It was the Saturday after Labor Day, and there was work to be done.

Don’t shirk your work.

I disconnected the plugs and ran a hose line from the pool, deep into the back yard so as not to flood the front. The water volume began to glug glug its way down, and I began to remove the steel rods that held the sides in place. I placed each one into a large plastic tub with a fitted lid.

When the pool was empty, I stepped in and scrubbed the liner and, after rinsing, left it to dry in the sun. I then rolled it up as tightly as possible and put it in the sealed tub as well.

All set for next year–a nice 18-foot unit that must be removable for winter to accommodate guest parking during the holidays. My back yard is not too big. It was a good piece of work to have done.

I descended the basement stairs to put away the tools and noticed that both the washer and dryer had completed their cycles. I rotated the loads, which included some blankets for fall, started another, and brought the basket of dry clothes up, which my wife began to fold.

Stepping back outside, I decided it was a good idea to give the dog a bath while the hose was out, so I ran the other end into the faucet on the stationary tubs in the basement and washed him down with a comfortable warm-water delousing.

He was very much in need of a good scrubbing. He shook himself out 20 or 30 times, so that when we were done, I wasn’t sure which of us had truly gotten the bath.

I wrapped up the hose and brought it into the garage, as well as all the flower pots from around the yard. The summer colors were long gone, and some of that pottery would crack if left out in cooler temperatures.

I removed a few of the window air conditioning units (a situation brought about by having an ancient home and hot water/ductless heat) and replaced them with the ornamental leaded glass windows I keep in storage all summer.

Around noon, I took my wife, Cindy, and the boys to lunch at one of our favorite pizza joints, where we made the miscalculation of eating at an outside table and fighting the bees throughout the rest of the meal: hilarious and another sure sign of fall.

We dropped a few bags of old clothes off at the charity bins, dropped the boys back home, and headed to the grocery store to stock up for the upcoming daily routine of packing lunches now that school is back in full swing.

After the cupboards were stocked, the boys were working on homework at the dining room table and a cool fall breeze was blowing in from the side yard. I opened my briefcase and completed some work from the office that needed the kind of concentration I can’t get when the phones are ringing and people are dropping in.

Earlier, I had laid eight ears of corn on the grill on low heat, and now went out to turn those as Cindy finished up the pot of her special beef stew that had been filling the room with heavenly aromas all afternoon.

She said we’d be eating in about an hour. I shut off the grill and left the corn in the hooded grill to stay warm.

I ran upstairs, took a welcome shower, and came back down. I was now unable to think of anything but that stew, but it was still not quite ready. I took out the garbage, put the cars in the garage, closed up the doors, and fed and watered the dog.

Coming back inside, I was so happy to see dinner on the table, which the boys were already tearing into. Cindy and I joined them and we had a great meal, did the dishes, and settled in for a night of movies at home.

The feeling of having a full day of accomplishing things made me smile from ear to ear as I sat in my favorite chair and fell asleep sitting up.

Friends, don’t just buy a house–take care of it.

Don’t just get a job–work to keep that job and keep the people you answer to happy to have you around.

Don’t just have a family–spoil and nurture your family. Make your time together special.

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