As a writer for a small town newspaper, I don’t always have weekends to myself.
It isn’t uncommon to have virtually the whole weekend scheduled with interviews or photographs. On those weekends, I don’t always get my weekend chores done, but sometimes work and chores have a nice balance. Take this weekend for instance.
Saturday I got the rare blessing of being able to sleep in an hour or so. When I did wake up, I made a small breakfast and recharged for the morning. I had a lot of yard work.
I started by digging some very stubborn blackberry bushes. I bought two years ago, and planted them on the outskirts of my garden. To my frustration, they decided to slowly invade my asparagus patch. To halt the invasion, I was down on my belly, using my fingers to push through the dirt, following the delicate roots, knowing that if I broke the roots and didn’t manage to find all the pieces, they might grow stems and then my problem would continue. I did a fair job of uprooting the blackberries. After excavating the outer boarder of my garden to remove the roots, I relocated them to the border of my property in a nice line along the adjoining pasture. The hope is they will form a hedge to deter deer and other animals from coming into the yard, as well as to convince my dog going outside of the yard is too much trouble.
I then decided to double down. I had planted five blueberry plants on the complete opposite border of the garden, amidst rhubarb and strawberries, but I had been thinking of mulching them with pine needles. However, doing so might negatively impact their neighbors. Having moved the blackberries, I had some nice, soft soil for the blueberries, so I transplanted them into the former blackberry patch. I also moved two large carpets of thyme on either side, which I had once hoped to encourage to spread throughout the border, so as to form a barrier to the grasses that constantly try to spread into the garden. I had since changed my mind, so I relocated them into the inside of the garden, near the back wall of the house where I grow my other perennial herbs.
I planted eight new asparagus crowns, fertilized them and all the transplants from the day, and watered the whole bunch of them.
I then moved four piles of leaves. Two of which I used to mulch my row of 18 asparagus plants. They can be a pain to weed in the summer. The rest went in a pile where they can either decompose or be later harvested for other mulching.
A few chores later, and it was time to change for work. At 6 I went to the Pine River-Backus School for prom photos. I took over 150 photos. Due to poor lighting, I was constantly moving. I attempted to get photos of prom goers in two locations of the gym, so that if one photo didn’t turn out, the other would. That meant running to one place, kneeling, taking the photo. I would then run to the second spot, kneel and take another photo, and then wait for the next couple. You wouldn’t think this is that much of an activity, but kneeling seems to be something my body will never get used to.
I watered my straw bales when I got home, on the verge of being ready to plant, their interiors are pretty warm. I then did various other jobs around the house until bed.
Sunday I went to church, kneeling on legs that were already sore. After church I commenced with a little more yard work. I straightened out the legs on a metal windmill just added to the garden and pulled 4×4 posts out of the ground so the bluebird houses on them won’t be in the way of mowing. I’m not sure where they will go yet. I visited a friend, returned home, had dinner and just as I was thinking what other jobs I had to do, I got a call reminding me of a controlled burn for the fire department.
I helped pull hoses around the outside of an agricultural field for the first hour or more. Then I strapped a bladder with 60 pounds of water to my back and patrolled the border of the burn to put out any flames that tried to escape into the woods. Carrying the bladder wasn’t so bad, but putting it back on after refilling it two times was going to kill me. At one point we were heading off some flames, downwind of those flames in heavy heat and smoke so thick you couldn’t see the fire. I felt like I had just smoked a Camel’s factory by the time we were done.
Controlled burn video
I returned home, showered, and deposited my sweat soaked smoky clothes in the laundry room before becoming a couch potato for an our or so before bed.
I woke up this morning amazed. In spite of the yard work and the controlled burn and what-have-you, I’m not a bit sore…except for my legs. In spite of the fact that my job is not a strenuous one by any stretch of the imagination, my legs have been sore since Sunday morning all because of Prom.
I’ll never understand how that works. I can work myself into a sweat doing half a dozen different jobs including heavy lifting, but at the end of the day, kneeling for photographs is what really kills me. Who would have thought?