We've had a chuckle at our house over Wayne's last telephone conversation with Dr. Dale. Our friends are on their annual spend-the-summer-in-Ohio-and-avoid-the-heat escape but it hasn't exactly worked out that way this summer. The guys are forced to catch up on neighborhood gossip news and their friendly harassment they dish out to one another by telephone until fall.
It seems Dr. Dale has taken up sweeping...as in house-cleaning sweeping. He/she/they (I'm not sure which) decided he should do more to help Carol around the house and, as a result, running the vacuum is now in his job jar. He was, in fact, making the floors clean and pretty when Wayne called. The chuckle came not because Dr. Dale was on the working end of a vacuum cleaner...Wayne has run ours for years. It was that he was doing it while Carol was gone because they didn't necessarily see eye-to-eye on how it was done.
So we got to talking about the trade-off between being freed from a job and having it not done the way you would do it. As parents, we've all been through it in the process of raising our children but it happens with spouses too. I'm sure the yard didn't get mowed and edged in quite the same manner as Wayne had done in those years I did it before he retired. There's a learning curve for the novice whereas the veteran has figured out all the shortcuts and perfected the technique.
Doing it different isn't always wrong; sometimes it's just a by-product of our individual strengths and weaknesses I told Wayne. When it comes to running the sweeper, he's much better than I am at moving furniture and getting into hard-to-reach places but he never gets the wand off the Dyson to sweep in the track of the sliding glass doors. It's that trade-off...when it bothers me enough, I get the little vac out and do it myself.
Today was Monday and that means time to shine shack. Me on the mop, Mr. A on the vac. And when I looked up, he had the wand out cleaning the track of the sliding glass door. All on his own. If I'd known that was all it took, I would have mentioned it years ago; and probably if he'd known he was supposed to be doing it, he'd have done it years ago too.
So the lesson of the day is you can teach an old dog a new trick. There's hope for Dr. Dale yet.