OK, I genuinely feel badly about this. I mean, I feel like I’m letting someone down. But, I don’t know what else to do. Our Rotary Club has a program where we display U.S. flags in front of residences and businesses six times a year on special holidays. I’ve faithfully participated in this program for about fourteen years. Of course, there is some hassle involved in this. I mean, you’ve got to get up early in the morning pick up your allotment of flags (around 50), drive around the neighborhood hunting for the preset holes in front of the homes, deposit the flag, and then repeat the process in reverse order later in the day when they are picked up. During the year we service the flags to make sure they are in good condition for the next year.
We have about 500 total flags which have been divided among a number of teams to accomplish this task. For fourteen years it has worked relatively fine. However, the past couple of years has become a little of a drain on me. At sixty-three I move a little slower than I did at forty-nine. My feet hurt a little more and the arthritis in my hands bothers me a tad bit more. Midway through that period I had a heart attack and heart by-pass surgery, which slowed me down a smidge also. The bottom line is this year has been especially difficult.
Apparently, others have felt the drain also because the helpers on the flag team have continually changed, dropping folks as the new wore off. This year a couple of die-hard buddies have been with me at the start. However, the last couple of times I put the flags out and picked them up alone. My next door neighbor jumped in and helped a couple of times and my granddaughter helped a few times, and that was a blessing.
Now, I’m sure there would have been others who would have gladly helped if I had asked them. However, that is not my job. I am neither the flag chairman of this program nor the captain of this team— been there and done that many times before. Someone else has been responsible for contacting and organizing for the last couple of years. Except for this year, no one stepped up to run this team; so, I inherited it by default. Well, it ain’t happening. The result is that this year I have been the Lone Ranger on flag days. I’ve had a different Tonto for a couple of them; but, on a couple of occasions even Tonto couldn’t be found.
And, so, with one flag day remaining in this year, I’ve bailed. I said, “Hey, I ain’t doin’ this no more!” Yeah, I know there is only one day left this year, but the way I see it, they need to be ready for the change for next year. So, they might as well start now. I’m not mad at anyone and my feelings aren’t hurt. I’m just finished. But, even so, I still feel sort of badly about it—like I let someone down. Why is that?