Zack wanted to come over today and make soap. At the time he asked the detritus of pumpkin carving strewn about the kitchen floor, a sink full of dishes and dishes on the table as well. The detritus of Halloween decor strewn about the living room. This is what happens when you’re working too much, you’re never home, and you do Halloween last minute in the few and wee hours after work and dinner and before you go to bed so you can possibly bear to get up in the morning and start it all over again.
I told him I’d love to, but…
“How about if I come over and help you clean and then we can make soap?”
Music to my mother ears.
And so he came. And as we worked together – Zack doing the legwork – returning strewn items to their proper places while I went to town on the dishes, I thought of my grandparents on my mother’s side, Grandpa and Grandpa Jacobs.
Grandpa and Grandma Jacobs canned peaches together easily into their upper eighties, possibly early nineties. I know this because when they got too old to get around as much as they liked, I often picked up the bushels of lemon elberta peaches for them from the then-orchard-now-half-million-dollar-homes-development just up the road from my house and delivered them to Grandpa and Grandma.
I gave up on canning shortly after I went back to work, but I recall it’s a long, messy, sticky process. And it was particularly lonely doing it by oneself. And I realized that it’s likely the only reason Grandpa and Grandma Jacobs canned so very long is because they did it together.
Then word synergy came to mind. I’m awfully fond of synergy. I love how synergy reminds me of energy, because when I am working with someone–feeling part of a team–it’s not just that we accomplish more than the sum of our efforts, it’s also that I feel lifted, strengthened, energized. I am capable of staying more focused and more determined because I am not alone. It occured to me that’s part of the reason we are born into families. We are meant to work together. It’s good for us to share the responsibilities of taking care of the home and it’s more efficient to work together.
The best part of working with Zack today was, of course, his company. Zack is easy, smart, funny, and a thinker. We spoke of friends, music, politics, and some of his near-future plans. Good company makes any task more pleasant. Time seemed to fly.
After some order was brought to the house, we got down to the business of soapmaking. And you know how I feel about that. Even so, I was reminded that even the fun stuff is more pleasant with good company. Zack is good company. We’ll have to do it again sometime.
If you’d like to see what else Zack has been up to lately, you can check it out over on his new blog.