I haven't been around much lately. Our daughter Ingrid recently bought a house in Saskatoon, which required some work before moving in - redoing floors, replacing the bathtub, that sort of thing. Fortunately, she has a Handy-dad, so I headed down there the day after she got possession, and I've been there ever since.
Long and tiring days, but I have to say that I was totally impressed by her friends. We've always known that she had the good fortune to meet some really nice kids at the Pottery Club at PACI when she was in junior high. Those friendships have lasted and the group has expanded over the years, and these now young adults come together to help each other out whenever required. So every evening they would come by after work - first to help rip out things, then to learn how to put things back together. Between the Tuesday before the long weekend and the Tuesday after, we ripped out the rotting front porch and replaced it, took out a bathtub, the rotting wall behind it, and the wall and a closet between the bathroom and the main bedroom, replaced the bathtub, sink and toilet, put down new linoleum in the bathroom and new flooring in the kitchen and main bedroom, put up a new wall, and moved Ingrid's furniture and three cats from her townhouse to the new house.
I certainly couldn't have done it as quickly or as enjoyably without their help, but they seemed to think that I was doing them a favour, since they want to learn how to be handy around the house, and delighted in learning how to do things like use a table saw, or glue together plumbing pieces. Their parents have raised them well, and should be very proud of Sarri, Jaryn, Matt, Jen, Susan, Diana, Lana, Stephen and Christina. They would work hard, then take a beer or whatever break, then work hard again, all the while carrying on conversations about life, work and other things.
It was great to be part of a group that had a common goal, and was willing to work hard to reach that goal. No shortcuts with this gang - when one wondered one evening if we really had to make sure that all the details were taken care of, another reminded her that doing slip-shod work was what had caused these problems in the first place. It's great to see young adults in their late 20s and early 30s aware of the importance of doing the job right.
As most of you are probably aware, we have no family close by. Knowing that Ingrid has this group of friends that she can rely on alleviates some of the normal parental worry - these kids have her back.
We all should be so fortunate.
"Friends are God's apology for relations." - Hugh Kingsmill