the weather today was just about perfect for yard work. i replaced the worn out old tires and wheels on the wheelbarrow with some fancy new shoes i bought at the local hardware store. one of these days i have to replace the slightly bowed axle, although i sort of like the loping gait it has, it makes it feel well used. many's the load that old thing has carried to and fro, and well.
i also dragged the old lawn mowing machine out of the shed, cleaned it off, made sure there were no mouse nests under the cowling, changed the oil, cleaned and gapped the plug, knocked the dirt out of the air filter. i check the bolt that holds the blade in place, filled it with gas and the damned thing started on one pull. i adjusted the height to just knock the tops off the grass and did a quick back and forth on the back door yard, just to tidy it up a bit. some folks don't like mowing, but i enjoy pushing the thing around. i didn't go near the eastern side of the grounds, they were still full of dead fall and debris from the storms of late, especially those annoying seed balls from the Sweetgum trees that line that side of the property line. they're not a lot of fun to walk on and they shoot out from under the mower, usually at me, and they sting like hell when they hit.
i spent the rest of the day cleaning out the flower beds, turned all the mulch in the evergreen beds and along the hedges in the front, then spent a few hours picking up all those branches and raking all those seed balls into nice, tidy piles that i'll pick up and throw into the brush pile out back tomorrow. while i was raking the fellow from the little shop across the street came over and we had a chat for a while, traded winter horror stories and complaints about the lack of interest the county shows for the drainage problems he has on his land and other neighborhood business, such as it is around here. he's a nice fellow, the son of the man that owned the business when we first move in here thirty some odd years ago. his father passed away and he's taken over the business. they drilled our deep well for us and we've purchased two water conditioning systems from them over the years. nice folks. good neighbors.
so, tomorrow i'll run my usual morning errands to the post office and the town dump and maybe go mooch around the big orange box and maybe even buy myself a new hand cultivator, mine is about shot. it was my father's, i ended up with it somehow many years ago. it's missing one of it's five fingers or tines or whatever they are. it's handle is worn. it's a bit rusty. i remember using it as a kid, turning the soil in the perfect circles that were around the base of every tree and shrub in his yard, and in the rock gardens and the one hundred foot long bed of mums that ran along the North side of our land on which my childhood home sat. i won't get rid of it, i'll hang it in the shed somewhere, where i can see it and be reminded of him and his love of gardening.
the hour grows late and i'm feeling a bit tired from being outside all day and my tasks. funny, but it seems that with every turn of the year, my outside tasks get done a little slower, and i take a few more breaks than i used to, but, that aside, i seem to also be enjoying it more. i seem to be savoring a lot of things a little more these days than i did when i was younger. when i was young, i did things to get them done, but now, i do things for the doing, if that makes sense. no matter, i know what i mean...
so, my fellow wanderers, i bid thee good 'eve, it is time to sail off to the Land of Nod. fare thee well.