The Old Geezer…the beginning of Part II…unedited…

Hank Tanner loaded his roll of pipe into the back seat of his truck, along with his fixtures, and then drove to his house. The humidity seemed to hang in the air like a wet blanket, much akin to the sins of his past that weighed heavy on his mind. 

A few years back, Hank found himself in the deepest pit of self-loathing, depression, and anxiety. Suicidal thoughts flooded his mind, and in a fit of desperation he moved back to his family homestead in Mississippi.

As a Christmas present, his mother and father had given him a 2.5-acre plot of land to start fresh. Hank built a small cabin on the plot and worked on it when he had time to spare. Today was such a day. 

Hank climbed into his recently painted truck and drove it back to the plot of land he would soon call home. The temperature had soared past scorching, and Hank had a trench to dig and water lines to run. 

As he stepped out of the truck and removed his equipment, Hank wiped at his brow. A life-long bachelor, he wondered if married men asked their spouses to help with tasks such as his current undertaking.  He sighed and wiped the sweat from his brow. It would only get hotter. Hank walked to his small cedar shop and took out a pick, a sharpshooter shovel, and set to work. 

His confrontation in town with Jayson Nom was soon forgotten, buried under the grueling work and sweltering heat. Like a machine, he continued working until the sun went down. Hank sat on the porch and sipped a bottle of water and looked out at his recent project. 

He smiled and whispered, “Thank you Lord for the strength to get this much done. Thank you for every good thing.” Hank watched as the moon slid out of its resting place. It was true what his parents had told him all those years ago. Hard work and diligence are the building blocks of success. You’re not going to find success without either of those.

On the other side of town, miles from Hank’s small cabin, Jayson Nom stood in front of the mirror and took stock of himself. At 21, he had overcome much adversity in his young years. He suffered from dyslexia and had struggled to finish high school. He had no desire to attend college like the other youngsters his age. Nor did he desire to serve in the military. He worked as the sole manager of the local auto parts store.

His personality bordered on abrasive, and as the folly of youth would have it, he was full of himself. Nom refused to entertain any words of wisdom, from anyone, which again most attributed to the folly of youth. 

He remembered the look on the old man’s face when he saw the words on the hood of his old truck. Jayson doubled over with laughter. He and his friends hadn’t painted on the words, instead had written them in shaving cream. Nom wondered how Hank had felt when he was driving down the road and the words began to fly off and splatter on his windshield. 

That thought brought Nom to his knees, and tears raced down his cheeks. I’d have given anything to see the look on that old man’s face. He probably had a heart attack when his windshield filled up with shaving cream.

Good times.

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