“The Five Minute Job”

Deb and I needed a vacation, a break from the cold of Michigan and a time to enjoy some sun …

It had been a long time coming! Our vacation plans included stops in several locations to reduce the length of drive each day, to see close and extended family, visit an old PCS location with a warm spring climate, see friends from our first assignment (Indian Spring Air Force Auxiliary Field, Nevada – now Creech AFB) and more! We had an aggressive plan but one that allowed time with our elderly surviving parents too. Both of our dads are World War II veterans, 87 years old and like to share “stories” of that era.

My folks live amongst the orange groves of Florida in a modest home that is comfortable, easy to navigate for two folks with “mobility challenges” and has a wonderful garden they love. It does require some upkeep and our family have worked out a visit schedule of sorts that allows long distance support to be on scene as well. The on scene support includes accomplishing “five minute” jobs which are beyond our folks’ physical capabilities. Our family laughs at the term “five minute” jobs since they never take five minutes! But what a sense of accomplishment when we are done knowing we did something for them they could not do. This visit included building a sidewalk with new pavers to make moving from their garage to their garden area easier, putting in their two window air conditioners, spreading ant killer, planting some blackberry bushes, etc.

Deb’s dad is a part time resident of Florida who leaves more than ten feet of annual snowfall in the mountains of upstate New York for the sunny coast. Our visit with him includes running errands, preparing a few meals, shopping, garbage to the dumpster and of course enjoying the beach out his front door. More of his “five minute” jobs are accomplished while visiting his New York home but running up and down from his fifth floor place adds to the fitness part of our vacation!

Our children remember the “five minute” jobs during our visits during PCS travels and vacations to family get togethers. They laugh when they know we are headed south for vacation knowing we will be busy. Now as they come to our house they are learning to expect a few “five minute” jobs to help us! Five minute jobs do not have to be limited to elderly parents! How about a family with a deployed service member, a friend/neighbor with a recent injury or illness, a church friend with a project or someone you know who needs some encouragement! We saw some great examples when MilitaryAvenue’s Leanne had a deployed husband! Her civilian neighbors were wonderful!

Take “five minutes” to help someone out! It could be similar to “Pay it Forward” when you buy someone a lunch! Instead you will be using your skills or muscles to help out someone! You will be surprised how good it makes you feel!

The Finished Project!

Photo Credits: MilitaryAvenue

1) Col K and Deborah Getaway

2-5) Parents garden/backyard in Florida with Col K and Deborah at work byColonel KonWednesday, March 23, 2011Military Life:,,

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