Thank you for working hard

Published 6:33 pm Tuesday, June 2, 2015

It’s a statistic that is meant to raise the ire of anyone who sees or hears it. Over 93 million Americans who are 16 years and older, who are able to work, have dropped out of the job market. In other words, a very large number of our citizens have chosen not to work.

I think that is a problem, but I am thankful that, most of the time, I am in the company of the exact opposite of that group.

I look around and I see lots of people who are working very hard to keep their heads above water. I’d rather think about them today.

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For instance there are many farmers within my world. I grew up on a farm and I know hard work when I see it and I’ve done it.

These days, I visit some farmers and almost feel guilty as my smooth and soft hands shake their hardened and calloused ones. Many times I stick out my hand first and they are reluctant to shake because their hands may be greasy or dirty.

I don’t ever mind shaking the hand of a hard-working man or woman. I don’t mind getting a little dirt or grease on my hands; it’s good for the soul.

“Have you finished planting peanuts?” I ask.

“No, still have about 200 acres,” comes the reply. That’s a lot of riding up and down the rows and filling up hoppers with seed. The food we eat does not fall out of the sky like manna; it is a result of someone working hard.

Many is the time when they are heading to some field checking on the irrigation unit. Or perhaps they have been up all during the night trying to make sure one did not stop in the middle of a field, flooding one part while leaving another part dry.

Farmers are not the only hard workers I know. Donna Sue and I had some tree work done recently, wanting to stay one step ahead of the wind.

Some of the limbs were high on the trunk and the landscaper didn’t hesitate to get his ladder out and his long-armed power saw.

He and his friend worked very hard sawing large limbs, cutting and cleaning them up, and moving them to the street. The sweat his body produced served as a magnet for the sawdust from the limbs and he was covered all over with the look of hard work. He never stopped or wavered for any request.

I appreciated his hard work and his talents on our behalf. He and his friend are always on the look-out for work and always give their best. The good part? They don’t gouge!

Then there is the lady who works one job, but makes herself available to iron clothes when we need her. She gets up at 5 for one job and when I ask, “Would you like to iron this afternoon?” She welcomes the opportunity to make a little extra for her family.

We are building a little storage unit out back. The carpenters never goof off. They can do anything we ask and it gets hot in the middle of the day, but they continue to persevere through the sweat and backaches.

Instead of dwelling on those 93 million who don’t “hit a lick at a snake,” today I wanted to emphasize just a few of the people who might be called the backbone of America. Thank you for working!