Have Mower, Will Travel

May 3 – As I lay in bed early in the morning, I felt a sense of satisfaction come over me, as I had planned the night before that I would get out and accomplish several jobs that had been waiting till I had time to do them. In fact, I had written down that list of items just before I had gone to bed for the night. I have always been the kind of person who plans what needs to be done and then takes care of the jobs even if it takes a lot of energy. Must be a bit like my folks, or my grandparents, because I can remember my mom saying that her dad always faced hard jobs saying to anyone who could hear him, “I’ll do it if it “killtz me!” No, that word is not misspelled. He didn’t say “kills,” but always “killtz,” maybe to draw attention to his determination.

What helps get the tomatoes started...

What helps get the tomatoes started…

Unfortunately, I found that it was too cold, too dark, and too windy to work outside! Well, what to do? I had a number of e-mails to answer, I helped with the church column that Dale and I write for the local newspaper, made vegetable soup and a special onion dip for Dale, and was pretty upset that the weather hadn’t changed much. About three o’clock Dale told me that he was going out to the barn area to check on his tomato plants that were growing so big that he had to put them in bigger trays so they wouldn’t flop over on each other. “Well, now, if he is going out, why can’t I?” I thought to myself. Didn’t take me very long to make the decision that I would be much happier “out than in,” so I left the computer behind, changed my shoes, yanked my old jacket from the rack, and followed him out to the barn.

Since I still have a hard time starting that push lawn mower, even after it was repaired, Dale yanked on the cord a few times, the mower sputtered a bit, and I was off to the fence on which our clematis vines live. Since the new vines weren’t hitched up to anything, Dale brought out a bunch of plastic ties to hold them up to the fence. As he moved off down the row I moved the mower around the plants, getting as close as possible to mow off the grass that practically hid the clematis. When Dale had finished his job at the end of the row, he left to check out some other things, while I continued to clean up the row. As I looked back up the hill to the end of the row, I was really pleased to see how much better it looked.

Down by the pond

Down by the pond

Still time for another job before preparing for supper, so I pushed the mower across the big pieces of cement over the creek, and headed for the pond. I hadn’t been over there since I got the riding mower stuck in the muck the week before, so even though I was using the hand mower this time, I didn’t like the idea of being so close to the pond and having to mow right next to the water and then continue up the hill to mow where I was afraid to try with the rider the day before. Since the grass was so high, and I was afraid that the mower might slip down into the water, I made my way very carefully forward, then back again, before continuing on.

Pussy toes

Pussy toes

All along the way were holes or “ditches” made by muskrats, and it was hard to skip the mower over them. After mowing back and forth about 20 times, cutting down henbit, mustard, dandelions, pussy toes, and grass, I finally finished the job and was more than satisfied that I could then use the mower on a flat surface, rather than shuffling along over the uneven area on the pond wall.

So before heading for the house, I cleaned up some weedy places around the trees, over in the iris bed, and along the pasture path. Woman and machine triumph once again! – CHRIS

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