Taking The Baton

Autumn trees

Autumn trees (Photo credit: blmiers2)

Crisp, October air stings Bill’s nostrils a bit even as he sweats under his autumn, outdoor gear. His knee aches some from all the back and forth. The better part of his morning has been piling new firewood into the wheel barrow to take it to be stacked next to the cottage. They will need it in the coming months as another Northeast winter approaches. His shoulders groan, his back cries, and his fingers complain and yet Bill is happy as he works.

The cottage has been in his family for three generations now. Four if you count Bill’s kids, who are too young to appreciate it just yet. It is where they hold all their holiday celebrations and the many birthday parties that come in the cold time of year. Decades of happy memories are held in that wood-paneled building and he wants to make sure there are decades more to come, which means making sure everything is taken care of.

In the past those duties fell to his dad or granddad. His grandfather, though, had been wheel chair bound the last few years of his life, and has been gone for two years now. Dad wanted to help this year, but after the heart attack, his doctor said it was not a good idea. So now it falls to Bill.

As much as he misses dad’s commanding presence, Bill loves this. It is his turn to make sure everything goes right. It is his responsibility and he will not let the family down. He watches with pride as his boys and his nephews help how they can, raking leaves and cleaning windows. His brother, Ted, is getting the old furnace going for the season. Everyone coming together and looking to Bill to get it organized, while mom and dad relax in the den watching the game.

He is pushing forty, so Bill does not know how long he has to enjoy this before passing the duties on to his boys or his nephews, but he will do the best while he can. As he pushes the wheel barrow through the wet leaves and the scents of autumn fill the air, he is content to know he can keep the traditions going a few more years.

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