Sunday, July 20, 2008

Helping Lola Pack

The greatest obligation a man has to his buddies is helping a guy move. The female equivalent of that is the Bridal Shower. Moving, we don't mind at all. Packing... we love.

Or maybe I shouldn't speak for everyone. I can't say I help someone pack & move every month, but if you throw in cleaning out closets, setting up the baby's room, and giving a place Curb Appeal, it's a fair average.
Your Gal Sunday, as it were.

Lola the Mill Girl has made quite good, and she is going to establish a little boutique by the sea, specializing in children's wear (wink-wink).

Early in my assignment down-the-Mill, when my workgroup was being paid not to grow the sorghum (a misplaced metaphor, but one Billy Scott and I were very fond of), Lola was one of few interested in using our services. And she was a bright young hotshot I wanted to impress so I had turned it on hard. Over these 4 years we have become friends, and have learned to pass the mentor hat back and forth to each other whenever one of us needs the other to be wearing it.

Lola had a great idea for enticing her girls over to pack. Price of admission, 1 box. You pack it. In exchange, shop from the wine collection she didn't want to risk moving. I scored one better, by virtue of being a suit size Lola no longer is, and sharing a taste in clothes that comfortably meets in the middle of the >cough< years between us.

Good thing I brought 2 boxes.

Today's conversation topic was generosity - how to give it, and more importantly, how to receive it. We fell all over each other with the thanks yous, and the how nice, and the really it's just too much. And it made it easy to both give and receive, and not get too wistful about yet another of the inner circle being pulled to California.

Today, in a flurry of plates and newsprint we tried to express all the appreciation we've had (and hope to maintain) in what has been (and continues to be) a confusing workplace. I packed her plates; she fed me dinner. I advised on the fragility of stacked glassware; she gave me a fall wardrobe (and at last a spring coat). We talked about the slipping away of those who keep me from slipping away.

She said, "It's just so nice of you to give this time."
I said, "Time is what I have to give."

It is a small time we have with each other -- 4 years here, 2 years there, even the 15 and 20 years are just fractions of the whole picture -- and there is so much to do. It is hard enough to do it, harder still to ask for the help, shouldn't we just agree when it is asked? Put in your day's work, enjoy a good meal, and strengthen the bonds of your friendship. (The Bridal Shower is not included in this theology).

The Shakers said, "Do your work as though you had a thousand years to live and as if you were to die tomorrow." In your relationships, too, spend time as if today will never end and as if it is the last time you will see each other. Or... "Army children learn to say good-bye to their friends."
Give a friend some of your precious time this week, just for something they need done.
Get your Shaker Quote of the Week here. Now go live your ministry.


  1. That was lovely, especially the use of YouTube and that alpha female anthem! You're brilliant ... yes, I said brilliant, so take it!

  2. Post script -- i had to look up sorghum, nice use of vocab Mizzzz Bender!

  3. Nicely played, Miss BenDAH.

    Now stay away from fresh jalapeno, mkay? Cause there maybe not sure but just to be safe you don't want THIS might be salmonella is that how it's spelled? Anyway. Just saying.

  4. Can I compromise and imagine that I'm going to live for maybe another six weeks? Those extremes would drive me crazy.

  5. nice little message. appreciated. sometimes i get all forget-ty about this.


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