To set the stage, I have the most amazing landlords on the planet. They live in the big front house and I live in the rear garage unit. He’s in his 80s, she’s in her 70s. He just finished writing his memoirs while on a cruise to Australia. She is one of the smartest, most perceptive readers I know. They both have traveled to every continent and probably every country in the world.

They are both an inspiration and two of the kindest people I know.

A couple weeks ago though, he took a rough fall. He’s ok but he broke a shoulder and a handful of ribs. If you knew this guy, the worst is that for a few weeks he can’t do every physical thing he wants to do when he wants to do it.

They’ve been out of town for a few weeks and our patio tends to gather leaves the way the beach gathers sand. I knew when they got home, he’d be right out there cleaning, doctors be damned. I planned to sweep after volleyball today because, seriously dude, rest that shoulder. Apparently, they came back last night.

When I rose this morning at six, to set up for volleyball, I ran into the lady of the front house, taking their little dog out. I said, “Don’t let Chuck sweep and f* up his shoulder. I’ll do it after volleyball.”

“Oh, Chuck will want to take care of it as soon as he’s up because we have company coming,” she said.

And she’s right: nothing slows this guy down.

So I went out to 17th and Strand and laid my lines down for morning volleyball. I came back, poured a cup of java, put on my headphones and some Zac Brown, and started sweeping.

It took me an hour or so, and it’s literally the happiest I have felt in months. It’s the first time I have truly understood my uncle, Monsignor Joe. I had tears in my eyes (although, in fairness, I can cry at the drop of a hat). I feel like thanking them for allowing me to be of service today.

Be of service to someone today, if you get the chance, and be thankful you had that opportunity. If you don’t get that opportunity, let someone else be of service to you. It will make their day.

Now, I’m going to do what I do every April Fools Day and go put fake parking tickets on cars before I play volleyball.

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