Shop Talk

Michael Drive to Woodberry Drive is a very short jaunt. I go that way for any route I begin because it’s the only way to leave Woodberry Park, our Nashville subdivision. Once I get to Woodberry I turn right where I stop at McGavock Pike. I turn right onto McGavock where I meet Graylynn that travels along the edge of Bluefields before you see a Catholic church just before Lebanon Road. Lebanon Road is also Highway 70 that stretches from Memphis to Knoxville. I needed stainless steel cleaner, so I stopped at a retail chain to pick that up, and I got back on Lebanon Road to travel to Highway 109 to get to my first stop.

I’m visualizing a house where I entered the front door with cleaning supplies to begin another job. There was a quick turn left through the foyer into the living room as I walked down behind a couch. I turned right down a short hallway into the master bedroom. After several such trips to retrieve more cleaning supplies I had all my tools to service that customer. When I enter most lavatories the commodes and bidets receive my focus first. They are usually in a location where it’s easy to begin a clock-wise or counter-clock-wise rotation. Sinks, jacuzzis, garden tubs, bathtubs and walk-in showers are arranged as differently as there are contractors in any large city. To write a protocol for cleaning water closets is impractical, but the fundamentals remain. Those fundamentals being clock-wise or counter-clock-wise rotations. This particular master bedroom lavatory has a figure eight rotation. The toilet, sink, garden tub, shower and sink gets cleaned in a figure eight pattern, but it’s somewhat of a clock-wise rotation.

Existential questions never fail to enter my mind when I’m cleaning. As I mopped out of that master bath I returned my mop to the bucket, and I began taking the top sheets off the bed to make it. There were two blankets on the top sheet, so as I placed them to the side, I flipped the top sheet across the king size bed to spread it evenly across, and I did the same with the two blankets. My company does not have a turn-down service, so I go ahead and turn down the sheets before I place duvets and pillows back onto beds in case work-at-home customers want to take a nap, but also because it makes it easier for residents to retire at night.

Sleep is vitally important, and too many people think the lack of it is a badge of honor. It’s not. Years ago I went for sleep studies, and they informed me I was waking up forty-times a minute. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep was not happening. No wonder life was going south. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and I began sleeping with a CPAP. Getting a full night sleep every night since 2008 has changed my life. I am now a successful business man with his own business, and I have a customer base that reaps the benefit of my getting eight hours sleep a night. It truly is remarkable, and I think we fail to our own detriment when we don’t maintain a consistent sleep schedule and get enough sleep. I would argue that most people need at least 6 hours of sleep a night.

The night stands in that master bedroom never fail to inspire. The customers have inspiring content on the book covers that inspire me even more to read and better my life. The more I read the more I write, and the healing properties of both allow the Holy Spirit to work wonderful mysteries that bless myself and others. Manual labor coupled with deep thoughts is something you must create. It doesn’t just happen. Start cooking and cleaning the dishes every night, and you’ll see what I mean. I don’t cook, but I do the dishes every evening. If you’re really at a thinker’s block start listening to podcasts when you can. Listen to audio books. I’m a deep tactile reader, so I like to have an actual book in my hands.

I’m back to this essay about 10 hours later. When I left that master suite I went to a powder room, and the kitchen received my attention after that. I cleaned the dining room, vacuumed the stairs, and I dusted the living room before I vacuumed and mopped their lovely redecorating. I back out into the garage with a final mopping before I load my car to go to my second stop. That customer works from home, so I climb the stairs to say thank you and goodbye, and they say, “See you in two weeks.” Do I have to climb the stairs to say thank you? Obviously I don’t, but my customers are important to me, and I don’t take a single one for granted. I love my job, and it’s not just a j-o-b. It’s a career, and I own the business. It’s three powerful things that make Mondays wonderful. That’s no small achievement.

Getting back on Highway 109 to head north to a town on the outskirts of Nashville doesn’t disappoint. I passed by a road we used to turn on to go to Aunt Sue’s estate in LaGuardo. She put it on the market in the 90’s for 1.5 million because to bush-hog 78 acres was more than a 70-year-old was able to do, and James had long since retired. Her husband Joseph had been gone since 1984, and maintaining that much acreage with two houses was over the top. She found a nice condo in Burton Hills, and she was much closer to us in Green Hills.

Memory lane is a powerful road to drive down. It’s powerful in good and bad ways because we aren’t part of the New Earth yet. Marketplace reflection brings professional and personal together even when it’s “low skill” labor. I can’t wait to read a book on the way called, Maid. Stephanie Land wrote it about her struggle as a single mother trying to make ends meat before she became a successful writer I’m assuming. I googled her quickly the other day. I did start following her on Twitter, and my assumption comes from the fact that she has over 10k followers.

In other news, acquaintance Candice McQueen became our alma mater’s 18th President, and to say I’m tickled pink does not describe the joy I have for that partnership. I’ve never subscribed to the gender specific roles, and I owe that to my mom who continues to model for me Jesus better than anyone else in my life. I don’t hesitate in writing that, and it in no way indicts others for casts a shadow over anyone because of my mom’s glowing influence. It glows because her devotion to Christ’s unconditional love will be written about long after she is gone. I love you mom. It will no doubt be a backbone to the books I shall write going forth.

I knew euphoria would follow yesterday’s route, and it’s no secret that stretch of TN State Highway inspires my family of origin as well. It dates back maybe to the late 1950’s, but maybe it was early 1960’s that Joseph and Sue bought Lay-o-land. They had stock in Pepsico, so they called the estate Lay-o-land after Lay’s Potato Chips.

Servicing those two accounts in Lebanon and Gallatin was pure joy the entire day because I literally prepared mentally for it by visualizing the entire day in my mind’s eye.

Never shame your story because of what you do. Look deeper into the recesses of your experience, and you will be shocked to see what the Pneuma reveals.

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