Reflecting On The Bigger Picture, Remembering The Little Things
When my brother stayed with us on the farm for a month in February of 2005, he made himself useful whenever he could. He convinced the digital thermometer in the kitchen--which I had somehow inadvertantly switched to celsius--to display the temperature in farenheit again. He replaced the starter in my little SUV. He even set the clock on the VCR.
Each of the three doorways that leads in and out of The Shack is equipped with a storm door as well as a wooden door. These storm doors are inexpensive, metal-framed affairs consisting of two thin glass windows with a screen over the bottom window. If luck is with you--and you are willing to sacrifice the use of your fingertips for several minutes afterward--you can push in some painfully stupid sliding thingies and then lift and secure the lower window up over the second one so fresh air can blow in through the screen. If you are heading outside, you push on a small lever to release a tiny latch that holds the door shut, and then push the door outward. If you are coming inside, you must grab the handle, press on a button with your thumb, and then pull the door open toward you.
The storm door we use by far the most leads from the kitchen to a small covered porch. On the porch live three enormous chest freezers, the dog houses and dog food bowls, a cat food bowl, and Smudge the cat (who lives on top of the chest freezers, just out of reach of the dogs). During the fall and winter a wheelbarrow full of firewood also takes up residence there, and we probably make at least a dozen trips in and out each day just lugging in firewood alone.
One day I noticed my brother tinkering with the storm door handle.
"There!" he said proudly. "I fixed this broken latch so now the door stays shut like it's supposed to. It was driving me crazy."
"Well, thanks," I said.
Not long after that, Joe walked purposefully through the kitchen and slammed into the storm door.
"Derek fixed the latch on the door so now it locks shut."
"Ohhhh." And without skipping a beat he called out, "Hey, thanks, man!"
Old habits die hard around here, and Joe and I must have banged into that door twenty times each over the next couple of weeks. The day after my brother left, Joe put the latch back the way it had been, and we both laughed out sighs of relief.
Neither of us had had the heart to tell him that because we use that door so much we keep the latch 'broken' on purpose.
May your memories make you smile more than they make you sad.
A year of Daily Photos ago: In Loving Memory Of My Brother