By Mike Redmond
The Hendricks County Flyer
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:13 PM EST
Had you driven past my house one recent Friday, you would have seen a workman on the roof, stringing Christmas lights. For reasons of safety and schedule, I decided to let someone else do the job this year.
But had you driven past my house the day after, you would have seen me up there re-doing the job.
So much for safety and schedule.
I blame my mother. Or, actually, her entire family. I was engaged in a practice I call "McKenzie-ing" the job - that is, allowing someone else to do it and then going back and doing it over again to get it right. Even if nothing much is wrong with it.
And all in spite of the fact that the workman was sent to the job with explicit instructions, written on yellow legal paper, with visual aids including charts, graphs, and photos, along with numerous verbal hints called up from the sidewalk. That's also very McKenzie, by the way.
Now, please understand, I am not proud of this. In going all McKenzie on the job, I violated a very solemn promise I made to myself almost daily during kidhood: I am not going to be like my mother when I grow up.
My brother and sisters made the same promise. Not one of us could run a vacuum cleaner to her satisfaction. Neither could we dust, do dishes, wash windows, or take out trash to her specifications. I never weeded a row in the garden that did not cause my mother to throw her hands up into the air, exclaim that I hadn't paid attention AGAIN, take over the chore, and launch into her speech about doing things right with its legendary opening line, "I have TOLD you and TOLD you ..."
We'll not even talk about big jobs like plowing a straight furrow.
The gist of the speech was this: There are three ways to do things: The wrong way; the right way (also wrong); and the McKenzie way, which is to say perfectly, a quality unattainable for non-McKenzies and other mere mortals, such as me and a good many of my cousins.
According to the legend, to be a McKenzie of Mom's generation was to be a model child, well-behaved, a tireless worker and supremely talented at whatever endeavor you chose. To be a McKenzie of my generation was to be a disappointment to your grandparents.
(Of course, you have to wonder how such brilliant people as my mother and her siblings could raise such a crop of dunderheads. You would be advised, however, to keep that thought to yourself, as I found out last family reunion.)
But as I've gotten older, I have found that I McKenzify things without even thinking. I've been known to remake a bed three times to get the corners just right. I've never worn a necktie I didn't re-tie at least twice. I once rebuilt four garden boxes at 5 a.m. because I'd awakened from a dream in which six of my uncles came by the house and pointed out the flaws.
And that, my friends, is why I was out on the roof re-stringing the Christmas lights. I'm listening to my McKenzie side. And apparently, lights aren't the only thing I need help with.
Maybe I should just listen to my Redmond side. That's the one that tells me and tells me that they sure look pretty.
© 2012 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
March 3, 2014
February 27, 2014
February 26, 2014
There was a wide array of reactions to Seattle DB Richard Sherman’s post-game “interview” with Erin Andrews following the Seahawks’ NFC title win over San Francisco.
Mine? Laughter, as the shout-down was the most entertaining thing I saw all day.
January 28, 2014
Butler is still a long way from saving its 2013-14 men’s basketball season, but if the Bulldogs turn it around fully and reach the NCAA Tournament, it will have started this past Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
January 21, 2014
A fine season for the Indianapolis Colts ended with a whimper Saturday at New England, but in recent team history, it was far from the most disappointing postseason defeat.
January 14, 2014
The Indianapolis Colts’ miraculous 45-44 wild card victory over Kansas City on Saturday ended just after 8 p.m. After leaving Lucas Oil Stadium, it took until around midnight for the pounding in my head to subside.
January 7, 2014
December 31, 2013
An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
May 22, 2013
Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
In a tearful statement that went viral this week, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced that he would not defend his state's ban on gay marriage in court. Conway made the announcement after a federal judge ruled that Kentucky must recognize same sex marriages performed in other states. However, Gov. Steve Beshear said he will hire private attorneys to appeal the judge's order.
March 6, 2014
© 2014 Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. ·
CNHI Classified Advertising Network ·
CNHI News Service
Associated Press content © 2014. All rights reserved. AP content may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Our site is powered by Zope. Some parts of our site may require
you to download the Flash Player Plugin.
Terms and Conditions
Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN
8109 Kingston St., Suite 500