A Gift of Friendship


"I have a household of Jan Steen," that's what people from Holland say when they have a sloppy house. That saying is taken from the paintings of Jan Steen, a famous Dutch painter who lived in the 17th Century, and whose paintings were about ordinary Dutch life. In the image below, one sees all sorts of junk on the floor, including the little swine in the corner, the dog eating on the table, etc. This is typical Jan Steen!


My house isn't quite as bad. There are no swine or other animals running around, but I am not the tidiest person in the world because I am very busy with websites and other things!

So, a week or two ago, Dcn. Dave Hankle, visited me and said he would organize a group of people who would help me straighten up my place. He was good to his word.

So on a recent Saturday morning at 8 AM, a large contigent of people from my parish presented themselves ready to work. Dave was with them. For the sake of privacy, I'll leave off the last names, but there was Dave, Jim, Phil, George, Frank (who came with a trailer to haul stuff to the dump), and at least two or three others who got here later. The men tackled the outside, two sheds where I can now find things again, they cleaned my Florida Room which had at least a 1/4 inch layer of dust on everything since three sides are open (mosquito screening). Florida is a windy place so there is always fine sand blowing around. I rarely use this room except in cool winters to sit outside, but it is usually way too hot there. A ceiling fan would be a nice addition, maybe.

Then a contingent of ladies arrived, Diane, and her daughter, Catherine. Another Catherine and two other women whose names I have forgotten. When there are that many people in a 700 Sq. Feet home (a single-wide manufactured home), I get easily confused with names. The ladies tackled the inside, and after four hard-working hours I had a home again. Good cleaning and organization turned my house into a home, again!

These folks, particularly the men, are a part of St. Helen's Church's Mens Discipleship Group, who meet once a week, and these dedicated folks and their wives & friends, do a lot of good in the Parish. Didn't know I had so many friends! Thanks from the bottom of my heart!

I am still working on the remaining room in my house, my computer/work room, in which there is too much furniture, which holds too much stuff (papers, books, mostly) which I need to sort out myself. I asked them not to touch anything in this room, because they don't know what is junk and what needs to be kept. (If I haven't looked at it in 6 months, and its not a financial paper, it'll in short order depart for the rubbish heap!). This room is, of course, the worst of all, but with God's help I'll get to it soon. Now that I have room in my sheds again, I know where a lot of stuff will end up. Please say a prayer or two next time you're speaking to Jesus ... I need his help to get it done.

Friends are a great gift of the Lord! They have my gratitude and my prayers!

Fred Schaeffer, ofs



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