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HERE COMES THE HEAT
The above map and radar image shows a warm front pushing north through New England, with a impressive little squall line rippling along the front. The squall passed just south of us, but we had just enough thunder to awake me from a sound sleep.
I’d crashed way too early, before 8:00, thinking I’d just nap. Next thing I knew it was nearly 11:00. I suppose I’m just paying the price for refusing to “graciously give up the things of my youth.” Or, to put it another way, “refusing to grow up and act my age.” However I don’t know what else to do; I can’t afford to hire hands.
The Good Lord has given me a body which has refused to get pot bellied and arthritic like my peers, and I suppose the reason I remain strong is so I can work my butt off.
I spent most of Monday mowing the Childcare playground, and using the clippings to mulch the garden. The recent rains has done wonderful things for both the growth of grass and weeds. I did inherit a rider mower from a neighbor who is moving away, but this only enables me to also mow more than I did walking behind my old mower, including part of the pasture the goats don’t adequately crop. It was getting a bit brushy, so I rented a brush hog last summer to beat back the brush, and now I’m mowing the pasture, to keep weeds down and turn it to turf.
Sitting on the mower gives me time to ruminate, and what I think about is: Why the heck am I bothering to fight back the brush on this pasture? I remind myself of my great-great-grandfather, who my grandfather told me his father told him about. (The male side of my family tends to have sons when they are well past thirty, forty, and even fifty, which increases the spread between generations, and my great-great-grandfather was born in 1797.)
That old man apparently bewailed the fact the good-for-nothing younger generation, (my great-grandfather,) didn’t appreciate all the work that went into clearing the land, and were allowing fields to grow over and become puckerbrush. Things only got worse, and New Hampshire, which once was a sort of OPEC of the Northeast, supplying the “gasoline” for a horse-drawn world, (IE hay,) has gone from 90% pasture to 90% forest.
I wonder why I fight to keep my little patch of pasture from growing over. Partly it for the Childcare, (the older kids play baseball in it,) and partly it is because that field can be a corn field, if we ever need to grow all our own food (and it is far easier to plow up a pasture than a forest.) However I’d rather be writing than mowing and lugging mulch.
Tuesday I spent wrestling a rear-tine rototiller in the garden, which meant today I woke and remembered I’m sixty. I could feel the front coming in every bone. However, besides my work watching the kids at the Childcare, I had to go get some heavy fence posts to expand the electric fence, to keep the goats out of the garden. Because goats are psychic, they knew what I was up to, and as soon as I was gone they made a determined dash for my brocolli seedling, and ate roughly half before my sister-in-law drove them off by spraying them with the garden hose. So I had to start right in with the fencing when I got back, though all I wanted to do was snooze.
Either that, or work on on an essay I think might be pretty funny, that is only half done.
In fact, that is what I’ll spend the rest of this this bout of insomnia doing.