Thursday, April 16, 2009


Spring clean-up time once again.
Our lawn service guys came to clean up the yard.
The team consisted of 4 healthy, young, strong men (well, boys actually, the way they horsed around, kicking leaves onto a tarp instead of raking them and just generally being playful).

Watching from the window, I was impressed with how well they worked together.
Hoisting heavy leaf blowers on their backs, they quickly blew all those left-over dried brown leaves into piles. One of them picked up fallen branches, which were strewn all over the property. He pitched them into the truck.

One of the young men pointed his leaf-blower towards my rock garden. I held my breath. Please don't destroy any of those tender shoots! Unfortunately he blew the fragile white crocus a little too hard. It was gone in no time!

Taking a short break, I watched as two of the four fellows lit up cigarettes. I always feel sad when I see young people smoking. They have no idea what kind of damage they are wreaking on their bodies.

"You've done a good job, I'm very pleased," I said to the-person-in-charge when they had finished.
"But now I'm going to give you a Grandmother Lecture." He looked at me as if I'd sprouted horns.

"My husband is in the house taking his afternoon nap, hooked up to an oxygen concentrator, because of cigarette smoking. He would love to be able to come out on this nice sunny day and work in our yard. But he can't. This is why we need your services. I would hate to see you years from now in his shoes. It's not fun."

He looked a little sheepish and for a moment I thought perhaps I should have kept my mouth shut. After all, I didn't really know him. But, I kind of like to look after all young people - as much as possible without putting my nose into their business.

"Funny you should say that. My girlfriend and I just had a discussion about my smoking, over the weekend. She really wants me to quit."

I smiled at him.
"Well then?"


Beverly said...

Oh my, when we're young, we think we're invincible. If we only could see what lies ahead.

I hope that young man thinks about what you said to him.

Sorry about your crocus.

Maggie May said...

I sincerely hope that the lad takes your advice & stops smoking.
I was visiting a young friend of my daughter's who has MS yesterday and she said "Do you mind if I smoke?" Well it was her house so what could I say? I hate it when people smoke near me, so she opened the patio door on my account.I thought I must tell her that smoking & MS did not go together & then she dropped the bombshell that she drinks a bottle of wine a day to help her cope.
I came home feeling very sad.

Grammy said...

Your word may have saved his life. You have also helped me so much too. I always look forward to your comments. And think about you often. You inspired me to do some thing like my trip of a life time. I came back to change. Jerry talked to me every night on the phone for the 2 weeks. Now he is a little more alive, when he is awake.
Big hug.

Cheryl said...

My dear Wendy....well done you.....

My parents both smoked for many many years.....they now both have smoking related heart conditions....and my dear departed father in law died from a smoking related illness....

I have never smoked or ever had the urge......but many do, and like you it saddens me....

Thank you for having the courage to speak and perhaps, just perhaps, you might make a difference to that young man's life......

Celia said...

Wendy, I just found your page, good work with the young smoking man. Here's hoping your true life story makes it real for him. I lost my mother this way years ago. You're a courageous woman, take good care of yourself.

Abba's Girl said...

He needed to hear your delivered it with love and concern, not self righteousness which makes all the difference in the world.

Rose said...

Wendy, I agree with Abba's Girl--there's a difference between someone lecturing another in a self-righteous way. But I think you were very diplomatic and had good reason to be concerned about the young man. Perhaps you helped him make the choice to quit!

Wendy said...

My goodness - thank you everybody. I never thought of the way I delivered the message. Hmmm.

Cheryl, I am glad you never got the urge to smoke. I didn't either. So sorry about your father-in-law and your parents. I am glad that you are there for them.

Grammy, I am honoured - and very glad you took your trip. My trip is also going to happen. After a few false starts - I think things are back into alignment.

Maggie May - well there is just nothing you can do. I went on a dolphin swim with some ladies, about 4 years ago. There was a woman with diabetic neuropathy so bad she needed crutches to walk. Who do you think was drinking all the coke and rum-and-coke drinks one night when there was a party? Yup, it was her. I guess people will do whatever they need to. It is not up to us to say anything.

Hi Bev, - guess I'm answering everybody backwards. Oh well. As you say - the young people really can't see years down the line for themselves. They truly think they're invincible. I used to think that too!

Ruth said...

Bravo Wendy! These young men know the truth, but hopefully someone will make it real for them. You are living the consequences of smoking first hand so you have every right to speak up. Glad your yard is ready for spring.

Rhonda said...

Love your blog title...AMEN!

Wendy said...

Hi Ruth, I do hope this young fellow stops smoking. Looking forward to gardening, now that the old leaves and branches are cleared away.

Hi Rhonda - welcome to my blog. Thanks for stopping by.

Shammickite said...

Well done! I hate seeing young people smoke. There's no doubt in my mind that it's the root cause of many disabilities... and apart from that, it costs SO MUCH!
Good for you for telling the young man just how it is. Both of my parents smoked when I was young. My father stopped when I was about 10ish I think, and lived to 96, but my mother continued to smoke, and eventually died of emphysema related causes.
Isn't it lovely to feel the warmth of the spring sunshine again?

peppylady said...

I sure hope they will take words of wisdom.
My dad was a heavy smoker and it caused his death.

Coffee is on.

Amy said...

You're my hero today for this! Kudos for being blunt & effective to someone who needed it--I hope he takes your advice and his girlfriend's to heart.

On a side note, I shoveled the driveway yesterday and dumped a load of wet snow right on top of the only blooming flowers in my new yard! (slaps forehead) I haven't checked this morning to see if they survived yet.

Still learning how to live with all this *snow* stuff. ;)

Wendy said...

Good point, Shammickite. I don't know how young people can even afford to smoke. It is expensive!!

Hi Peppylady, that's what I find so sad. Deaths can be prevented by not smoking.

Dear Amy, oh, you're in for a treat (LOL) shoveling snow. Well, at least it will firm up those biceps! LOL! I really hope it melts soon. Hey -it's spring, after all!!

white_lilly said...

Good on you Wendy! I think we should all encourage people to realise the harmful affects cigarette have on their lives and to try and give up. After all we are here on earth to help one another :)