Wednesday, February 5, 2014

bringing back Rockwell...

I am still marveling at the Rockwellian experience from last night. Wishing that my driveway had been paved and not rock.  Amazed that for the first time in 11 years of living here that I encountered good old fashioned work ethic.  Something I respect more than anything else.

It snowed again yesterday, seems to be a common theme this winter.  I used to long for home, for Erie and its snowy winters.  I'm pretty much over that! In fact way over that!  Actually, I am starting to understand the value of moving south. 

Regardless of that, a young man, probably middle to late twenties, showed up on my doorstep yesterday evening.  He didn't look particularly warm and was wearing several bags on his feet in place of boots.  He was tall and thin, wearing a too thin jacket and those thin gloves you buy for a dollar at most stores.  He had a snow shovel in one hand and was offering to shovel my drive for $15 dollars. 

I wish I had been forward thinking.  I wish that I had come up with an alternate idea at that moment in time.  Hubby had already shoveled the deck and an uneven rock driveway is not the easiest thing to even think about shoveling.  My mind hadn't thought about the fact that even a light shoveling would have made a difference.  I hadn't thought. 

This young man, evidently needed money, and was willing to work for it. 

The willing to work for it part is what I am still thinking about.  So few people today are willing to work for those few dollars in their pockets.  Maybe it's where I live, I truly want to believe that everyone is not the same.  Maybe it is completely different.  Maybe...

I have a strong work ethic, I don't want hand outs and I don't like to give them.  I am a firm believer in a hand up, never in a hand out.  I believe in helping each other to achieve success. I wish I had been able to help that young man.  I didn't have any cash, but I would have driven up to the bank.  It would have been worth it.

I long for the time of Rockwell.  I long for a simpler time.  When the money we spent went to people that we knew.  Your beautician was your neighbor and the "company" she supported was her own.  There was value to what your money bought. Because if she did a bad job, you didn't let her do it again and that was money she needed.  If you needed bread you went to the local bakery, your baker took pride in what he produced and you could read the ingredient list of flour, yeast, water, sugar and the occasional egg.  Your butcher was where you got your meat, the drug store had your prescriptions and knew what you were taking and protected you from drug mix ups.

Somewhere we lost touch with working hard for what we want.  Somehow, that once common action of knocking on a door and offering to shovel someone's drive to help make ends meet sort of faded away.

Doing things for your neighbors also has taken a beating in recent years.  Yesterday, as all of the directors were closing up the Y,  Hubby had gone out to warm up the car and take off the layer of ice that had encompassed everything.  I was just starting to worry about him as we were locking the door.  I could say that I was surprised by what I saw, but I wasn't.  I am sure those last remaining members leaving into the storm were.  Hubby, bundled against the cold, armed with an ice scraper had cleaned the windows of every car on the lot.  They all might have had to leave in yuck, but they didn't have to stay outside and scrape windows in it.  I was simply so proud.  And I am sure those folks that tried to tip him where shocked at the refusal. 

I don't for a second imagine that life was easier back then, though I doubt it was harder.  It was just harder in a different way.  It was refreshing yesterday.  It was heart warming.  Maybe the pendulum is swinging back towards a more normal time. Maybe just maybe folks are starting to realize that 99 weeks of unemployment is not a career choice.  Maybe folks are starting to realize that handouts are eating at their self-worth.  Maybe...

Yesterday, tilted something inside me.  Maybe that young man will still be wanting some extra work this summer.  I can never keep up with the grass mowing, because of the hours I work.  If not maybe someone else will want to make a few dollars the old fashioned way... by earning it.

Anyone else miss those times?  Or am I simply living in a rose colored memory missing something completely unreal?