/ / / Story: The Tasks

Story: The Tasks

Debbie Stanton | debbiestanton.com | Stories | Writing

Ned and Karen, the parents of Charlie, sat down on Saturday morning to divvy up their tasks for the day. Charlie, 15 years old, would have loved to sleep in, but this game his parents played every Saturday morning got him up bright and early.

It was kind of fun, writing chores down on pieces of paper, throwing them in a hat, and each person choosing the chore or chores they would do that day. In their household, they couldn’t do fun things before the chores. It just worked out better that way.

If a task could only be done by one person, that task would be added to their list. For instance, if repair was needed on their clothes, only Karen did that task. Ned and Charlie could work on their car engines, but Karen didn’t know how.

What was unique about this family was, they all knew how to do most tasks. How well a task was done, however, wasn’t always predictable.

Today, it was Ned’s job to cook pancakes for breakfast. He had almost enough pancake mix, so he just added flour. He wasn’t real good at chemistry–or whatever–so when the pancakes were really, really flat, he didn’t know the reason for it. They were barely edible, but the pancakes ended up being eaten by the three of them. Spreading butter on the pancakes and pouring syrup on that went a long way to make the pancakes easier to eat.

Karen’s job was to fix the electric coffee bean grinder. She took it all apart and discovered this was not something she knew how to fix. If Ned didn’t step up to the plate, she’d have to go to the store and get already-ground coffee. She hated the idea of that kind of coffee.

Ned graciously went to the store to buy their coffee. The trip had its up side. Ned was able to buy some doughnuts to eat to fill him up like the pancakes had not.

Charlie was good at English, so he was glad to get the task of writing up a summary for the family’s loan application. Charlie wrote the summary and proudly showed it to his mom. When she proofread it and noticed it needed help, Charlie hung his head but turned the summary over to his mom.

When the family was done with their tasks, they each sighed a breath of relief. Charlie asked his dad if he wanted to go outside and fly the kite they’d just purchased. His dad said, “Sure,” and off they went.

Outside, it was a perfect day for flying kites — the weather was cold and sunny with strong gusts of wind. Soon, the kite flew into the tall oak tree and got stuck among the highest branches.

“Son,” Ned said to Charlie, “The way this day has been going, the chances of us climbing the tree and having the branches break under our weight are pretty high. Let’s leave it for now, okay?”

Charlie was very glad to go inside with his dad. The birds were delighted to pull the kite apart. Now they could build nests for their families with the string and paper from the torn kite.

Apparently, each day has good parts and bad parts. Let’s just hope that Charlie’s family gets a lot of good things in the days ahead.

Photo of kite by Rene V. of Unsplash

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