Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Forty-Five

I tried to write this last night, but I was too tired to make my fingers move. Don't believe me? I went to bed at 6:15 and mostly stayed there. Each time I did wake up, I applied pain relieving oils, so this morning was easier than expected.

Getting a code violation for weeds is not only frightening; it's insulting. There were weeds, yes, but not enough for a code violation, and the "brush pile" was a compost pile. Years of work completely failing to look like years of work grates on my artistic sensibilities. Of course, a sense of betrayal and paranoia creeps in as the time passes. Who is watching? Who am I trying to convince? Should I cave and conform, plow it under and settle for hated grass?

A week without another violation letter or fine has helped a bit, although knowing that such a letter could come produces a sense of dread with each approach to the mailbox. My trauma is a small-scale version of Second Dad's battle with melanoma. When will the next bout begin? Should I fight? Do I have a chance of winning? I have screwed my courage to the sticking place and decided to see the violation as a wake-up call. I have been slack this year. I do love my yard, and spending time in it, even if Hippy Neighbor Down the Street stares at me while he smokes.

(He's the one who sound-proofed his house within a week of moving in because he "plays the drums." Should I ever vanish, check out the house three to the south and the long-haired dude living there. My parts may be in his basement. My soul will be with God.)

My birthday happened this week. Forty-five. Close to paying off the mortgage. Wondering what the future will hold. If I had a husband and kids, I'd be ready for a mid-life crisis, but, really, how many of those can one person have?

In continuation of my birthday tradition, and with some need since my Leaf Hog died last year, I bought a Predator 6.5 hp gas-powered chipper-shredder. It was on sale; what could I do? I will no longer have compost piles that can be confused with brush piles. I can once again steal other people's yard waste with impunity. I doubt the 3 hours of break-in time was supposed to happen on the same day, but it did. There is something cathartic about turning dead things into life-giving things, and I could use a little catharsis.

A big Thank You to Younger Sis for helping with assembly, which turned out to be a two-person job when one person not only doesn't have the right tools, but has the finger-strength of the average chicken (Chickens don't have fingers? Yes, that's the point). Also, many thanks to Big Brother and Little Sis for getting it out of the van. Elder Brother was at his day job, or I'm certain he would have come, too.

I need to purchase additional tools for maintenance purposes, again proving that every major purchase leads to minor purchases. I also need to watch a few more YouTube videos of men using this machine. I do not test limits, but men seem to live on the principle of "what exactly can I shove into this before it breaks?" My horizons expanded, I can tell you. Had I watched some of those before assembly, it wouldn't have taken three hours to put the kickstand on.

In all, a good vacation, full of physical activity and very little mental effort - the exact opposite of my day job.

Happy Wednesday, dear readers. Hope you put your trash out.

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