I feel very Downton Abbey when I am roused at 9 a.m. on the Sunday after the time change by the people I have hired to work in the yard.
is also a very good friend, and as is the custom around here, he let
himself in. Eddie's barking had long-since alerted us to his presence so
at least I was decently covered with jammies when the door opened.
of course it meant I was to get dressed and join the conversation
outside. It was 33 degrees, so I had to fix my hair to accommodate a
hat, and then I stood, listening as the menfolk talked.
presence was totally unnecessary. This is a job that is weeks in the
works, and the specs of which have been clear for longer than that. Move
the six ENORMOUS truckloads of mulch from the front of the house to the
back. Spread it around.
Brian is the perfect kind of worker,
and we have a great thing going here. I have a never-ending to-do list
of house projects, and Brian comes whenever he is free to work on them. I
don't have to be here--he brings his own tools, knows where our things
are should he need them, and cleans up after himself. You would hardly
know he's been here, except that the work gets done. We have an
agreement on the number of hours every month, so he can count on the
income, and we can count on the work. For big jobs like this one, we pay
as we go.
It's a perfect arrangement. Everyone should have a Brian.
Except when you're trying to live in denial of the time change and it's 33 degrees out.
am reminded of the scene in Downton Abbey when the maid comes in to
open the curtains, waking Lady Mary and her new husband. The maid has
been up for hours at this point, having prepared the house for waking
habitation. Mary and Matthew chat happily, not the least but concerned
that they have been slothful.
I, on the other hand, realize that
Brian and his coworker have been up long enough to waken, get dressed,
(I hope) eat breakfast, and I see from thermoses set on the rocks,
prepare coffee. Not to mention the 30-minute drive to get here.
Sloth is one of the seven deadly sins, isn't it?
so I busy myself. I move the cut wood (cut by Brian, of course, while I
was out to dinner with friends earlier this week) to the pile; I
half-heartedly rake out the piles of mulch, knowing Brian will come
behind me and do a better job; I consider the difficulty of winning the
lottery; and could I possibly pay someone to cook for me without feeling
gluttonous (deadly sin number two)?
I suppose it's a good thing I
am not rich. Perhaps some of us really are born of "peasant stock" (as
my father used to call it), driven to work--or at least pretend to. And
for those of you wondering, yes, I am using reverse psychology on the
lottery fates and not the least bit worried that winning will "change
Come on, big money!!!