October 17th, 2017 by Jan

Ken and I have been trying in vain to buy firewood.

We probably started looking a bit late, but are not really worried as we had plenty left over from last year. Still, we perfer to go into winter with a freezer full of blueberries and a wood shed full of wood. So, we have contacted 3 or 4 different people who actually advertise that they sell wood. We’ve also called 2 or 3 others that friends have recommended.

Our luck has been so so. Most don’t call back, but three times, we’ve been promised delivery and got a no shows. One time, a woman showed up with half of our order. Mostly, we have been left waiting and hoping for said promised wood to be dropped off.

I told Ken, Oh, to be young and industrious! We could make a fortune. Ha! All you really have to do to be somewhat successful in life is show up. Be where you say you will be, with what you say you will have, and do what you say you will do. Crazy talk right!

One woman who promised wood, said she couldn’t come because she broke a window in her truck and couldn’t afford to fix it. I said, we had money for wood if that would help. Her answer was — not really. The window would cost $500. and the wood is only $220. She decided not to deliver the wood but to ask her father for the money instead.

I don’t get it, and I do. Work ethics change. I was there when a young man said he wanted to “be rich” when asked what he wanted as he entered college. Another answered they wanted to “be famous”. No one said they wanted to be a fireman, chef, or electrician.

Have we taken this, “You can be anything you want to be” too far? I think so, look what the US has for President. I guess, anyone can be anything — qualified or not, by us leaving out the part of the conversation that says….”if you study and work for it.” Basically, suit up and show up.

All this reminds me of an adventure in business I had when I was 21 years old.

I had just met Sandie. She and I were young housewives, having the time of our life. We spent most days hanging out at the lake and watching soap operas, then around 4 pm, we would rush home to cook dinner for our “hard working” husbands! It was grand.

One day we thought about starting a business and making some money of our own. We had the great idea to take down old abandoned barns in the area, and use the wood to create awesome art projects.

Sandie had been a house framer, so we had the tools and she knew how to them. I was teachable. One day, we put on work boots, overalls, and gloves, we took hammers and saws and went to a barn we had scoped out. We were already counting the money we would make. There was a lot of old wood there, enough to make furniture, frames, tables; the list was endless.

As we approached the barn though, the very first piece of wood we lifted off a pile that had fallen — we saw a snake.


We both ran.

Nope! That big fat idea was the wrong one. We gave it all up and went back to the lake to think of something we could do with less danger and certainly a lot less work.

Over the years, we’ve both had a variety of jobs. We did work hard and both of us had good careers. We know how to show up.

One thing I know for certain, is that we never, ever, called our dads for money.

Oh, to be young and industrious again!

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