Posted in A Moment in My Life

“To Ask or Not to Ask”

A Moment in My Life – Tuesday, August 25, 2020

“You’ll need to cut them in half and bundle them, or we can’t take them,” the Scavenger rep said.

The nanites like ants gone crazy surged through every nook and cranny of my mind in panic. “I don’t think I can do that!” My eyes darted from the pile of tree stakes on my garage floor to the tools lining my garage wall, hoping a bright idea would jump out.

“We can’t take them if we can’t carry them. Why don’t you call us back when you can get them cut?”

My blood pressure skyrocketed at the prospect of having to wait another week to offload the gate and these stakes. “Can you please give me an appointment? I’ll see what I can do. I will get them together in time for pick up.” As she checked her calendar, my eyes continued to survey my options. There was the hedge trimmer hanging on my wall, which gave me an idea. I couldn’t see myself cutting ten 2 inches in diameter wooden poles, let alone one of them with a manual saw. My arms were still shaking after I sawed five of the half-inch rubber bands to release the stakes. Luckily, the other five stakes were cut years ago and lying by the side of the house. Suddenly, lightbulb! “I can get an electric saw and try cutting them myself.” 

Now, to get that electric saw. Do I really want to buy an electric saw for one use? No, not really. I decided to ask my friend, Gil, the gadgets guy, to borrow his if he had one. Surprisingly, he did not. Instead of lending me a saw, he loan me his fears. “Why do you want an electric saw?”

“Because I don’t have the strength to use a manual saw,” I said. “An electric saw should be easier for me to use.”

“And easier to cut yourself, too,” Gil said.

Ugh. Why would he have to be a negative Nellie? I know he’s concerned for my well-being, but at that moment, I needed courage and an electric saw.

He was successful in instilling fear and doubt in me. I no longer thought doing it myself was the best option. That’s when I remembered God’s teachings that we are to serve by lending a helping hand to those in need and being receptive to asking and receiving help when we need it. 

Begrudgingly, I knew that now was when I needed to exercise asking for help. After all, many people said to me after Mark’s demise, “If you need anything at all, just ask.” I haven’t used any of those offers yet. I was hoping I wouldn’t need to call in a favor.

It turned out that with Shelter in Place, calling in a favor wasn’t that easy. Luckily, my new gardener, Mike, saved the day. He not only helped me manually cut these stakes in half, but he offered to cut them into pieces that would fit in my green bin, saving me the hassle of bundling and lugging the heavy bundles out to the curb for pick up. He did an excellent job and impressed me with how neatly he stood them up in my bin. I expect him to charge me for that service, but at the same time, I am thoroughly grateful that he took that load off my shoulders.

It was a great idea to ask for help with those stakes because I am still recuperating from hauling the wooden gate from my garage to the curbside. What was that gate made of? Good golly, it was heavy! I’m glad I moved it from the side of the house to the garage last week. I had a week to rest before hauling it the rest of the way to the curb. Even though it was a fast and short-haul, I was sweating, huffing and puffing for air, and my body was like jelly afterward. I feel like I went through an hour-long boot camp.

My girlfriend told me that I should’ve asked some guy to haul the gate out for me, and if not for Shelter in Place, I would’ve done just that. I would’ve asked someone and then treat him to a meal as a token of my appreciation. With Shelter in Place, however, I didn’t want to bother anybody, and it was something that I could do myself as hard as it was. I am grateful for the help that I did get, and Mike Valle is my hero!

Friends, if you are looking for a gardener, call Mike and tell him I sent you. He doesn’t know I’m giving him a plug here.

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