On The Bricks

May 30, 2019

My Uncle Clyde’s funeral is Saturday and I’ve been asked to read some memories of his childhood that he wrote in 2006. My dad is also speaking, so we have been reading a little in the family history books. It’s been interesting.

One of the things that Uncle Clyde talked about was his attitude about work. He worked road construction early on and was often first hired and last laid off. He said that “after the major job was done, other guys would sit around, but I would keep busy … even if it was just picking up nails. So, the bosses kept me on longer.”

It made me remember the only big chastising I got from my father. We were laying rock and I was a sophomore in high school. My job was to make the concrete. It’s hard work, shoveling sand and cement into that little mixer, shoving it into buckets and carrying it to Papa. At one point, Papa asked me to do something and I just wilted, saying, “I can’t.” I was so tired.

He stopped working … and he had been working twice as hard as me … and said in a very stern voice, “You are not allowed to say, ‘I can’t.’ You say, ‘I’ll try.’” I had done something unacceptable to my kind and caring father. That day made a real impact on me.

And last week, one of the cousins posted on Facebook about Grandpa Grantham (Papa and Uncle Clyde’s father) and how when he said the prayers before a meal he always started his prayer, “Dear Lord, thank you for our work.”

Generations of my family have been impacted by Grandpa Grantham, a young married man and father during the Great Depression. This morning I received a group text from my eldest son, who is a mechanic for a gas company. The text was accompanied a picture of some big motor.

He wrote, “Man, I love when things go smooth and I can drop in a new piston first shot! It’s a beautiful morning!”

His sister texted back, “… since you’re a hard worker.” She was proud of her brother.

Thank you, Lord, for our work and for family that appreciates the blessings you give us in so many ways.

Now, I really need to get to work and get something accomplished today! Grandpa Grantham and Papa need to be proud, not disappointed in me!

Hope you enjoy your work today.

See you on the bricks.