Thursday, August 16, 2018
The Robertson house South Lebanon, Ohio (repeat)
Retirement is an amazing part of life. Most people look forward to it, dream of it, BUT DO NOT PREPARE FOR IT!
When your job is stressful, retirement seems a DREAM coming true. I remember a seminar I attended just before retirement. The speaker said, “Most of you sitting there are ‘Somebody’, meaning you have authority. Presently when you say, ‘Jump,’ someone does.’ Basically today you are somebody, tomorrow you will be a nobody. Get ready for it. Be ready to be one of the crowd or reverse your plans and do not retire.”
The man knew something. Two days after retirement I was driving my antique truck. It died on me and I coasted to the side of the road and quickly jumped out (I knew what was wrong). I drug the tool box off the back and was hurriedly looking for the long nose pliers. I just sat back on the ground and started laughing out loud.. The folks driving by must have thought I was crazy.
I said to myself, you have dreamed of this day. You have NOWHERE to be. Nobody is somewhere waiting for you. You do not have to call in and say my truck broke down. Dude, YOU ARE RETIRED!!
I pulled myself together before I had a pleasant heart attack, fixed the truck and went on my way to nowhere in particular.
My dad was a pastor. A GOOD ONE. He cared about his people and his church building. Even though churches usually had paid janitors, he would help them. He was at the church long before a service to ensure the furnace or A/C was working. Dad looked forward to retirement. BUT he did not plan for it. His LOVE was Pastoring. Four weeks after retirement, dad was miserable. He finally settled down and was able to fill in at churches awaiting a pastor. He was well known and always had more invitations than he could fill, BUT HE STILL MISSED A PASTORATE.
With Dick & Kat Boon-docking in Alaska, We loved retirement!
My BIL also retired from the ministry. He knew what he was going to do. He had saved for an RV and bought one. He planned to golf, fish and travel. He soon remembered golf was expensive and fishing was a thrill. Fishing also put fish on the table, so fishing it was.
We traveled together most winters. Many weeks we fished 5 days and always had at least two big fish fries each week. Of course he too had preaching engagements. Even in Alaska. And there we FISHED plenty. The travel was wonderful.
BIL died at a campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway, doing what he loved to do. I have retired a couple times. My advice to anyone retiring, Think it through and PLAN for it. Retirement is Great, but only if you are ready for it.
Daddy bought a 1951 Buick in 1953. He felt bad because his members were mostly cotton mill workers, some did not have a car. He soon traded for a Rambler and he felt better. That was dad.
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Historic Century house Cleveland Ohio
To tell the truth, I am not happy that our USA labor force has changed, but it has. The four men who did out roof were all Hispanic. Illegals? I have no idea. Mr. Baster hired them and he is supposed to check for work permits. None of the men spoke enough English to answer simple questions.
I am not knocking them, I watched them work and remember when I and my fellow workers worked that hard. My son Mark, the hardest most consistent worker I ever had, would have fit in with this crew.
Jerry Rogers of Florida made a statement once when I commented on how hard he and his Florida crew worked.
Jerry said, “Hey Jack, we quit school because they wanted us to go out on recess!” LOL
At the end of this roofing job a look of ‘shock’ was on the workers faces when I got my own ladder and climbed to the roof to inspect. It was a very good job. The working area was clean and all debris policed. I knew they are thinking ‘what does that old man know?’ They don’t know I and my son built and roofed this house.
When I climbed down and gave them the thumbs up, with ‘Mucho gracious’ and then gave them a tip for the hard work, then they sure smiled. They knew the tip was from my heart because I did not hire them Mr. Baster did and he will pay them.
I do have friends who are out of work in the drywall and framing business because contractors can hire Hispanic labor cheaper and that is the name of the game. I did hire a Hispanic crew once because my regular subs were busy and I needed the job done.
They do believe in the ‘siesta’. I was surprised when we traveled in Europe that stores closed from 12-2:30 for siesta time. Most construction workers will take 15 mins. breaks morn and afternoon and an hour for lunch.
These guys took no breaks but slept from 12 to two. The first day I kept wondering when they would go back to work after lunch and noticed they weren’t sitting around shooting the breeze at noon but they all ate and found a place to sack out and went to sleep. (One exception was a dude that talked on the phone the entire time. I guess he is Americanized!)
This is not a post against the Mexicans who are here due to a demand. But it is to the American worker (not all) that allowed this to happen. They caused a void and caused the demand that the Hispanic is filling. I also appreciate family men and men of faith, most of these Hispanic guys fit that bill. Blame also goes to the contractors.
You cannot over look our government that also looks the other way. there is enough blame to go around.
Thanks for taking the time to read this ‘mess’.
PS: Yes, I think everyone in the USA should learn English. Learning a new language is tough, most of these guys are trying. Some pick it up faster than others. ME? I have been trying to learn Spanish for a long time now, I still want to learn and converse in Spanish.
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Historic Akron, Ohio
Now here and now:
My dad had a short statement that I have always remembered. “Don’t tell me rocks do not grow, Every spring we cleared plowed fields and every year we added to the rock walls around the fields. We finally had rock walls around all our plowed fields."
For some reason I have always wanted a rock wall. Nothing rare or fantastic, just a rock wall. Hiking in farming areas we saw many rock walls. In dense woods we saw them where once was farms. When seeing them I thought of dad.
I admire the rock walls and the effort used to create them.
SOOOO…. I have been clearing a path around our property here. I bought a piece of property from a developer who wanted to put apartments here. Like many builders (myself included) he had bet on the neighborhood not objecting. BUT they did in his case, so the land was forsale..Over 20 years ago!
A ‘realtor friend’ called about this property. He used the same line he always used, ‘Jack I want to give you the first shot at a prime piece of property.’ Every time he had already offered the property to other builders and friends. Anyway I did buy it because the price was fair. I built 5 homes, we kept the duplex
for us and sister Kat.
This duplex sets on an acre. I have never actually cleared the west boundary. Saturday last week, I was clearing a path on the property line. I notice a huge bulge covered with Ivy.
I assumed a huge tree had fallen and had been covered with ivy, since there are several old logs like that. It was along the property line and I noticed rock instead of wood under the ivy, Millions of ivy vines, 30-40 yrs of growth.
The more vines I pulled, the more rock and concrete hunks I saw. I have now uncovered about 30 feet of a two foot rock wall. I love it.
After clearing it I had to show Sherry. We walked out into the woods. She liked it. I then had to take son-Mark and G-granddaughter Stella to see it. They were not really impressed. (LOL)
I can’t believe it. Not impressed? Hey this is MY rock wall. I always wanted one. Ha! I really did! Yeah I know it ain’t 500 feet long and 4 feet high, but it is mine (or actually mine and Sherry’s)
Anyway I like it. And besides I had two hours of good exercise pulling one million, 2 hundred and 96 thousand vines! (or close)