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Outdoor Life: The indoor times, they are a changing
Alvin Richardson
Alvin Richardson

A few weeks back I updated you on my recent career change from servant of the people to one of domestic servitude. If you missed it, the thrust of that briefing was to let you know the challenges and joys of housekeeping duties to which I now aspire. We discussed the finer points of vacuum cleaning, clothes washing and dusting to name a few. 
    Today’s offering is an update on my ongoing state of affairs in that area of endeavor.
    To give you a more concise picture for today’s saga, my dad and I are similarly situated with doing stuff around the house that we are not accustomed to. I’m in that situation because I’ve retired and my wife works outside the home. 
    Daddy is in that position because we lost Mama a little over a year ago.
    Daddy and I were sitting around his house eating lunch last Saturday and as usual we were watching an intense basketball game which is a national past-time for our family — two old war horses just doing their thing. We were criticizing, strategizing, and in general coaching up the boys on TV. It was right in our wheelhouse.
    But the times, they are a’ changing. The ball game reached the halfway point and during that break the focus of our visit took a bizarre turn. Daddy had made some exceptional beef stew in the crock pot and the discussion turned to cooking.
    I made it a point to get his recipe for the stew (London broil beef, carrots, sliced potatoes and two cups of water) and away we went. Forgotten was the ballgame. 
    We leapt headlong into sharing the secrets we’d learned over the past months concerning the finer points of domestic servitude and I have to tell you, it got pretty rowdy. 
    He got to ranting about which wash detergent was best and I scolded him about not keeping the lint screen on his dryer clean. His retort was that upon his last visit to my house he’d noticed that I hadn’t really dusted thoroughly. I replied that he never sealed his cookies up in a Ziploc bag and they were going to get stale. The debate got more heated than one of Daddy’s pasture burning excursions.
    After we calmed down the discussion became more productive and we decided to work together for the greater good. We hammered out a plan to share recipes and pass along tips for the most efficient ways to wash, mop, vacuum, clean up funky bathrooms, and dust. 
    After we got those details ironed out (so to speak) we got even more excited and decided to put together some goals for the upcoming year.  Two of those objectives were to achieve the Good Housekeeping Seal (my wife would be the judge) and to author a cookbook.
    We came up with some novel ideas for the book.
    Our working title is “Home Cooked Meals for Dummies” and it would include recipes for:
    — How to prepare Bourbon salmon in the toaster oven
    — Rice ‘a Roni and braised chicken in the microwave
    — Mean, lean, chili and bean con carne in the crockpot
    — Hamburger Helper Grande’
    You get the idea.
    This book might actually change the world as we know it.
    Homebound men everywhere will unite and flock to buy this useful volume because it will give them a way to prepare luscious meals in an efficient manner and have those meals hot and ready when their spouse comes home from a hard day’s work.
    I never found out who won that ballgame we were watching. We got so fired up about our new ideas that we completely missed the second half.
    That’s the first time I can ever recall that happening in the Richardson household.
    But hey, the times, they are a’ changing.

    Alvin Richardson is a contributing writer, retired educator, and public speaker. Contact him at