Pulling Ourselves Up

Pulling-Ourselves-UpThe welcome northerly wind has brought us drier air and cooler temperatures. I was in a grove of trees today where I was out of the wind and sun and found myself surrounded by a swarm of deer flies and mosquitos. I love trees but when there is under growth and the canopy of the trees are too low, there becomes a sanctuary for insects that bite. Deer flies give a nasty bite that creates welts. One followed me in my car and luckily I noticed it before I drove off. It would not have been a good thing swatting at a fly while driving down the highway.

One of the people at my open house today whom I’ve known for a great number of years happened on the subject of a family that we both know. The parents were ones who always seemed to pick up the pieces of bad situations in which some of their children would get themselves involved. Both the parents died within several years of each other and left of huge estate for their children to fight over. Most people would have never guessed the parents had much money at all, but they were thrifty as well as made some very good investments over their long years of marriage. Several of the children found themselves in even deeper trouble due to the big monetary gain from their parents estate.

We’ve heard the stories over and over how parents work so hard to leave legacies for their children, and in the end the children can’t seem to spend it fast enough. It sort of reminds me of the sad stories of the lottery winners who find more problems were caused winning the money than not.

On the flip side, I personally know a man who went through a bloody divorce and ended up with custody of his three children. He is a very hard working man and likely puts in at least 10 – 12 hour days. What I admire about him is his positive attitude as well as the instilling of self-responsibility within his children. He doesn’t give them money freely; if they want spending money they have to work for it. They have jobs ranging from lawn mowing, snow shoveling, paper delivery, and corn detasseling. I have met the children and they appear to be well on their way to making something of themselves.

While writing this, I thought of one of the photos that I’ve posted above of a young man who was being tested by the Marines booth that was downtown last Wednesday during RAGBRAI. When he signed himself up for the test of endurance, I was certain he would be doing more than the average. I’m sure he was proud of himself when he was handed a Marines t-shirt for his endurance. Looking at the photo it’s an encouragement to keep pulling ourselves up.

Joe Chodur

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