Saturday, April 14, 2012

After All

I could write a book on this one.  And where do I start?

I come from strong, sturdy, self sustaining stock.  I come from folks who by and large wanted to live simply and for the most part, did.  They were folks who did not want much past their needs.  They were folks who bought quality products that would last.  And they bought products which they could fix.  They prided themselves on building, creating, fixing.

"Me fix it," my Dad said in those last years.  And fix it he did.  He still had the know-how to fix things but the hands and eyes didn't quite work the way he remembered they did.  But he would die trying. He left a path through their house of little things he had tried to fix.  The work was substandard for his usual fare, but it was embraced with a deep and abiding love by my Mother.  It just had to be done.  I still have images of him up on the roof and I can still shudder about that too.

I was a baby boomer (and still am).  My folks wanted my life to be better than theirs.  That meant more education.  And I got a lot of that.  In retrospect, my education (which I value) was another word for disconnecting me with from roots, "can do" spirit, "fix it" mentality, simple living, sustainable life ways.  My family and I had a little more cash and not much time.  So we bought service people to fix things that broke.  Over time, we knew less and less about those things ourselves.  And the products got more complex too.  Over time, we knew those products built by people with no pride were soon to head to the landfill.  It was not the future in which I had thought I might live.

These days, we find ourselves in a position where we are highly dependent on others who would create and fix things for us, especially as it relates to building, remodeling or repair.  We have tremendous skill, but not in these areas.  The times are complicated by the fact that many of those folks in those trades are not doing what makes their hearts sing.  Nor are they skillful in providing the service that we seek and to which they commit.  Nor do they have a clue that they are embarking on a sacred trust in building a nest for families, or that their actions could contribute toward situations which could put families in jeopardy.

Yes, we have met many with tremendous skill.  But we have also borne witness to "short-timers" in the ranks.  We have watched unskilled workers read the instruction books while they are putting in products upon which our safety and welfare are based.  We have watched workers with a numb glaze in their eyes because factors in their personal lives are taking up most of their attention.  It's okay and necessary to focus on one's personal life, just don't do it on our time.  One even came too high on the sauce to work and politely excused himself.  Is this for real?  As the old timers would say, "What is this world coming to?"  Just maybe we are the old timers now.

I admit I had almost thrown my hands up in despair.  Three marvelous beings have come through these doors in recent days and a patch of light is being shed on some tangled darkness in our midst.  I really do want to find our way through this and out of this.  Just maybe, we are doing it after all.

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