Issue Two: "WTF Larry?!?!"

Below is the second installment of "Share yOUR Inspiration", shared on August 12, 2015, from a very dear, family friend I've known my entire life. She has always been an inspiration in my life with her confidence, strength, humor and magnetic personality, I wanted to feature her as a member of the Inspired Wit community. With love and joy, it is an honor to share Liz's story!

I recently lost the love of my life – my sweet Larry.  

Yes, I am sad, and there is this huge physical hole that I wasn’t expecting…not just the empty bed, or his place at the table, or that poor dry toothbrush that I haven’t been able to toss out yet…that hole that surfaces when I have to figure out how to do some task that was typically Larry’s to perform. Locking the door before heading up to bed – yep, that was Larry’s responsibility. I laugh in the morning when I come down by myself to turn on the lights and make coffee and discover that once again, I slept soundly with the door unlocked.  And no burglar took advantage of my oversight – yet!!  

So I smile, and promise – out loud – to do a better job of this "Larry chore".

Yes, I do talk to Larry regularly. Hell, sometimes he answers and then I really laugh out loud.  It’s too quiet here in the house, and sometimes the TV or music just isn’t enough. 

Can we talk about trash day?  Thursday nights, everyone puts out their big green wheelie can, hoping the lid will stay down on its own.  Every other week is recycling – you have to drag out the big blue wheelie can too.  How do I know this?  The same way Larry did – check the neighbors LOL – it’s the only way to stay on track.  I’ve been hauling out those damn cans for two months now, muttering “WTF Larry” all the way down the driveway.   Some weeks it doesn’t seem right to take the green can to the curb – just one person doesn’t make much trash.  Last week it was just two kitchen bags, and they weren’t even full.  But I took it out anyway, just so I could say “WTF Larry” and smile.

Last summer, we decided to purchase a new snow blower from the local hardware store. While we were there, I spotted these really cool gas-powered string trimmers.  They were on sale, and I insisted that we NEEDED one. If we had one, then Larry could regularly neaten up all the edges around the driveway and the sidewalks...and the curb...and that vile space just under the deck that seems to harbor places for critters to hide.  Of course, I agreed that we would BOTH learn how to use this.  HA.  Me, not so much but Larry figured it out and at the end of the fall, Larry carefully ran all the gas out of it last fall, and stored it in the basement.  He was meticulous about tools like that.

Fade out to the snow, and then back to this summer.  The grass is now getting cut weekly by our step-grandson Aiden, who's just thirteen and inevitably, it looks like a teen-aged boy is taking care of the lawn. Over the long July 4th weekend, I decided that enough was enough and I really MUST dig out that string trimmer and do some yard work.  I headed out into the heat, dressed in cut-off sweats and my favorite paint stained t-shirt and hailed both of my neighbors, Rob and Bob, and announced that I intended to crank up the weed whacker!!! Bless them, for they both smiled, and stopped what they were doing to run String Trimmer 101 (the remedial course).

Bob provided pre-mixed gas & oil, rather than have me run around looking for the special gas can. I learned how to choke the little engine and yank that black rubber handle until the damn thing sputtered to life.  There’s a trick to keeping the engine running – you have to pull some little trigger at the same time you hold down a bigger handle.  And then there’s keeping enough line banged out so it cuts.  When you forget to thump the thing on the ground, the string disappears. "WTF Larry!"  That’s when you have to turn it off, stomp into the house, and down to the cellar, and hunt for a stupid straight screw driver, stomp back outside for the rest of the lesson on prying the cover off, hook that blasted line into the slots and putting the cover back on.  Four. More. Times. "WTF Larry??"

Before I decided that the yard looked much worse than when I started, (Oh, did you know that flying bits of grass on bare legs HURTS?!?!) Rob kindly suggested that I might want long pants before I got started.  It was HOT that day and I was already sweating buckets, so I just grinned and said I was gonna get started in my shorts.  BAD idea!!  I should have known to listen to the man who wears Carhart overalls when he does yard work.  That was another trip inside, all the way upstairs to change and back down again.  I don’t have Carhart overalls, and won’t be getting any either – no worries about having that image burned into your retinas (you’re welcome J).  

Bottom line is that I now know how to use the string trimmer any time I want to, I don’t have to take turns or wait for Larry to get it done. I will, however, choose NOT to exercise this privilege and will be writing a slightly bigger check to Aiden for taking care of the yard or calling my buddy Jimmy if it’s more than Aiden can handle on his own. 

I'm sure I'll be saying "WTF Larry" on a regular basis as I know there will be many more learning experiences in the future, as I navigate the days, weeks, and months ahead with him watching above.  Oh, and I promise to be better about the locks, I will take the garbage to the curb every week and smile when Aiden uses the string trimmer.