We’ve had three weeks without significant rain and are about to log a fourth. According to Paul Douglas, going one month without precipitation happens once every four to seven years or so. And you’ve seen the photos of how Lisa and I have taken advantage of the warmer than average temperatures over the last few weeks. Considering the amount of rain and cold temps we had in September, it seems fair to relabel the tenth month of the year “SeptOber”. The reality is we’re just delaying the inevitable. By November, typical early mornings will be below 20 degrees. But we’ll soak up the reprieve as long as we can.
Yesterday I took the opportunity to lend myself out as free labor. This was in response to promptings by the Holy Spirit to be glad about serving the needs of family and friends. Lisa and I have written about being intentional toward quality time with our friends, co-workers, neighbors and family. We’ve asked the Lord to open the doors for those opportunities and to speak to us about how we can extend ourselves with a grateful heart.
A couple weeks ago we planned Friday date night with some friends from the office who live close by, John and Amy. Lisa and I planned and co-ordinated with John and Amy to have dinner and a see a show at the Old Log Theater. We hadn’t been there in awhile and the play was just what the doctor ordered: a comedy: Jeeves in Bloom. Three of us ordered the walleye dinner and one had the grilled vegetable ravioli. They also serve prime rib and chicken. This local theatre has been in business since 1940. They aren’t the only dinner theater in town; however, it’s nice because you don’t watch the show from the dinner table like some of the others. You eat in a separate dining room and then before 8pm, you find your seats in the theatre. We’ve enjoyed connecting with our friends and finding venues the encourage conversation and some entertainment. So it was a good choice.
Starting our weekend with some relaxation was welcome because we’d committed to making ourselves available to our friends in whatever way was needed before the remaining warm air is gone for good. I had planned helping my dad blow leaves out of his gutters; and then a few days ago another friend called and asked if I’d help demolish his basement. It’s not every day when you have the chance to destroy a room with a three pound hammer and a crowbar. Of course, there were sledge hammers, saws and plain brute strength available for full array of creative demolition tactics. After four hours of slinging the hammer and crowbar, we were rewarded with fresh baked pizzas.
Then it was off to my dad’s house. Dad turned 70 this year and I don’t want to see him up on the ladder nor on the roof of the house. So I dropped over after lunch and went to work with the Toro Ultra Blower VAC – Handheld Blower/Vacuum. I don’t care what you say, the leaf blower is fun. Imagine hearing Tim Allen read Toro’s description of their product, with familiar grunting:
The Toro electric Ultra blower/vac is the most powerful handheld blower/vac on the market! 3-in-1 machine is a blower, vacuum and leaf shredder. Blower Type: Toro – Electric, Air Velocity (MPH): 235, Air Volume (CFM): 255 (blow mode) Variable-speed 12 Amp motor 390 CFM air volume (vacuum mode) Rugged magnesium metal impeller for mulching Reduces 16 bags of leaves down to one Easy conversion from blower to vacuum in seconds with no tools Includes blower tube, vacuum tube, vacuum bag and air intake guard.
Yeah! A nice way to end the day by blowing leaves through a gutter wind tunnel! It was a tough day of physical labor and my right arm is a bit sore from bringing down old wood paneling, trim, doors, dry-wall, etc. My feet ache a little from standing up most of the day. But there’s a real sense of satisfaction in prioritizing time with others and giving ourselves over to helping out. It was opening pheasant season yesterday and as I loaded up the truck with a ladder and a few tools yesterday morning, I looked across the street and saw some guys with their orange vests on. Their dogs were jumping in excitement of yesterday’s hunt. I would’ve liked to have been with them. But at the end of the day yesterday, I admitted that God was right. The time spent with family and friends was worth more. And the friends and family were thankful that I was there. In the end, I got to be the vehicle that God used to bless somebody.
Some of these same buddies that I was helping yesterday will be with me in a couple weeks when we head out to Glenwood to hunt pheasants. For some reason, I think the Lord is preparing something special for us on that trip and His promises continue to inspire me throughout SeptOber.
One final note for inspiration: I took a few moments to read the paper about what happened to the University of Minnesota at Purdue yesterday. The Gophers are off to a 1 and 6 record and just look terrible. It’s sad for me because I have fond memories of heading to the old brick house on campus with my dad and watching the game on uncomfortable bench seats.
Coach Brewster looks like he’s done. I spoke with dad about it and he had a great idea: the University should call on some big name boosters (e.g. Bud Grant) to call up Tony Dungy and ask if he’d come in and save the Gopher’s football program. If Boise State can recruit guys to play in Idaho, wouldn’t Dungy inspire plenty of young men to play for him in a new stadium in Minnesota? I’d pay to see that.