A man’s work is never done

Published 4:00 pm Wednesday, June 5, 2024

By Steve Stricker



Tomorrow, Thursday, June 6 is the 19th birthday of my grandson and namesake, Stephen Renaud Stricker, III – so proud of you, Happy Birthday, “3!” Hope you got my card.

June 6 also marks the WII, 1944 80th D-Day invasion of the beaches of Normandy, France, German occupied, by allied armies, from land, air, and sea, known as the largest amphibious invasion in military history.  The “D” in D-Day just meant “Day.” It was “the” day.

My middle name is Renaud, French, Gert’s maiden name whose origins trace back to…Normandy, France….  Once while watching footage of D-Day on television, cameras panned a store and in very large letters across the front was, “RENAUD.”

Renaud, “Advice, Rule,” Stephen means, “King.”  An uncle told me Renaud meant, “The Fox.”  I really liked that.  All this royal blood and still have to do house maintenance, laundry, cleaning, fixing what breaks along with everything else – cars, mowers, collector cars, yard, office (whole another story), me, and write my weekly column for the Oxford Eagle that I’ve been doing for the past 30+years – a man’s work is never done!

I learned long ago that a clean car, organized house, garage, yard, me, etc., was great for my mental health when all around stuff was in total chaos – as a therapist suggested same to my clients; “how did you know my room was trashed? “ Because the last thing one feels like doing when depressed is to clean because it takes way too much energy – but when done feels so good, such a relief and helps the healing process.

Between wives, fiancés, girlfriends, I am low maintenance (pun intended) when it comes to how clean my house is that I had built and moved into August 2000, but do like things neat – like my kitchen counters, really do well until in a hurry, place things in a clear counter spot then it goes south until I can’t stand it and pitch and cut!

Then there’s my plethora (hate that word) of car parts for MG (utility room), Land Rover, (kitchen, dining room) Volvo, (Garage) KIA – no parts for it (yet), and John Deere riding mower (garage). 

My 1964 IIA Land Rover, parts from all over the world, would open boxes in the kitchen and needing quick access, stacked in a large kitchen chair.   Plumber needed once to knock a hole in kitchen wall had to move that chair and boxes, said, “You’re not married are you…?”  What did he mean by that?

So when I needed a part for the IIA, had to go through all the boxes in the chair not being sure what box that part was in, was a major mess, then had to stack it all back up. Well, with my focus currently on the front swivel ball assemblies, organized those parts and placed box in my neat dining room.  Once that barrier was breached, a couple other boxes found a spot there as well.  Then there are my closets…do not open for fear of an avalanche!

Some houses have a “scary” drawer, I have five or so…. Never go to other people’s homes so my house is all me, no copies, all boy, my treasures throughout, most furniture from our home in southern Missouri or found on the cubs of Oxford.

Son Stephen (Steve) was here this summer with my twin grandsons, Trent and Thomas, Stephen III stayed a few days with me last summer.  Later asked Stephen what the boys thought of the house, “junky?” No actually they thought it had a lot of personality; whew. 

Love my house as it is in a perfect Oxford location, subdivision, layout, wow been here 25 wonderful years in August – I call it, “God’s House.” I call it, not perfect, but my awesome sanctuary…. 

Steve is an Oxford resident, worked on the Ole Miss Campus, and received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (Counseling) from The  University of Mississippi.