No Heavy Lifting

Posted: Friday, November 6, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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Well, wadda ya know..there’s going to be a bit of Indian Summer after all.
My old colleague, Gary Weckwerth recently commented on Facebook about the political correctness of using that term to describe a burst of Autumn warmth..but nobody’s ever accused me of being too politically correct anyway so I’ll take my lumps if some take offense.
I finally got the yard work done Thursday. Once again the lawn was buried in shin-deep leaves, ours and the neighbors. It’s just killer back-breaking work getting them all raked up and hauled away.
At least that’s what the guys from Peter’s Landscaping said when I was writing out their check. No sir…there may be a recession going on and the government may have frozen our social security payments..but I’m done dealing with that chore forever and will gladly cut expenses somewhere else if need be in order to pay Peter and his all-Russian crew to come over with their riding lawn vacuums and other power equipment that lets them complete the task without even breaking a sweat.
They did it in less than two hours.
Last year, it took Linda and me 2 days..not to mention enduring the embarrassment of making several trips through town to the drop-off site in my old Lincoln..crammed with up to 16 bags of leaves.
Please don’t tell me how the exercise would do me good.
It won’t do me good. In fact, such violent interruptions to my sedentary lifestyle could easily have my body reaching for the heart\off switch and the next thing you know, Linda would be picking out plots for a long dirt nap.
I’ve always had an aversion to manual labor..even before I joined the world of the fat and fluffy.
That’s not to say I haven’t done it. I have. One of my summer jobs in high school was as a block tender for Gross Construction. For those who don’t know what that is..let me enlighten.
You get up at sunrise to face a day in the hot sun hauling concrete blocks..one in each hand.. carrying them over to the skilled mason who would cement them in place. As the wall got taller, the lifts became higher and my arms grew wearier.
“Getting’ a little heavy for ya, there Doug,” Clarence Mast would say with a Pall Mall in his lips and a smile on his face.
“Hard work never hurt anyone,” he’d say.
“Oh no?” “Tell that to the widows of the 112 guys who croaked building Hoover Dam.”  
I thought it but didn’t say it.
To this day I’ve never seen anybody who is jogging or lifting or stair-stepping or any other form of strenuous activity that seems remotely happy while doing it. Red faced, wincing in pain, gasping..yes. Smiling..no.  
Of course it’s possible that I’m just lazy…okay “probable.”
But it’s something I can live with.

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