Recently, the old tenant moved out, and Nancy and I had to repaint and rehab it a bit before renting it again. In truth, the old tenants left it in reasonably good shape, but no matter what, there's always work to be done. And it's always a lot more work than you anticipate. Since we both have full-time jobs, this necessitates going over after work to paint, clean, and repair. A good word for the experience would be "fatiguing." There are lots of other good words for the experience, but I can't use them in a family-friendly blog.
I'd arrive after school - Nancy would be there first and already at work - change into my painting duds, and work as long as I could stand, and then a little bit longer. And then we'd go home and pass out. The next day we'd do it again.
I wish I could claim to be some sort of work-ethic superman with a hand for any fate, but the truth is, I'm just following Nancy's lead. It's not like she doesn't get tired - she gets exhausted - but she keeps on going. It's like that Kipling poem, "If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew, to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
Corny, I know, but that's Nancy to a T. I'd feel myself flagging and be just on the point of suggesting we throw a lighted kerosene-soaked rag in a corner and file for insurance, and I'd see her plugging away, still at work, uncomplaining. I'd run out of things to do, but she always had a task at hand. She never bitched or said I wasn't doing enough, just worked as hard and steady as she knew how.
When I married her, I thought of her as a "girl." I never thought of her as a "lady." But I realize what I have on my hands - oh, lord what a marvel!- is a woman, and what a woman!The other night she showed me her hands. She had literally rubbed her fingerprints off with cleaning - all she had on the pads of her fingers were red blisters. How can anyone be so tough, and at the same time so beautiful, kind, and good? Oh, Nancy, I love you.