A Long, Cold Sunday

As much as the intent of CultureMutt is to be stunningly international in its scope on global do-gooding, once in a while it helps to have a look at something happening at home.  As home for me now is an oft-forgotten corner of inland Northern California (read: cow fields), the likelihood of something dramatic and newsworthy happening is next to nil.  To shake things up a little, I decided to reignite my long-neglected urges to do something service-related locally by clinking shovels with a few friends and building a fence for a 30-something woman with cancer.

It sounded magnanimous and simple enough: Tear down the old fence she had and erect a fresh one. Well, for starters, the day was overcast and two hours before the project began there was a life-sucking drizzle that freed me of any enthusiasm I had generated about the project.  I texted the team lead, Matt, the following:  “Pretty steady rain/drizzle in Chico.. I am still game but I just wanted to give you the heads up.”  I was hoping that this text would cancel the project.

No suck luck – Matt texted back: “K, satellite makes it look like it will let up soon.” Uggghh.  We were still on.  I rolled in to the work site about 15 minutes late and apologetically got situated.  Luckily I was the only one with refreshments and the day-old muffins and partly-consumed white grape juice redeemed me in the eyes of the already-muddy crew.

The work itself was seriously crappy.  There was no end of rotten wood and other assorted debris to transport from a backyard with very poor access to the too-small trailer behind my friend’s truck. Remember – this was just the prep work. Whether out of guilt or concern that we would trash his yard, the neighbor of the woman in concern emerged after about an hour and started helping us. An hour later his wife joined him.  Good thing to. We trashed their driveway in the process of dragging fence remains to our trailer and they did most of the mind-numbing cleanup.

The work got interesting around the time we started digging out the cement foundations of the old fence. Matt took a sledge hammer to a clump of cement to break it into bits that would be easier to carry. He lunged at it so hard that he threw his back out.  That is when he was mounted on to the back stretcher in the above video… it was priceless.  Suddenly the work site seemed so much less dreary.  There was always Matt to make fun of.

Another wonderful moment was lunch.  I was shepherding disabled Matt around Chipotle and the local college crowd gave him all the right looks. He took it like a man… like an 88 year-old arthritic man without his walking stick… I loved every moment. I carried his tray for him. Beautiful.

After lunch, half the crew left and myself and just a few of the faithful few remained, grimly mixing and pouring concrete into holes that had taken hours to dig. Matt directed our band of fed up, shivering do-gooders until we had placed most of the fence posts. We were all relieved to call it a day soon after.  The new fence recipient came out to admire our work towards the end and it felt good to have made some progress. There’s still work to be done – not one panel had gone up yet… But hey, Matt can always go and finish that up.

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Bjorn Karlman

54 thoughts on “A Long, Cold Sunday”

  1. Humor is always good for the soul. A laughter filled moment can go a long way towards getting through a difficult task. I’m sure the woman appreciates all of your efforts, too.

  2. its a goo video.good working.The persons they are so happy in this video.i think its a funny video.

  3. Its true man. Music and fun will lessen your workload and stress.
    Have fun while work and boost up your energy.

  4. ya i read the article as well as saw the video both of them is very good really i liked them….great work

  5. Really very funny vedio and heart touching indeed.watch it once and forget all you problem and stress. the artical also very nice.
    i will say please keep posting this kind of vedio and article to boost our inner strength

  6. i will say please keep posting this kind of vedio and article to boost our inner strength.Its true man. Music and fun will lessen your workload and stress.

  7. very funny and interesting video ever I watched before very awesome and makes sense good keep it up crazy video need some more like this to have fun and entertainment.

  8. Video is really fun to watch and the article is very informative.
    This is essential to lessen the effect of bore work and stress.
    Life of a laughter is easened by finding this kind of works. Thank you keep doing this great work.

  9. The video is good. The work in the video is very crappy. Since it is done for a good cause i liked it.GOOD. Keep it up.

  10. The video is very beautiful to watch.Reading to this articles helps you to develop your inner willpower .I really liked the article.

  11. this video is very amazing and funny,
    After watch this video i forgot all stress and now felling very well. Really science is great.
    Thanks Nice job

  12. ya i read the article as well as saw the video both of them is very good really i liked them….great work

  13. I saw the video and red the article . It is funny as well as a great thing . Truly heart touching . Good job.

  14. Humor is always good for the soul. A laughter filled moment can go a long way towards getting through a difficult task. I’m sure the woman appreciates all of your efforts, too.

  15. This video is very amazing and funny,
    After watch this video i forgot all stress and now felling very well. Really science is great.
    Thanks Nice job

  16. Isn’t great how when we start out doing something grudgingly it can turn into one of the best experiences of our life? Congratulations for helping someone in need and finding humor in the situation!

  17. The video is very interested and funny.The article is and informative.Now i feel very well and no stresses.This article is very helpful to me.

  18. You inspired a whole team to do something good for others while most of us are remaining busy with our own things and find no time to spare for things like this. And the humorous way that you have used to describe the whole event makes it more interesting.

  19. Laughter can increase our lifespan,a humorous working place was good and it could reduce the pain of work.I really enjoyed watching the video and reading the article

  20. The video is very interesting one.Now i feel very well and no stresses.This article is very helpful to me.I really enjoyed watching the video and reading the article. I have never seen such a great video and article before.

  21. Wow! today am very happy after watching the video.It has realesed me of stress.Funny and humorous is this video.It has taught me something useful,to be in a good mood always, no matter your problems. thamk you

  22. It’s a funny Video. Very inspiring and gives us a message to enjoy free moments with family and have fun. It’s about taking life in an easy manner and finding happiness in day to day life.

  23. Hats off to you guys.. No one today are in a position to these kind of social service works.. We are very proud of you people.. you have proved that even in doing social service we can find pleasure

  24. I like this video.The message in this video is quite innovative.Tis videos made me to think a lot.I was watching the things that happend in the video.

  25. really its true that’s its so much pain full I like this video.The message in this video is quite innovative.Tris videos made me to think a lot.I was watching the things that happens in the video.

  26. I needed something to cheer me up and this video did just that. It had my interest from the get go. I think the article was very informative and well written as well. I’m glad I came across this today.

  27. The video is very interested and funny.The article is and informative.Now i feel very well and no stresses.This article is very helpful to me. it is superb you know. it is a social work too. no words to praise you at all.

  28. This funny video tells lot of things.. humor is good for health and it will forget our worries.. At the same time, this video is very informative.. Hope you will upload some more videos which is essential to our life..

  29. I have heard and everybody knows life is full of unexpected adventures we come across unknowingly.When i saw this video i recalled my childwood days and these guys r invovative and are genius. They are having great time.

    1. Glad you liked the story man. How are things in AZ? We found the person through church/the grapevine… and no, not spammers, even better, tell you later…

  30. Well, I must say, Bjorn, that was one of the BEST blog posts I’ve ever read. John didn’t make it sound HALF so interesting when he got home.

    Cow fields??? You sound so metro. Those aren’t cows. They’re landscaping features. Matt could’ve told you that if he hadn’t been on the bat machine.

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