An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer/contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife, enjoying time with his extended family. He would miss the paycheque, but he needed to retire.
The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he would build just one more house as a personal favour. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work.
He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials.
It was an unfortunate way to end his career. When the carpenter finished his work, and the employer came to inspect the house, he handed the front door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”
What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.
So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way reacting rather than acting, willing to put up with less than the best. At important points, we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock, we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we built. If we had realized, we would have done it differently.
Think about your house. Think of yourself as the carpenter. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall, build wisely.
This is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one more day, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.” Who could say it more clearly? Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.
In February, Pete will turn 88 years old! I know, hard to believe, right?
From 1960 to 1962 Buck and RoseMary lived in London, Ontario. RoseMary was the swimming coach at London Western University. The University Fencing coach was Bob Foxcroft. In 1962 Bob and Pete qualified for the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia. In Australia, they trained together running on the Army Barracks’ track. The Barracks also housed the pool where the Canadian Swim Team trained, coached by RoseMary. Pete and Bob were running on the track one day as Buck and RoseMary walked past them with the team on their way to the pool. Bob introduced Pete to Buck, and as the saying goes, “the rest is history.” From there a long and strong friendship was born. Buck invited Pete to teach wrestling at the camps. For sixty years Pete has shared his skills, experiences, and stories to thousands of boys during his summers at Chikopi. Pete, like the carpenter in the story he shared with us, is ready to hang up his whistle and spend his summers with his children and grandchildren. Pete, I know there are thousands of campers who join Teagan and I in thanking you for your love and commitment to Chikopi. You are loved and will be missed on the mat and in the MainHouse. Thank you, Colette.
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