Leon and Ole are from Germany. No idea where the erroneous Belgian identity came from. They are 18, soon to be 19, and planning on a year away from family and school to find out what they want to do.
Little do they know that the search never ends.
In 1968 I was 19 traveling for a year (including Germany) throughout Europe on a shoestring finding out what I wanted to do. What goes around, comes around.
Some of us end up just going in circles.
But they are better than I was. They are pretty cool customers for almost 19. Yesterday we brought up a pile of logs using the old/new winch and driving the boys like rented mules. What a delight. I did virtually nothing but run the machine and act like the wise old man of the forest (I was wearing my red check logger shirt and had Sal on the walkie-talkie in case I needed real expertise). We got done in five hours what Sal and I would previously have taken three days to do. I am starting to believe that slavery has been unfairly dissed.
The plan was to keep ’em for a week and slough them off on others nearby who needed a little summer help. But plans change. We may keep ’em a bit longer. If only I could find a couple of pairs of good leg-irons. Humane ones, of course.
The average NA adult does not have a lot of good experience with nice, polite, obedient teens. Their own teens are either obliged to rebel against their parents by at least being surly or else the teens the adults encounter are in large groups wearing hoodies and acting furtive. We have a generation gap. But teens from other countries are a different story. They are a mix of appreciation and confusion. Well, some of them have been raised properly, too, I suppose, but appreciation and confusion works for me. Plus, out here, I am usually bigger and carrying heavy blunt instruments. Out here I still have influence with teens.
I confess to using that to my advantage whenever possible.
“Hey! Ole? I only have two things in my life that Sal is not the boss of. See that black chair in the living room? That’s mine. That outdoor chair you currently have your sorry butt on? That’s the second one.” Ole is instantly air-borne; catapulted from the chair in mid-sentence. It’s a beautiful thing. And Leon is laughing. Is it any wonder we enjoy young W’fers?