The Summer Job

Here we are in the throws of summer, everyone is traveling, it’s hot, the traffic is a little lighter, it’s hot, and the kids are out of school working those summer jobs…and it’s hot.  The summer job isn’t entirely about making money as much as it is getting a taste of the real world, learning how to work,  learning a little bit about yourself and having fun. It is a wonderful time in your life.
Growing up I framed houses for my cousin in the summer during college and love every minute of it.  I would bang nails all day, (pre-nail gun) and then head straight to Lake Jackson as soon as quitting time came.   The old whaler was always in the water and my friends and I would ski until dark.   On Fridays, we would knock off at 3 pm, so we could get by the bank (pre ATM), get some cash for the weekend; hook the boat up to my CJ7, pick up my peeps, and head to the beach until Sunday.  It was a great time in my life to say the least and wouldn’t trade it for anything. 
Not only was I enjoying life, I learned the dying art of carpentry and instilled a work ethic that has carried me through life.  I was pretty competitive back then and would try to out work anyone on the crew.  I was young, dumb and had plenty of energy.  First one to show, last one to leave kind of thing.  Nowadays, I still have the game, but don’t have the gas that I had back in the glory days; the recover time is too hard.  
This summer Will is working at one of our favorite places on planet earth, Paddy’s Raw Bar on St. George Island.   He is on his own, he has the boat, living at the beach house and working everyday at the bar… life is good.   Over the 4th, we stopped in for a cold beverage while he was working to watch him in action.  There he was in the tiny kitchen, a fan circulating the 98-degree hot air, all while he stood over a large green trash can shucking oysters.  Yes, shucking oysters.  Shucking oysters is another valuable, yet dying art.  Anyway, it made me smile to see him working his stuff off; shucking 40 to 50 dozen a day in the sweltering heat for 8 to 10 hours a day.  I taught him how to shuck five or six years ago, but now the student is the master and that’s okay with me.
I’m not sure what will come of his summer experience, but I do know he has had plenty of time to think while standing in the sweltering heat over a trash can full of stinking oyster shells. Hard work is so good for the soul.  It is magical to see the smile and swagger of someone that just put in a hard days work and that twinkle in their eye of self-confidence and satisfaction of a job well done.  It's tiring, but that “good feeling” is welling up inside of him.  Most of the time, work is just a grind, but it is my hope that Will can find that “good feeling” from time to time that will make his summer job all worthwhile.  The rest of life’s lessons will come in due time.  No need to rush it.


Shucking lesson #1 and the budding of a brilliant oyster shucking career

Sking on Lake Jackson circa 1986...but who needs skis!

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