|As a Sophomore 1965/6 I maintained this yard in Cayuga Heights, Ithaca in exchange for a free bedroom on the third floor of the home, above. (Photo of me visiting in the 1990's.)|
I had some young carpenters work on my home in Vermont two weeks ago. They were all in their twenties and did an excellent job. When they were finished, they said they'd be back to pick up a table saw and air hammer they left in the entryway to my downstairs family room, both objects the size of a small snow blower with a short handle.
One week later they had not picked up the equipment. I was annoyed at having to step over and around it every time I entered the house by the first floor sliding glass doors.
I called a couple of times and was told they'd pick it up. After two more days it was still there. I was pissed.
I got on my riding mower and started to mow the lawn which usually takes two hours to complete and gives me plenty of therapeutic time to forget my troubles and concentrate on the next row I am cutting.
Mid-lawn, I had a epiphany:
When I was twenty and a Sophomore at college in Ithaca, New York, I did EXACTLY THE SAME THING to a professor and his wife who had offered me a free room in exchange for yard-work; When I moved out at the end of my Sophomore year to allow another student to inherit the "free room", I said I'd be back to pick up a few things I had left in the upstairs bedroom. Six months and a few "hints" from the professor later, I still hadn't removed my "things" from his property.
IT NEVER OCCURRED TO ME that I was inconveniencing him or his family.
I thought it completely understandable that I should use his property as a free storage area.
HOW DENSE !
HOW OBTUSE !
HOW YOUNG !
So as I rode my mower in Vermont last week, I exclaimed out loud with the engine drowning me out, " IT'S EXACTLY THE SAME ! YOU DID THE SAME THING WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG ! HOW COULD YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN? "
A few minutes later one of the carpenters backed his truck in my driveway and picked up his equipment.
I never said a word: just smiled and told him how much I admired the work he had done.
C'est la vie.