Saturday, December 18, 2010

Raking Leaves

Michele and John raking leaves, Agility Yard
This morning I found a fortune cookie on the counter and it read "Determination will get you thru this."  Thru what, I wondered? I dismissed it as a stupid fortune and threw it away.

It's our weekend.  We intend to do nuthin, just rest up and relax, watch X-Files, Season 1 on Netflix. The air is crisp and dry.  Temp in the 60's.  Light breeze.  Slightly overcast.  John and I up and cheerful. Nothing pressing on our agenda except hot coffee on the porch, a few loads of laundry.

Then inspiration jumps up and grabs us by the hair.
Hey, let's rake leaves! Whereas no amount of money could have enticed us to do this before, now it's all we want to do!  Okay, how about you mow and mulch, I'll rake the thick stuff into lines and bag it.  Great!  I  start moving all the agility equipment to the fenceline around 11 a.m., John commences mowing, I commence raking, and by 5:30 p.m., we're done with both dog yards.  That last hour it was getting dark and we were both panting and groaning trying to finish.  It took enormous determination to complete the project. The fortune cookie was spot on.

Trees vs. no trees:  Pecan trees provide wonderful shade in summer, but unfortunately, lots of leaves to rake in winter and hundreds of pecans to make you roll, slip and fall.  If I was designing an agility yard from scratch, I'd try to plant a few evergreen trees, ones that don't drop leaves, seeds, acorns or nuts. Don't know what kind, though.

41 bags of leaves.
In total, we hauled 41 33-gallon trash bags of leaves to the road, and wheeled 9 trash cans of mulch out to the woods.  We are exhausted, but the clean yard is a nice pay-off.  I haven't been able to run agility out there for 3 weeks due to so many twigs, pecans and leaves underfoot.  Now it's clear.

Michele bagging.

Thoughts that ran thru my head as I raked and bent over stuffing bags hour after hour:
  • It takes a special kind of person to actually enjoy picking up sticks, mowing, trimming, raking, communing with nature thru hard labor.  There aren't too many of us.
  • Nobody is going to inherit this place who doesn't like yard work -- and if you're not here helping me now, you probably won't be doing it later.  But how I would hate to see Old Hammond Hideaway get sold to some developer and simply disappear.
  • I'm getting just as much exercise, all the stretching, bending, pressing and extending as someone who works out at the spa, only I don't have to pay the monthly fee.  HA, HA, HA.
  • Remembering Pine Villa, where my mother raked our leaves in the fall and burned them in great piles.  Ah, the smell.  Wish my Mom was here with me now.  She would enjoy this. I can't burn my leaves in city limits, but I'll throw some in my fireplace tonight for the smell.
  • I can finish this job before dark if I just stay focused, work at a steady pace, stay determined.  Arms moving thus, feet thus, organize equipment thus, efficient movements. It feels good to do things well.
  • I can hardly wait til tomorrow to set up some equipment and work with my dogs.  I haven't even looked at my latest Clean Run.  What's in there for us?
  • Shit, I am going to be so sore tomorrow, I probably won't be able to move.
  • What's for dinner? I'm hungry.
First 18 bags go up to the road in the Toyota.
No big thoughts.  No analysis.  Not much fretting. It felt like "Inner Peace", a really happy day, satisfying unto itself, with my man by my side, my poochies frolicking thru the leaves chasing skinks, bugs, whatever, perfect weather, guidance from above, a sense of completion, a job well done, and no immediate tragedies or calamities (that I am aware of) to brood over.  Here's hoping for a New Year filled with more of the same kind of days.

Upwards and onward,

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