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Establishing a work ethic

Sibling Rivalry and the Hard Work – Part 1

When I was growing up, middle child between two sisters (loads of fun), the expectations for me were very different than for either of them. I was the "boy" and as such had to earn my way, while both my sisters, The Queen, and The Little Princess got to sleep in on Saturday mornings, had absolutely no chores to complete, and as they grew older never had to engage in any manual labor. I, on the other hand, had to mow the lawn in the summer, rake the leaves in the fall, and shovel snow in the winter. When Dad had trees to plant, I was right there with him. Likewise, I had training by my Germanic grandmother who lived down the street whom I dearly loved. She schooled me on the intricacies of gardening. I also tended to her lawn in the spring summer and fall, being spared the winter chores as they headed south to Florida.

Earning your own way

When I was old enough to earn my own money, beyond the 50 cent a week allowance for taking out the garbage, bringing the cans in once emptied, washing dishes, and keeping up with my room's clutter, I often grabbed a snow shovel to clear neighbor's walks and driveways. Similarly I raked leaves and even had a few lawns I cared for around the neighborhood. At fifteen I worked for the father of a friend who was a builder and always had several homes under construction or under sale with huge expanses of lawns to cut. I made $2.00 an hour, which was a LOT of money in those days. My first job at 16 was as a grease monkey, changing oil, putting tires on rims with the tire machine, and washing the brand new 1965 Pontiacs. I even got to drive them from the parking lot out front to the washing area and back. How I loved the smell of new car. All for $1.25 an hour. (To be continued)

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