Sunday, March 13, 2016

Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel

Michael came over to give me a 15 minute warning that pizza was about to come out of the oven. I wondered what I should do at that point – try to finish up 15 one minute jobs or one 15 minute job. Michael was of the same opinion though he was pointed in the direction of what he could explore in the 15 minutes we had together. He wanted to put cheese on toothpicks and put them on the hor’s d’ourves holder on the ledge of the china cabinet. He needed to drag the ladder to the sink and get closer to the new objects on the window sill. He needed to take a look at my new rain boots. He wanted to pull some luggage around the floor, since he had discovered that the luggage moves north and south, and also east and west. That was the point where I remembered that the suitcase belonged to his dad in the first place, so he bounced it up the stairs one bump at a time and rolled it back to their house.

As we ate our home made pizza Richard told me that his kids know how to sing “Put your Shoulder to the Wheel”. I told him that is a song not all of his second cousins will know. Yes, I checked it out. They can sing the tune, they know words, their bodies move with the rhythm and their faces display the fervor that can come with singing a song with religious fervor.

We all joined in for one chorus. Richard said that they learned it while doing the wash, since everyone helps with the wash at their house. The word of the day was “shirk”, just in case I wanted to know.

Yes. “Put your shoulder to the wheel, push along / Do your duty with a heart full of song / We all have work, let no one shirk / Put your shoulder to the wheel.


  1. Our current favourite hymn is:

    There is beauty all around
    When there's no one home
    There is joy in every sound
    When there's no one home
    Peace and plenty here abide
    Smiling sweet on every side
    Time doth softly sweetly glide
    When there's no one home

  2. David asks:

    1. "What objects are on the window sill?"

    2. "Does 'shirk' means not working?

    What he liked about the post was the line about choosing one 15 minute task or fifteen 1 minute tasks. He thought that line was funny. He would choose one 15 minute task because he says it would be less exhausting.

  3. Today David, Joaquim, and I are organizing our day in 20 minute segments. We are spending the time together taking turns choosing what we do. So far we have ...
    - Checked on David's Clash of Clans village and downloaded Clash of Clans onto Bonnie's phone.
    - Drew pictures using Guojing's illustrations in "The Only Child" (a wordless book) as inspiration.
    - Used Lego to create a English as a Second language lesson for a new immigrant.
    - Played with Halo (Lego-like) figures, discovering how to modify them to create custom figures.
    - Learned the lyrics to a current song (Twenty One Pilots song 'Stressed Out').
    - Spent 20 minutes reading and commenting on the family Blog.

    Coming up ...

    - A practice walk to the Middle School from Joaquim's apartment and back.

    Happy Equinox!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Our song of the day happened when I was moving a wheel barrow of dirt from the back garden to the front lawn. Michael was in front of me, but walking backward and guiding me with his hands, like I have seen happen at the airport with planes, getting them up to the right door.

    I saw to him, "Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, and watch the step just behind you." He wanted to know what guide means. I told him to ask his dad.

    I also pointed out that I was digging up a dandelion a little later, a noxious weed. I heard him practising the words later. So cute, this age.

    Keep your loved ones out in the community Mary, so that your home stays a beautiful place. I would join in on the chorus for that one.