My husband and I recently completed an interior renovation of our three-car garage, a protracted ten-week endeavor that necessitated lengthy mid-day naps. Our energy levels overwhelmed by what we conspired to achieve, we contemplated searching out Geritol to add to our daily diet.

Do you think that it’s sold on E-Bay or the Antiques Road Show? Do you think Amazon would ship it by drone?

My husband and I are older, but we are not geriatrics. We have pep in our step, yet we are especially shamed because of a family legend:

My father and his older brother built a pole barn on our family’s southern Indiana farm, a property where my mom and dad didn’t reside. When my dad was 70.

The strappingly fit worker who co-constructed was the farmer who cash-rented the land; I think he was in his 50s.PoleBarn-Montgomery2008 (8)

The fact that my parents didn’t live on the farm, an hour south of their suburban home, points to another piece of data that shames me: all of the poles for the barn were salvaged from the telephone company headquarters down the street in Carmel, Indiana – and loaded onto my dad’s Ford truck by my parents. My mother who was at the time, the age that I am now.

I’m not ashamed of their thrift, a core value that helps build character  and wealth – I just don’t feel as sturdy.

My mother modeled marriage vow fulfillment, camaraderie through and through, being a helpmate no matter what. Stand by your man –

Even while holding the other end of a 20 foot telephone pole that weighs a half ton to load it onto a truck…and then ride ‘shotgun’ in the unsteady vehicle as it bucked down the highway like a camel, front tires barely touching the road, by my father’s report. Really.

My mother modeled faith when it was time to unload the many poles in the empty farm lot. She obeyed my father’s directive to push down an unsecured pole extended from the truck bed, with the truck gate’s edge as fulcrum.

Then Dad drove the truck forward – a turn for each log – so the hand-held pole would thump to the ground. He and my mother would roll each hefty log toward the job site and line up for the next unload.

Clever solution – but, really? Stand by your man,push-me-pull-ha, hold on tight. Build a shelter together, for all time. Trust.