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Dr. Bundy’s Curtain

I was visiting my grandparents at their remote cabin, deep in the woods of Northern Idaho. Read: no electricity or indoor bathroom.


They were trying to fix the leaky roof. But all cabin repairs needed to wait until next door neighbor, Dr. Bundy’s curtain was open—a sign that he was awake.


Without electricity, all the construction tools needed to be powered by a loud generator—and Dr. Bundy “Didn’t come here to rest and listen to that confounded noise.”


My grandparents would only do quiet work before his curtain opened. They respected his request—but a failing roof, and fixing a sagging porch required daylight hours and some significant sawing and hammering.


Construction was limited to the hours between 10:30 am and 3 pm—which meant the project took at least twice as long but gave those adjacent to the work a respite from the noise.


Even though I was only seven, I remember watching my grandparents wait for the daily curtain opening. When I asked Grandma why they had to wait, she said that being nice wasn’t always easy, but it was the right thing to do.


I thought about Dr. Bundy’s curtain this week. It was a courtesy to him that didn’t have to be offered but was. No one disputed that work needed to be done on the cabin, but it was negotiable as to when and how long it would be. It made life better for everyone, even if the repairs took longer.


Grandma showed me that it isn't always easy doing the right thing, but when you're doing things right, it’s always best.


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