is Casey, my partner in crime, so far as installing cabinets go. He is an admitted rock-star wannabe, complete with a Sammy Hagar look-alike haircut and bead necklace. Casey is going through a rough spot right now. His live-in, on again, off again girlfriend is playing games, and it is wreaking havoc on my forty-something friend. We talk almost every day about how he is feeling, what it is doing to his heart, and what he should do. The truth is, I don’t know what he should do. But I do hope he gets rid of that girlfriend, she sounds an awful lot like my ex-wife. The similarities are amazing, to say the least. No one should have to live with someone that judgmental.

Finally, there is Jim. When Jim first arrived on the jobsite, he was very quiet, hardly talked to anyone. Over time, however, we have come to draw him out a bit, and let me tell you, Jimmy is a character. He just has this way of saying things that causes me to burst out laughing. Recently, Jimmy’s name on this jobsite has changed. We now call him Jimmy The Doorframe. It’s a mafia spoof on the job he has been working on for almost a month now, stripping and sanding old metal doorframes so they can be painted. And Jimmy is very, VEEEERY protective of these doorframes. Now you know why Aaron has been taping cardboard to them.

I fully understand Jimmy The Doorframe’s obsession with protecting the doorframes. Each one takes half a day to bring to the point where it can be painted.

There is another reason he is called Jimmy The Doorframe. He is huge. He stands five foot ten inches tall, and weighs all of two hundred seventy pounds, little of it muscle. Lest you think I am making fun of him here, please be informed that Jimmy would be the first to say it’s true. He is jolly about his weight, and no one is going to tell him to lose any of it. There will be no silly diets in his future, so far as he can control things. He enjoys food, and to him, it’s all good for you.

Jimmy The Doorframe fits his name, and the mafia spoof is well portrayed, when you consider that many mafia hit men in the movies have been huge men who didn’t have time to diet. We kid him sometimes that if someone messes with his doors, they’ll learn the real reason he is called Jimmy The Doorframe. He just laughs in his unassuming way, and goes back to sanding. He is like the Terminator, he never, ever stops.

And then there is me, in this motley crew. I supposedly am the glue that holds us together, this foursome who works hard as we can for ten hours a day. I have a nickname, too, “The Hammer”. I don’t really know why I am called that, unless it’s my obsession with “fixing” everything with a hammer when it doesn’t work the way I think it should. Seriously, though, that really hasn’t happened more than three or four times on this project.

There was this one instance where a fellow named Gaylord, whom I mentioned a while back, blew up at me. Apparently, I was walking toward him with a hammer lazily swinging from my right hand as he berated me. Honestly, I remember the being berated, I do not remember having the hammer in my hand.

That’s us, my crew which is now charged with bringing this project to a close. It will be finished……oh yes….it will be finished….. or it will learn the meaning of the word “hammer”!

God bless us all, even Jimmy The Doorframe.

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