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Turn Your Anguish into a Love Story

I want to tell you a love story. During the President Carter years, my foreman told me that there was no more carpentry work for the moment, but he had a friend who was a landscaper and needed some help. So the next day, I drove down Main Street and saw a landscaping trailer truck in front of a luxury home and pulled up behind it.  A guy with a white t-shirt and a cigarette dangling in his mouth came over and asked, “Did you ever use a Bobcat?” I told him, “No.”  He pulled a lawnmower off the bed of his trailer the width of a church aisle and continued, “It’s easy. Here is the clutch. Pull the cord, you push this lever to go right and left.  You mow the back yard, and I will get the front and stay out of the flower beds.” 

Everything was going great initially because I was moving straight to the backyard. When I arrived at the end of the lawn, I needed to make a right turn. No problem. Just push on the lever as he had said. But it didn’t turn. Instead, it went straight into the woods, and I hit a rock. So he came running over. Let me translate what he said: “Gosh, darn, son of a gun, you donkey.” Later, I edged around a flower bed until I reached a corner. I needed to put the Bobcat in reverse. It didn’t go backward like I thought it would. Instead, it went forward, and immediately potpourri was all over the lawn. “Gosh, darn, son of a gun, you donkey hole. I thought I told you not to go into the flower beds.” I finally started to get a feel for the machine, and I was doing pretty well…until it shut down. So I pulled the cord repeatedly, and nothing happened. He came over to find out what the problem was. He retorted, “Idiot. Get the gas can.”

At the end of the day, I put the lawnmower on the trailer and figured I would get fired. He came over to me and stated, “See you tomorrow.” I replied, “You want me back?” He answered, “Kid, you got heart.” On the way home, I thought about what he said concerning my heart. I can’t say I felt a lot of love in my heart. I didn’t feel love for the Bobcat, the job, the boss, or the humiliations. So you are probably wondering why this is a love story. I will explain. I went to work the next day and finished the week. I got a paycheck, cashed it, and I took my mother to dinner. The reason I was able to take my mother out to eat was because I never quit. So, no matter what comes your way or the difficulty, make sure you have heart and turn your anguish into a love story. If you do that, you will always find opportunities in every adventure.

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