Are You Ready?

This is the time of year when a lot of things need to be ready, all at the same time. The to-do list is full of things like: docks in, boats and motors on the beach, cabins cleaned, windows washed. As of today, not all of those things are done...We just keep moving forward, doing the work, coming closer to that time when we can breathe the sigh of relief and say, Yes, it is all done. The fishing opener is the bar that has been set to reach that magical place known as "ready".

In my first couple of years here, Sharlene and I tackled the spring cleaning together, and we made a good team. I learned the ropes of resort work, while we kept the conversation going to make the day speed by quickly. Then the babies started to come, and I would bring them along to the cabins while I was doing the cleaning. Thank goodness for playpens and walkers, means of keeping a toddler "contained", so I could chase after the dust bunnies and cobwebs instead. Sometimes I wonder how I did it, with little ones underfoot like they were. Maybe that helped to instill the good work ethic that all three now possess.

Once we started to homeschool, things actually got a little easier. If we needed an extra set of hands, they were nearby. Sometimes, we would cancel schoolwork all together, to get the chores done. One particular year stands out in my mind. The ice went out just a day or two before the opener. Greg wasn't able to get the docks in immediately, and then he got busy with too many other things. Fishermen showed up to launch, and fortunately for me, Robert and Paul were both home studying. I threw out a couple quick requests, and the boys had the skid steer in place, and were able to push the dock into the water. If a similar scenario were to happen and I were home alone, there would be no dock from which to launch.

I like to think that these exercises were just as important as the book-learning. Fortunately, it seems to have worked out in the end, as Addie, our youngest, is due to graduate in just a few weeks. On-the-job training is what Robert has called it when filling out applications for other similar jobs.

Now we are doing the spring work mostly alone, since they are all off at work or school. We find ourselves trying to work smarter, using the tools and equipment first rather than our own muscle. I don't worry so much about having it all done by the opener. Sometimes it just doesn't warm up soon enough to wash windows, and often we don't need boats for rental until Memorial weekend. We prioritize the list, and continue onward. When asked now if I am ready for opener, I tell the truth of where I am at in my jobs, and then I defer to the game of Hide and Seek: Ready or not, here it comes! We're ready enough, so the fishermen can come anytime now.