Jack the plumber and other stories

My niece bought a coffee shop last month.

The previous owners had allowed me to sell my local history book in their gift store so I stopped by this week to restock.

I ran into a  high school class mate.  We decided to do coffee Saturday morning.

Saturday, as I sat at the main table, I was concerned I was sitting in someones chair.

“Not to worry,” they said.

One of the regulars, (Jack) is a plumber.  I’ve seen Jack around town for 40 years.    He was heading to work on a water heater after he left the coffee-house.

My classmate asked me to guess how old Jack was after he left…I guessed 80 only because I knew he was about my dad’s age…

88.

Jack is 88.  He has the energy of a man 20 years younger.  Now think about it for a second.   On a Saturday morning Jack was installing a water heater for someone.  I thought I was doing good to be at the coffee shop on my day off by 7:30. 🙂

My dad used to say “The word retirement is not in my vocabulary.”  Another one I’ve heard him say is, “Do what you love and  you’ll never have to work a day in your life…”  Those little ditties were  being lived out in front of my Saturday morning in the person of Jack.

Pause.

I am still reading  John Muir His Life And His Letters And Other Writings.   I started using the highlighter.  The guy was a poet.

Came across another nugget the other night.  He was telling a friend goodby….

He wrote:

“I don’t envy you.  You’ll have a hard time keeping your heart light and simple in the midst of this crowd of madmen.  Instead of the music of the wind among the spruce-tops and the tinkling of the waterfalls, your ears will be filled with the oaths and groans of these poor deluded, self-burdened men.”

Reading that admonition by Muir to his friend, confirmed for me yet again this impulse to keep my heart light and simple in the midst of life.

Yes,  sometimes I wished I had a little more wiggle room when it comes to finances.  If I had the option,  would I rather spend my life making lots of money in a job I hate with the goal of someday slowing down and enjoying it, or make a lot less and enjoy myself now.

As a firstborn, formerly driven workaholic, I can now take a nap  without shame.  (That is no small feat.)  I  no longer hear the voice of the old German taskmaster who  lives in my head.  I know he’s still up there, but he no longer in charge.

The old German.

__________________________

And on an almost unrelated  note.  We had a crop failure this year with the apples.  (we have a small orchard of about 100 trees) In June we had a nasty hail storm.  The apples kept forming but 90% of the crop was severely blemished. Still OK for cooking, cider, etc. but not marketable.

2017 hail damaged apple

Had two different Amish families come and pick some for cider.   I know they probably thought I was nuts to just give them away…but hated to see them go to waste and I was darned if I was going to deal with snarky comments.

I would rather give them away or let them rot.

“keep your heart light and simple, in the midst of this crowd of madmen…” John Muir

Later! DM

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Jack the plumber and other stories

    • Yea, I was sick initially because we use the sales of the apples for our food budget over the winter…but decided not to dwell on the negative…so far so good 🙂 I will keep you posted.

      Liked by 1 person

      • So many apple pies that could be made! Can a bunch for pie filling and other desserts. I was looking through the King Arthur catalog and saw cherry pie filling going for $15 a jar. Found somewhere else online where Apple pie filling was going for $16 a jar….

        Liked by 1 person

        • they would be PERFECT for that. but alas… I still have several jars from last season we canned..and legally, I don’t think I could sell it unless it was done in a commercial kitchen.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Well poo. You are probably right. Christmas presents? Or maybe can some as gifts with a tag that advertises the apple harvest for next year? You could pass them around town, hit all the non-chain restaurants that might want to “locally source” their apple desserts… It kills me that their imperfect little bodies are just going to end up rotting on the ground. I am probably not helping, am I…. :-/

            Liked by 1 person

            • You are helping. 😉 We ran into a former banker last weekend at an anniversary reception…she told us she missed the apple pies we used to drop off in the fall..(her and a co-worker were just talking about it a week ago). with all of the angst floating around, I think a couple of apple pies would be fun.

              Liked by 1 person

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