Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How a Lazy Evening Became Productive

As 5:00 came and went, the school kids had gotten home, had a quick snack, and then were off to Wed school at 5:00.  I had diced potatoes in the oven.  Garden fresh potatoes from Dawn N., with ricotta cheese and home rendered lard stirred in, topped with parsley, sage, and thyme from my beds.

I had not gotten out to mow.  In fact, I had decided not to mow today, since I've had a little nagging sore throat all day.  I had a good school and chore day around the house, so I was using that sore throat as an excuse to watch a movie or something during Wed. School.  I was tired.

Inge, Donna, and Stella asked for a movie so I told them they could watch on the kitchen computer.  But after several failed attempts, they reported that the kitchen disc drive drive didn't work. 

"Sigh," said I.  Then to myself I added, "I suppose I could get off my chair and let them use mine."

I didn't think my disc drive worked either, since it's had trouble with certain formats lately, mostly written material and audio files.  But I remembered Joe saying that different formats read differently, so don't assume something won't work.  We popped Willy Wonka into my machine and voilà.  It worked. 

And so I got up and got busy.  I scrubbed three acorn squash and put them on a lower shelf in the oven.  I may as well get as much use as possible out of the heat that's there anyway, right?  I got the meat for supper ready, but it was too early to put it in the oven, too. 

So I headed outside at about ten minutes to 6:00.  I got the mower out of the detached garage and up to the house to fill it.  I mowed the first few strips and had to empty the bag already.  "Uffda, it's going to be a long job."  That grass was way, way, way too long.

I'm not going to say when we mowed last.  But suffice it to say that if I had a tail, it would be far between my legs.

I mowed a few more rows and emptied my bag a few more times.  Then I ran inside quickly to slide the meat into the oven along with the other things.  I was feeling very high by that time.  Invigorated and energized.  Up. 

Besides the accomplishment of actually getting started on the mowing, I had much food in the oven.  Squash for a meal, plus enough extra for about three coffee cakes or custards.  I had potatoes roasting, enough for at least two big meals.  And tonight's meat was was easy to pop in, being left over roasted turkey from the end of last week. 

After sliding the meat into the oven, I was right back out to the mower.  Up and down, around and over.  Up and down, around and over.  Empty the bag.  Start again.  By 7:00, the kids were done with Wed school, but I had just a corner of one section left to do.  It was getting dark, but I was determined.  On a roll.  Tenaciously trying to finish.  Perhaps I ought to have waited.  I ended up not finishing anyway, since I ran out of gas with about five minutes worth of mowing left.  But worse yet, I hit a rock under one of our spruce trees and shot it at the garage door.  I couldn't believe it when I looked — a 2" round dent, and triangle of torn metal about an inch long in the middle.

We turned it into a good lesson, though.  I had all the kids run out and look.  "This is why we don't leave rocks in the grass.  And this is also why we don't play near the mower.  Imagine if that was a child's head rather than the garage door."

I had said to a friend this morning, "I really do love push mowing. I love the exercise and the, ... oh, ... exhilaration of the accomplishment.  But I also really love afterwards the relaxation of a summer evening, sipping a cool drink, looking at the nicely groomed green grass and other summer glories, and listening to all the summer sounds. Somehow, the pleasure of it eludes me at this time of year..."

I didn't go out and sit to enjoy the newly mowed grass after mowing this evening.  But I did enjoy the freshly mowed sections of grass much more than I imagined I would.  Even in the fall drabness, those areas that were freshly cut looked very good.  I can't wait to get out tomorrow and do some more. 

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