Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Being Prepared

I am reminded of the grasshopper and the ant, stars in the Aesop Fable from long ago.  I am reminded of this tale every Fall.  When my good friend and neighbor Duncan was alive, I assigned us each one of the two as our mascots.  Duncan of course, with his never ending efforts to always be prepared for what was coming, became the ant while yours truly hopped around clueless and carefree as the grasshopper.

I long ago accepted my fate as one depending on good luck or bad.  Duncan never relied on luck.  He was the guy who always changed his oil as scheduled, pulled out his snow blower and made sure it ran before it snowed the first time, and had his wood stacked clean and dry long before the first frost sparkled our yards in late September or early October.  Fix it before it broke was his way.  Maybe fix after it broke was my way.

Almost every late August or early September I would bump into Dunc while he was stacking wood, engaged in some late summer yardwork, or performing the many neverending homeowner duties like re-painting, cleaning gutters, blah, blah blah.  He would run through the list of pre-emptive measures he was engaged in to blunt whatever Mother Nature had planned for us in the upcoming months.   He had his yearly duties and their completion  broken down to specific holidays.  The big one of the Fall was Veteran's Day.  Year after year it never varied.  By Veteran's Day wood stacked, any painting needed-done, snow blower out, and yard and garden scrapped clean so that Spring cleanup would be easy peasy.

I would listen and admire his list and tell myself I should make a list too.  Twenty minutes later I'd be riding my bike, mindlessly tinkering on something stupid, or just contemplating my naval.  The list, well, it was forgotten before I even made it back to my own driveway.  Being prepared for me meant knowing where the extra toilet paper was.

That Duncan passed long before his time does in no way detract from his nose to the grindstone, be prepared persona.  His passing was not something he could have prepared for.  His passing in no way justifies or lend credibility to my loose dog ways.  But it does point up that we all have a limited number of days on this planet.  And I would hazard a guess most of us have no clue what that limit is.  And if nothing else we should live those days as comfortable with ourselves as we can.  Duncan derived enjoyment from his constant state of preparedness.  Me, well, I apparently derive pleasure from feeling guilty about not being prepared.  Some might call it living on the edge.  Me, well, I just call it being a grasshopper.

I gotta go dig out the snowblower.........Hope it works ........Later.......................


Kulkuri said...

Hopefully I'll remember to get the snowblower ready next year. For some reason it moves real slow. Might need new belts or something.

I usually try to get things done before winter, but not everything does get done. I'm doing better now than when I was young. Then I'd be out in the snow making firewood, not fun.

BBC said...

I consider being prepared as being well stocked with basic foods and having backup heat and electricity and water and things like that.

I don't wanna mess with a snow blower, another piece of equipment, I just put a blade on my riding mower.

Yup, never know when you are going to check out but I sure wasn't planning on being here this long.

But in retirement things are easy going, there's hardly anything I HAVE to do other than get in Helen's firewood and such.

The Blog Fodder said...

This grasshopper empathizes with you completely. MY saving has been marriage to ants. Ella and Tanya both. Lists and everything done on time or ahead of time. Now if I could just play the fiddle...