john's journey

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 30 (v.1) - The Work

Submitted: December 02, 2019

Reads: 12

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Submitted: December 02, 2019



"John, part of the deal of you living here, feeding, and mentoring you is you need to work to pay for services rendered.  The work is simple, but it's required to be done everyday, no matter what the conditions, obstacles, or interferences that are presented.  Can  you grab that sled, the axe, plastic containers, and the traps in the back of the house and meet me up front in 5 minutes."  John hasn't really been an outdoorsy type of person except the occasional trips to a lake house owned by his grandparents and taking his kids fishing during weekend trips to a rental property we would visit on an annual basis.  John found the sled.  It was a rustic contraption and, though heavy, was pretty easy to haul around from the rope in the front.  Searching around he found the axe and the large, plastic water containers.  Initially, he had no idea what a trap would even look like, except what he saw in cartoons that wre set by Willie Coyote trying to catch Roadrunner.  Surprisingly, after rummaging through rusted out rakes and shovels, he found exactly what he thought a trap would look like.  He grabbed the heavy traps and hoisted them on the sled.  He pulled the sled up front.  John was excited about getting active and working for Jose.  He felt useful, productive, and contributing his fair share.  As they headed out through the forest they unloaded the traps and strategically placed them under fallen trees, ravines at the bottom of hills and under a large bush that could be used for refuge for an animal.   "John, these are spring loaded, so you need to pull them open, set them, and lightly cover them with leaves and shrubs.  Don't ever put your hand directly into the trap.  Remember where the traps are and you'll need to check them every day to see if we caught anything."  John looked around to find land markers and Jose brought some small lawn flags that were placed near the traps as a reference. They moved on for about a mile and came across a large space full of trees that looked like no one has traveled through for years and years.  It was full of luscious greenery and shrubs that were dwarfed compared to the large trees that cast a large shadow over everything below them. "John, hand me that axe.  We need the firewood during the cold months and as a backup for our heat and stove in the event the propane goes out."  Jose showed John how to hold the axe and chop away at the tree, and how to project its trajectory of where it would fall.  "Once you get the tree down, cut it into logs and load them on the sled and pull the sled back to the house.  When you get back to the house, quarter the logs into 1.5 lengths and begin to stack them outside the house.  Once that is done, take the 4 water jugs down to the river we passed on the way back and fill them up and bring them back.  Make sense John?"  John looked at him with a blank stare and nodded his head.  "Great, see you back at the house."  John looked at the tree Jose had cut down for him and began to cut it into pieces that he could manage to get onto the sled.  As he began to cut into the wood, sweat formed on his brow, his shoulders throbbed in pain, and his breathing was heavy.  Every 10 swings of the axe, he would rest.  He knew he had to hurry and get back to the house and fill up the water before dark.  He struggled loading up the sled the 4 large logs he was able to cut and wrapped his hands around the rope and started going to back to the house. The weight of the logs made each step a struggle and his legs started to burn as he climbed the hills.   He couldn't bear it as the doubt, shame, and loser mentality overtook his thoughts.  He dropped one of the 4 logs off and continued to push through the pain to get back to the house.  With .5 miles left he only had 1 log left as he reached the house.  He let go of the sled and sat down on the porch absolutely wrecked.  It was evident he hasn't worked that hard in years, if ever.  Jose stepped out on the porch, sat next down to John.  For the first time, she showed some compassion and said "John, I got the water for you.  As you're beginning to see, the work isn't sexy, fun, or easy.  Trust me, it will pay for itself.  Go wash up and we'll eat.  Tomorrow is a new day.

John looked at himself in the mirror before his shower and noticed how much muscle he had lost over the years.  Once a toned, chiseled upper body had slimmed down to skin and bones.  He could already feel the soreness overcome his body.  The shower and meal helped and he went right to bed.  As the day was humbling, he was determined to get up tomorrow and do better.  

© Copyright 2019 Matt Getting. All rights reserved.


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