Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day Labors

The last day of summer...what shall we do with it?

Our kids invited their friends over.

Mama Hen decided to trim the wild and woolly bushes in the front of our house, which you may remember was vacant for the past two summers. It took 3.5 hours, instead of the hour or two she expected, what with having to stop and saw off so many branches that were too thick for the electric shears.

Papa Rooster thought it was a good day to buy a snowblower.

"A snowblower!" Mama Hen cried, garden saw in hand. "Why do we need a snowblower? We have two strong teenage sons, and you're not old and decrepit yet, even if you did just have another birthday. And we can always just drive over it till it melts."

"We live in Wisconsin, now, dear, near Lake Michigan," Papa Rooster patiently explained. "Kenosha has one of the highest average snowfalls in the nation and can get many inches, overnight, of really WET snow. We have a huge driveway. Even Jan says we need a snowblower, and a good one."

"Oh, all right then," Mama Hen acquiesced. "If Jan says we need one."

(Jan is a frugal Nebraska farmboy at heart, who would be the first to cry, "Put those boys to work!")

"But first," she said, with a gleam in her eye, "Why don't you do that budget spreadsheet we've been talking about for weeks, and tell me where the money is going to come from?"

Papa Rooster nodded, and it was his turn to accept reluctantly but without protest--in a word, acquiesce. "Good idea."

Several hours later, the friends were gone. The bushes were trimmed, the budget was established, and the snowblower (Consumer-Reports-researched and on sale for Labor Day) was residing in its new home in the Henhouse garage. Papa Rooster cleaned up some further banking business on the computer; Bantam17 gathered up branches and clippings, and Blondechick fried bacon for BLT sandwiches. Bantam13 set the table, Bantam9 retrieved the two youngest Chicks from a neighbor's house, and Mama Hen chopped up more veggies for the pasta salad.

They sat down to the last supper of the summer with special prayers for those starting in public school and those beginning homeschool tomorrow. Friends came over afterwards to watch the first session of a teen conference on DVD and left early, in deference to our teens who are getting up at 5 a.m. Things were quiet in the Nest by 10:15 p.m.

It was a well-labored Labor Day.

(And though we may have 21 days of summer left, officially, some of us--ahem--are already excitedly anticipating that first snowfall!!)

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