All in a Dale’s Work – Part I

September 28 – Just for fun, I asked Dale to help me make a list of the jobs he did one day recently when he seemed to be especially busy. I could see him working some of the time as I circled around mowing the lawn, but a good bit of the time I was off in the pond area while he was near the apple trees, or bending over spraying weeds along the fences.


[ Memory tree with no stakes ]

I knew he wouldn’t be able to click off the answers right off the bat or in the order in which he worked, but that didn’t make any real difference. I just wanted to show him how much he does every day! Since he has come down with RA and neuropathy, he really can’t stay working for hour after hour, but after a brief rest on the truck tail gate or one of the chairs in the barn or shed, he’s back at another task.

So just what did he do? “Nothing out of the ordinary,” he said, “but I did manage to keep busy and not go to sleep!” I know the list isn’t in order, but since it doesn’t have to be, I’ll start with the jobs he mentioned.

First of all, he pulled up the stakes surrounding the red maple (an October Glory) that the cousins back home in Pennsylvania donated to us in honor of our daughter Biz who died of cancer just about five years ago. Our son David and son-in-law Harvey delivered the tree, and Dale planted it. The tree is growing so well and catches our eye whenever we look out the back door to the fence row of clematis just behind it. That tree has always been so special to us.


[ Memory tree WITH stakes ]

In order to keep it growing straight up, Dale put fence posts on either side of it, and since they have been in the same position for five years, they decided to stay stuck way down in the ground, no matter how hard Dale tried to pull them out. Finally, he came up with what to me, was a very strange way of pulling up stakes, but others seem to realize just what he was doing!

He brought up a long pipe with one end next to the stake, attached both together with a chain, and lifted up the other end which pried up the stake. My mind still doesn’t understand things like that since I have never had any experience along that line, but Dale says it really is the way he told me, so I’ll just believe him. No matter how it all happened, both stakes are gone, and the beautiful tee is standing straight and tall on its own!


[ New lid for the bucket ]

Another job on his list was the making of another top for the five-gallon bucket we use to dump our fruit and vegetable peelings in until they are taken to the compost heap. When I last took the peelings out to the bucket, I dropped the cover on the driveway, and part of the lid broke off. A little later when Dale came into the house, he said, “Guess, by the looks of things, I’ll need to make another cover!” I don’t know when he did that, but I do know that when I came back from one of the mowing jobs, there was a bright new white lid for the bucket.


[ Dale raking apples ]

Somewhere during the day, our grandson Rob came over to pick buckets of Golden Delicious apples from one of our trees. Dale helped fill the huge container Rob had in the back of his truck. I don’t know why, but this year the apples are not just plain yellow, but rather have an almost dirty-looking yellow with gray areas of skin. Rob didn’t mind, but chewed around the bad spots and enjoyed the tartness. Then he went over to the burning pile where we had thrown the limbs and trunk of the Jonathan apple tree that Dale had cut down and picked up many of the limbs. Rob wanted the wood to use for smoking something or other.

More on the “task list” tomorrow! – CHRIS

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