THE BEST LUNCH EVER
I drove past a couple of construction workers the other day. It was 95 and humid. It was noon and these guys were sitting on a step, dirty, sweaty and exhausted while enjoying a hero sandwich. They had a look on their face like they knew something I did not.
Long ago during my college years, my summer job was installing sprinkler systems. I worked with my friend, Charley, for his cousin, Mr. Big. It was always hot. It was always humid. We were always sweaty and dirty.
The work was hard and the pay was not commensurate with the difficulty of the job. It kept us busy, and paid for movies and golf.
Seeing those two construction workers reminded me of the best part of that job…lunch.
The best lunches I’ve ever had were on the back of the equipment truck. A roast beef hero, a bag of chips, a quart of ice tea and 45 minutes to shoot the breeze and recover from digging holes under a summer sun, it just doesn’t get any better.
The look those construction workers had, I know that look. That working with your hands lunch time look. You do feel as if you know something that others do not. You know the pure satisfaction of rewarding yourself for really hard work in really hot humid weather and actually seeing your labor create something.
You do know something that many people do not know. You know how good a lunch can be.
I felt a pang of envy for those construction workers. I envied their relief, their earned rest, and their satisfaction. I envied their enjoying the best lunch ever.
I didn’t envy what they had to do to earn that lunch.
What an awesome post. Those are some of the hardest workers on earth. I used to do farm work (tobacco) and would love when lunch time rolled around. Really made you appreciate the rest and the lunch.ReplyDelete
You make me want to go out, break a sweat and then have a cool lunch. I have worked some brutal outdoor jobs from my youth but my reward was always dinner, when I knew it was over.ReplyDelete
Try being a high school teacher slamming down a sandwich in 20 minutes because if "lunch hour" were any longer the cafeteria would be a war zone of food fighters!ReplyDelete
a nice perspective on a hard job. :)ReplyDelete
Construction is an unsung trade. My husband worked constructions summers from high school through college, and explained that if they busted their butts in the morning there wouldn't be much work left in them in the afternoon. Slow and steady does the job. I think about that a smile as I watch miles and miles of road reconstruction going on around me.ReplyDelete
As a teen, many decades ago, I worked for the Forest Service in the summers, fighting fires, building trails, thinning trees. Silver Lake Oregon had 30 or so people, one cafe. We would get a lunch there to take out to the woods....a huge sandwich, usually beef, chips, soft drink, and a big piece of homemade pie. We'd hoover down the luch, then sleep for a half hour.ReplyDelete
Two great summers doing that...during the JFK and LBJ administrations.
It's hard work indeed. I agree that the lunches are the absolute best. I wouldn't want to do that work though.ReplyDelete
Have a fabulous day. ☺
Aside from painting, I've never done much physical work with my hands. But I believe there's merit in what you say and you paint a great picture of these guys enjoying their lunches.ReplyDelete
There is something to be said for the satisfaction that comes after physical labor. I grew up on a farm, and as a kid my siblings and I resented the fact that we had to do farm work while many of our friends rode their bikes to the local swimming pond to have fun. Probably the reason none of us became farmers...LOL. But these days I appreciate my large iced coffee best after mowing my lawn in 95º and high humidity.ReplyDelete
I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday!!ReplyDelete
"J" has a point. We teachers never can enjoy our lunch the way construction workers do. Not even back in my early years when schools did not have air conditioning, and my classroom that overlooked the tar on the gym roof was 103 degrees. It's a different kind of hard work, and takes more than four hours to see the fruits of our labor. Yes. I envy construction workers their lunch break. But not on snow days!ReplyDelete
Ahh there's truth there for sure. Life's little to large pleasures. I think I would envy their work.. their ability and know-how.. etc. But I know what you mean. ;)ReplyDelete
Okay, so now I'm craving a hero sandwich... but I'm not willing to put on a hard hat to earn it……or enjoy it. The sub shop is within walking distance of my house.ReplyDelete
The best lunch ever is whatever you have in your lunchbox when you're hungry after a hard morning's labour.ReplyDelete
Working really hard outdoors can make a bad sandwich taste really good if your really hungry no doubt....ReplyDelete
Absolutely true. Some of the best times I ever had were lunches on a loading dock when I worked in a warehouse. Of course, the pleasure was more of the "I've stopped hitting myself in the head with a hammer and it feels really good" variety. But, similarly, when I drove a fruit-and-produce truck, making deliveries of 50-pound crates of ptatoes and such all day, nothing in the world beat the pleasure of returning to the warehouse, walking into the freezer, and sitting down IN THE FREEZER and eating a fresh cold sliced pineapple. Heaven.ReplyDelete
My summer job the year before entering college, was packing the homes of people who were moving - mostly military. Opening flattened boxes, taping them together, rolling breakables in paper, crawling under beds for kids' toys... hard work for a seventeen year old who wasn't used to getting her hands dirty. Anyway, yeah, my packed lunch (enough for 2 people) was the best! as I ate with the older men and women who did this for a living.ReplyDelete
Great post. I could almost taste that sandwich! I hope these guys get satisfaction from their work - it sure must be nice to see something built from your hard labour.ReplyDelete