3 Korean guys, 2 rakes, and a leaf-blower

Whenever I come home to Connecticut, my stay seems to be categorized into certain roles that I am to play for my family.  The following is a list of such roles:

    • English translator – my mom will save a bunch of letters/notices that she got in the mail from banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, car dealership, etc. since the last time I was home, and ask me to translate what they mean.  Essentially, she wants to know if the aforementioned entities are trying to bill her any random charges because she doesn’t fluently read English.  Most often than not, it’ll be spam mail or standard notices of obscure procedures the consumer doesn’t have to worry about.  You would think that my brother would be able to do this, but his response is always, “Ask Nameun when he gets home.”
    • Garlic peeler – self-explanatory, especially if you come from a Asian-/Korean-American household.  For some reason, there’s always garlic to peel when I come home.
    • Baker – I follow after my mom in that I have a huge sweet tooth.  She always stocks up on box-brand brownie, cake, and/or bread mixes in the house, so I can make them for the family whenever I come home.  It doesn’t take much to read instructions off a box or pre-heat an oven, but for some reason, “it always tastes better made by my hands” (her exact words, translated literally from Korean).
    • Cashier – being small-business owners, my parents will always take the opportunity now to station me at the store to have me close.  I don’t mind it so much anymore.  It gives them a couple hours off their regular 12-hour daily shifts, and me an opportunity to catch up on reading or watch TV (something I don’t have at school or even at home anymore).
    • Cheap manual labor – this one is seasonal.  If it’s the summer, this role manifests itself as Lawn Mower.  If it’s the winter, Snow Shoveler.  If it’s the spring, (because we live in New England) a combination of any of the two just mentioned.  And like today, if it’s the fall, Leaf Blower/Raker.

My dad told me to come home early from church today (a.k.a. no ritual golfing after service) to help clean the leaves that had accumulated on our lawn.  When my dad, brother and I get to working this afternoon, I couldn’t help but notice the work dynamic that took place.  I got outside first, grabbed a rake, and started “priming” the lawn to make it easier for either my dad or brother to blow.  My dad automatically goes for the blower first, most likely because he doesn’t trust either of his sons to carry out “Operation Clean Leaves” as was planned out in his head.  My brother stumbles out later, grabs the other rake and begins working on the front lawn (where the leaves are most visible to third parties, not worrying about the side or back lawns, because people driving by our house/guests can’t see those areas).

Eventually, my dad calls for us to stop whatever we thought was the most efficient way to go about raking the leaves, to help him execute “Operation Clean Leaves” as he devised.  More for the reason of not wanting to hear him nag, the Cho sons relent to his dictatorship.  After about an hour or so, the work gets done fairly efficiently, and we’re all pretty content with our productivity.  I know that if I wasn’t home, it would have taken them a lot longer to finish the job than desired.

Gospel Connection: The initial GC that I crafted in my head revolved around something like “teamwork” and how each member of the body of the Church plays a different role. But here’s the revised GC after reflecting on this episode a little more.

I don’t get to spend too much quality time with my family.  Given that I’m fairly reserved in my emotions and affection towards them to begin with, I’m almost rarely home for too long because of the responsibilities I have in Boston/at GCTS.  Although not very much affection was expressed in words during the course of our leaf-cleaning activity, it was still quality time nonetheless.  I know my dad appreciated my help, the time we were able to spend together, and having done so without a begrudging attitude.  Honor your mother and father.  Sometimes, it just looks different for some people.

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4 Responses to “3 Korean guys, 2 rakes, and a leaf-blower”

  1. For some reason you make peeling garlic sound seem like an arduous task. All you have to do is just lightly crush the garlic close with the palm of your hand and the skin should fall off. Or do this: http://vimeo.com/29605182

  2. yeah, we never used the “crush method” because we would peel garlic to preserve them for later use, but that video was really helpful. ill be sure to try that out next time!

  3. I would appreciate more affection, please.

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