This past weekend was Tulsa’s big Home and Garden Show. There are over 100,000 people attend over a 3 day period. As a Master Gardener I was one of the ones involved in setting up our displays. When I say displays I am not talking about a couple of tables set up with some literature.
Our section is a 3,000 sqft. area. When we begin the setup we have nothing but a slab of concrete. Within the next 2 days the area will become a garden oasis. It really is a mammoth size job in such a short period of time. This year we are using over 4,000 border blocks, 3 palettes of flagstone, 1,200 bags of mulch, plus arbors, gondolas, huge fountains, a chicken coop, 2 semi truck loads of planting material; well you get the idea. It’s a lot of heavy work.
Master Gardeners are for the most part retired people. This means we aren’t that young. Some are way not young. In fact, they are just flat old, but they are still out there working. It is always interesting at times like this. Since I have always been active I can still get around very quickly. Most Jobs don’t take me long to accomplish and I can get on to the next project. But it’s on these setup days that The Lord continues to teach me patience.
Today, another able bodied man and I were setting up an arbor. We had a couple of others present handing us tools, hardware, and just holding things while we were on ladders. This is a large arbor and it was going together pretty quickly. I learned a long time ago that things can quickly change on these kind of projects.
The arbor was all complete except for the top rafters. The notches on the slats are very exact and it is difficult to have them perfectly inline so that they will just slide in. We had 6 of them in place but the final 2 were as stubborn as an old mule. It is at times like this that back seat drivers can really get annoying. One of our helpers kept telling us how to get them to slide in. At first we took his advice but it didn’t work. I had sent a person to get me a hammer and a block of wood. Within a moment our “advice giver” begins to get a red face. Within seconds he said “get off that ladder I’m an engineer”!
I smiled and got off of the ladder and stood below for the next 15 minutes as he applied his engineer magic. Our 2 slats were still not in place even with the engineers professional skills. By this time, the hammer and the block of wood that I had sent for were in my hands. Finally, the engineer comes down in defeat. No words were spoken by anyone. I stepped up the ladder with the hammer and block of wood and within 45 seconds the rafters were intact. Job complete!
I am not telling this story to try to make you think that I am good at this. I want to explain to you that 20 years ago, maybe less, this incident could have turned out much differently. Had the engineer made that statetement to me back then we would probably have had an altercation. I would have undoubtedly said something back to him that he would not have liked.
Peter exhorts us: “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind” (I Pet. 3:8). The Lord has taught me this verse and it is pretty much the way I deal with things these days. It has sure made life easier.
So, the arbor was complete and on to the next task we went. The engineer and I worked together for the rest of the day and it was pleasant. At lunch he chose the seat next to me when there were a lot of other choices. The best thing about it all is that setup was completed. It all looked terrific. The Home and Garden Show was a great success because a bunch of us old people hung in there. And we are all still friends.