It has been a few 80 to 90 degree days here, with lots of outdoor work going on, when it is tolerable to work. There has been a flower bed out front of the which has been growing in size and height for a while, it predates us and I have tried to take it down a little each year. Maria bought impatiens to plant this year and decided to start the annual taking the bed down some. This was a week ago and when I started helping that evening we ran into the biggest tangle of roots that could be tucked into one little area.
We hacked roots, dug roots, cut roots, sawed roots, pried roots and pruned roots. And this was all in the name of making the flower bed manageable. Right... After nearly provoking an international incident involving nationality of the said roots, the job is now done and the flat of impatiens is in the ground, along with some allysum and johnny-jump-ups. And some grass seed and a few bags of dirt and a bag of peat. And it looks good, if I may say so. And a few hours after it was done it actually rained, proving there may be a benevolent God (though I am not sure how it proves it. It did keep us from killing each other while not turning on the air conditioning.)
The other project has been thinning the maples going down the hill out back. Earlier I put in a raised bed for a vegetable garden and while we were in Minneapolis the deer had a picnic including a some of my tomatoes. I decided to start cleaning up the bank to make it less hospitable for deer, and try to get some more sun in. This weekend I managed to cut four little trees with an old buck saw and my Ryoba, which has also been cutting roots. I have some clean up left, like dragging one tree up the bank and a couple more trees to go but its getting better. Eventually it may be terraced gardens or planted to perennials.
Though I enjoy all this, and Maria is enjoying getting things done, I want desperately to go back to work. I really don't remember much of last summer, and Maria tells me I slept much of it. I believe her. There are still a lot of things wrong and I can do all this by working an hour and then doing something much less strenuous. From time to time I get frustrated. I played tennis this week for a short time and just couldn't get anything to feel right. Some of it is the heat. I haven't been on the bike in a couple of weeks, though I was at my mother's for a good part of this week.
On a positive note I am feeling stronger. Once again I learn more little things I have lost, like questioning everything I do when driving. My next door neighbor told us about a friend of his who had had a stroke. He came back to work six months after the stroke but didn't feel up to being the group leader he had been. Six months after that he went on disability, he had lost his edge and was continually fatigued. I understand, but I also look at Clark out in Minneapolis. Yes he is dealing with cancer and chemo, not a stroke. But as he told me, "Here I am seven years after starting this and all of the sudden the bottom drops out of the housing market, I am seven years behind in the computer world and then they tell me I have cancer. Now it starts getting fun...." Clark, you make me want to get stronger, much stronger.
I am not a veteran, it was not an option in my father's eyes at the time, coming right after Viet Nam. But I cherish my freedoms, as much as I complain. I am proud to be an American and I thank every soldier who ever gave his life defending what I and we have. Happy Memorial Day.