Every week or so, there is a brief message on the answering machine from Tyler Lindenholl, our neighbor and friend. The message says "hello, this is Tyler. Do you have any work for me to do?" Ever since a friend passed me Tyler's hand-written card, offering to do chores big and small, he has been a part of our life, a part of the farm, a part of our community.
On a farm, there is always something to do, usually there are not enough people to do it. I always call him back, and in a few hours, he comes rumbling over in his small ATV, the engine roaring and sputtering. He comes roaring through the empty corn fields, his house is about a mile and two cornfields away.
I was not fortunate enough to have a son, I lost the one we had, but if I had one, I would be proud to have a son like Tyler. He is smart, strong, gracious and very competent. Tyler appeared in our lives around the time I had my open heart surgery, and while much of the summer is a blur to me, I remember this young whirlwind appearing regularly at the farm, mowing, stacking, cleaning, raking, shoveling. I had been wondering how Maria could possibly get all of the things done that needed to be done, but then this young dervish appeared, he works like the Tasmanian Devil.
It would have been a much tougher summer without him. At the Open House, Tyler took charge of parking, and handled hundreds of cars for two days.
I have recovered from my surgery, I can do many chores, but there is still much for Tyler to do here, some things I still can't do, somethings I can one day do. Tyler knows and loves the dogs, they love him back, he comes and goes when he pleases. If he needs a drink of water, or call home, he just comes into the house.
At a time when there is so much fear and distance between young people and adults, there is no tension or discomfort between Tyler and us. We are at ease around one another. He is gracious, quick to smile, curious. He is sort of a human Red, he works and works and rarely loses focus. Maria and I are both very fond of him and impressed by him. He is coming to my Hubbard Hall play in January, he follows the blog once in awhile, we talked about Disney World today.
Tyler is a renaissance man, he is an athlete and working hard at his school work, he is getting great grades this year. He has a Kindle and is considering the books he wants to read. I think he is one of those people who can do anything he sets out to do, although I don't know if he knows that yet. For Maria and I, our move to Cambridge has made us rich in friends and community, and we have friends who are younger and friends who are older.
Tyler is a gift, we will be watching for him and rooting for him, he is someone who is special.