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Story of The Five Dollar Lawn as told by Bishop Vaughn J. 

In my first year of high school at the prestigious Hampton School for girls in Jamaica, then Principal Mrs. Heather Murray read this story to us; five years later at my valedictory service she asked how many of us remembered the story of the five dollar lawn. I was one of the young ladies who raised my hand. Fourteen years after first hearing this story, I still think it is a good story and life lesson. 

      “No one in our Utah town knew where the Countess had come from;  her 
carefully precise English indicated that she was not a native American.  From 
the size of her house and staff we knew that she must be wealthy, but she 
never entertained and she made it clear that when she was at home she was 
completely inaccessible.  Only when she stepped outdoors did she become at 
all a public figure–and then chiefly to the small fry of the town, who lived in 
awe of her.

      “The countess always carried a cane not only for support, but as a 
means of chastising any youngster she thought needed disciplining.  And at 
one time or another most of the kids in our neighborhood seemed to display 
that need.  By running fast and staying alert, I had managed to keep out of 
her reach.  But one day when I was about thirteen, as I was short-cutting 
through her hedge, she got close enough to rap my head with her stick.

      “‘Ouch!’  I yelled, jumping a couple of feet.

      “‘Young man, I want to talk to you,’ she said.  I was expecting a 
lecture on the evils of trespassing, but as she looked at me, half smiling, 
she seemed to change her mind.

      “‘Don’t you live in that green house with the willow trees in the next 

      “‘Yes, ma’am.’ . . .

      “‘Good. I’ve lost my gardener. Be at my house Thursday morning at 
seven, and don’t tell me you have something else to do; I’ve seen you 
slouching around on Thursdays.’

     “When the Countess gave an order, it was carried out.  I didn’t dare not 
come on that next Thursday.  I went over the whole lawn three times with a 
mower before she was satisfied and then she had me down on all fours looking 
for weeds until my knees were as green as the grass.  She finally called me 
up to the porch.

      “‘Well, young man, how much do you want for your day’s work?’

      “‘I don’t know.  Fifty cents, maybe.’

      “‘Is that what you figure you’re worth?”

      “‘Yes’mAbout that.’

       “‘Very well.  Here’s the fifty cents you say you’re worth and here’s the 
dollar and a half more that I’ve earned for you by pushing you.  Now I’m 
going to tell you something about how you and I are going to work together. 
There are as many ways of mowing a lawn as there are people, and they may be 
worth anywhere from a penny to five dollars.  Let’s say that a three-dollar 
job would be just what you have done today, except that you’d have to be 
something of a fool to spend that much time on a lawn.  A five-dollar lawn is 
well, it’s impossible, so we’ll forget about that.  Now then, each week I’m 
going to pay you according to your own evaluation of your work.’

      “I left with my two dollars, richer than I remembered being in my whole 
life, and determined that I would get four dollars out of her the next week. 
But I failed to reach even the three dollar mark.  My will began to falter 
the second time around her yard.

    “‘Two dollars again, eh?  That kind of job puts you right on the edge of 
being dismissed, young man.’

     “‘Yes’m. But I’ll do better next week.’

      “And somehow I did.  The last time around the lawn I was exhausted, but 
I found I could spur myself on.  In the exhilaration of that new feeling, I 
had no hesitation in asking the Countess for three dollars.

      “Each Thursday for the next four or five weeks, I varied between a 
three-and a three-and-a-half dollar job.  The more I became more acquainted 
with her lawn, places where the ground was a little high or a little low, 
places where it needed to be clipped short or left long on the edges to make 
a more satisfying curve along the garden, the more I became aware of just 
what a four-dollar lawn would consist of.  And each week I would resolve to 
do just that kind of a job.  But by the time I had made my three dollar or 
three and-a-half dollar mark I was too tired to remember even having had the 
ambition to go beyond that.

      “‘You look like a good consistent $3.50 man,’  she would say as she 
handed me the money.

      “‘I guess so’  I would say, too happy at the sight of the money to 
remember that I had shot for something higher.

      “‘Well don’t feel too bad,’  she would comfort me.  ‘After all, there are 
only a handful of people in the world who could do a four-dollar job.’

      “And her words were a comfort at first, but then, without my noticing 
what was happening, her comfort became an irritant that made me resolve to 
do that four-dollar job, even if it killed me.  In the fever of my resolve, I 
could see myself expiring on her lawn, with the Countess leaning over me, 
handing me the four dollars with a tear in her eye, begging my forgiveness 
for having thought I couldn’t do it.

      “It was in the middle of such a fever, one Thursday night when I was 
trying to forget the day’s defeat and get some sleep, that the truth hit me 
so hard that I sat upright, half choking in my excitement.  It was the 
five-dollar job I had to do, not the four-dollar one!  I had to do the job 
that no one could do because it was impossible.

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What’s in HIS Bag?

Bag Post

So , I had the lovely opportunity of meeting Dean ‘Anrkiss’ Morris a few months ago and he agreed to do the men’s edition of the What’s In Your Bag feature that I promised months ago. So sorry it took this long. But yes…Dean doesn’t really like interviews and he doesn’t like prepared questions so you know I had to come good and use all my charm to get through this.

First things first…Anrkiss? Say it slowly. You’ll figure it out. Took me a little while.

Dean currently acts as Managing Director and Project Manager (i’m stressed just thinking of the work load) for a mobile website development and design solutions called Project Grapevine. They have a really strong team and have made some really great websites and are poised to do great things in the Jamaican tech space.

In addition to great design and development , there is awesomeness coming out of…

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Interview with Dean Morris: The Vinelist


What is the Vinelist?
The Vinelist is a unique way to find the stores who have what you want to buy without the hassle of leaving home or doing an extensive search yourself.
How does it work?
Currently by visiting the site and clicking “Sign in/Signup” you’ll be lead to a sign p form where you can sign to the vinelist. You can then upload a picture, link or search for an image that matches what you’re looking for. Then you enter the description of a product you’re interested in.
 The system then searches through known merchants who would best meet those wants, and notifies the customer with their stocks and promotions. Hundreds of users have already signed up and requests are submitted daily, evidence to the fact that a demand for the service is existent.
As a consumer how can I benefit from the Vinelist?
 We’re making life…

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10 Little Defining Moments In A Woman’s Life

Absolutely true.

Thought Catalog

As I grow older (and I’m writing about this as though I’m about to turn 70), I’ve hit certain moments in a woman’s life that aren’t often discussed, but at some point, happen to every woman.

The moment when…

10. …she stops dressing for anyone but herself.

9. …she decides to accept and love her boobs for what they are — or just uses a push-up bra and is done with the whole thing.

8. …she has the balls to turn someone down, to their face, instead of being polite and telling them it can’t work “right now.”

7. …she says, “screw it” and uses her laptop as a heating pad, which is probably not healthy, but again, screw it.

6. …she stops lying about her age. There are two moments when she does this: when she’s around 19, she stops lying about being older, because she thinks it makes…

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