I do not want to leave my readers hanging so after I had cleaned most of the room I had to share with my brother I went outside and started my front yard tasks.  I would rake all of the leaves that fell from the tree.  This was most difficult in the fall when the leaves would cover the lawn and garden area at between two and three feet. (Honest, there were that many dead leaves)  I had to trim the lawn everywhere the lawn ended.  I had to trim around each sprinkler and there were lots and lots of sprinkler heads.  Then I would have to cut the lawn.  When I first started cutting the lawn a push mower was all we had to complete the task.  This lawn mower was only powered by one young Italian boy.  I do remember that my father did purchase a power mower but as I remember I must have been in my late teens.

At the completion of the lawn tasks I would move on to weeding the flower gardens.  On my hands and knees I would look for and pluck out any weeds that started to grow.  Completing both the lawns and the garden I would check out one side yard to see if the hedge needed to be trimmed.  I remember needing to trim the hedges at least four times each year.  The other side yard was either filled with Calla Lilies or weeds depending on the time of the year.  With this yard filled with Calla Lilies there was nothing for me to do.  However, when the Calla Lilies died and the weeds took over, then into the side yard I went with my shovel in hand.  I had to turn over all the soil in that side yard.  That task would kill the weeds and somehow strengthen the Lilies for next year.  All I remember was that it was very hard work.

By this time my brother had crawled out of his bed and started to eat some breakfast.  I knew this because it was at this time I would enter the house for a glass of water.  There he would be enjoying his late breakfast and facing all of his chores still needing to be completed.  After drinking my glass of water I would head back outside to sweep up and return the tools to their proper place.  I was always hopeful that my brother would ask me to just leave then in the back yard so he could use them.  I do not remember him ever asking.

As you can see by this little story my mother and father expected more from me than they expected from my little messy brother.  In fact, mom and dad expected more from me than they did from both of my sisters.  I never disappointed either my mom or dad because I was the good young man they could depend on to complete his chores.  Not to sound like I was just picking on my brother Sam, two years before I could apply for my driver’s license my dad required me to wash and clean his car once a week for one hundred and four weeks.  My sister Mari Anne, my brother Sam, and my baby sister Jessica did not have to wash and clean my dad’s car.  See how much my parents could depend on me!