|Sparring on the duck raft just before they left for two years|
Three years ago we had an unexpected blessing when a family with twin boys moved into a house up the road. Joseph and Jonathan came knocking on our door one afternoon selling raffle tickets for their high school and looking for odd jobs. We gave them a try and we were blessed to have them work for us for the next year. They would take on any job that we pointed them too -- cleaning the chicken coop, weed-eating, raking, loading trash and debris into the trailer, and going with Bruce to the landfill to help him unload. Their work ethic was amazing -- cheerful, energetic, and competent. With them, our concern was never about getting them to get the job done but rather that they might overdo it. Because they had just been accepted into the school's football team they were eager to build up their muscles and we were more than eager to pay them to do this (as long as they stayed safe, hydrated and fed). Win/win. They also loved animals and the dogs adored them. And then, one June day they were gone. The family moved away and we never knew where they went. Two years passed.
So last Friday, right after breakfast, the dogs were barking at something and I saw someone walking up the drive towards the house. I went out to see who it was, and it was Joseph. Or rather, Joseph the tall young man as opposed to Joseph the lanky boy. A few minutes later, Jonathan drove up and we got caught up on the news. The family had gone to a small town about thirty miles away but moved back to their old house a few weeks ago. They were very happy that they could have their senior year at their old high school and had come by to say hi and to see if we had any work for them. Oh, miracle of miracles! Any work for them?????
Yesterday Joseph and Jonathan raked the dry grass from the round pen and loaded up the trailer with grass and brush. They hauled, cut up and laid oak branches on top of the pile in the trailer. Then Jonathan took care of a few gophers with the pellet gun. Bruce, the boys and the dogs all went to the landfill together and I baked oatmeal cookies for everyone. Even if they weren't helping us, it would have been lovely to see them again to know how they are doing. I had no expectation that they might be looking for work now that they were older and busy with school and their lives. But there they were, ready to dig in. Surrounded as we are by acres of dry weeds, their return is a blessing on many levels.