Saturday, September 20, 2008

Being American

I helped install my first furnace today. Never expected to install a furnace, but we got it done and it is up and running right now. I spent $1300 total to get in something that was quoted to cost $3700 if I simply wrote out the check. More even than the money, I'm so happy to have stretched beyond my comfort zone to do this for my family. Last week, I replaced a pool pump myself and saved $700. Both jobs were scary...gas and water and pressure and electrical work...lions and tigers and bears OH MY!

Being American is, to me, all about optimism and self-sufficiency. There are plenty of frontiers to conquer out there every day, even if the task is only changing the oil in my car. It scares me when the notion of success we have is all about making more money so other people will do all these things for us. Anyone who has ever gardened knows that directing landscapers is nowhere near as rewarding as getting in there and getting dirty. There is so much joy in "getting it", in understanding common experiences through common labors. We're colonials, we're provincials...that is the best thing about us! Football in the mud is great! We can always shower and come clean.

How about this for a change...let's all get some dirt beneath our fingernails...let's get back to having a healthy distrust for everyone who is always looking a little too clean...

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