Martha’s Saga

When you’re stove up there’s just stuff you can’t do and some of that might drive you nuts. The true nature of three common trees and shrubs — lilac, elm and aspen — is not known to everyone, but the truth is they are invasive as hell and opportunistic sons-o-bitches. They LOVE the dog yard because the sewer line runs through there and sewer lines in my (old) town are enormous clay pipes. Basically, my back yard — dog yard — is lilac, elm and aspen paradise.

Every year I cut them before they’re 6 inches. I mow them and that’s pretty much all I need to do to remind them who’s boss, but this year, that wasn’t happening. Add to that the guys who turned on the sprinkler — whom I’d asked NOT to turn on the sprinklers back there — turned on the sprinklers back there and they ran for at LEAST two hours three times a week. The lilac, aspen and elm were all singing about the wonder of life and the greatness of this summer and the owner of this house. Since those sprinklers didn’t seem to want to go off I also had to trudge (cane and all) through this jungle in the mud to turn off the sprinklers. Finally the guys came out and fixed the problem but by then many of these wretched plants were over 6 feet tall with  stems that were approaching trunks in width.

Not a pretty picture.



So yesterday I cleaned the yard that is the garden and might, someday, be a nice place to sit of a morning with a cup of coffee (when I’m able to carry coffee down two steps). Today I pondered, “What next?” But I knew…

I knew my weed-eater wasn’t powerful enough for the job and the lawn mower couldn’t cut it (ha ha). There were two possibilities. Hand pruners or hedge clippers. The choice was easy. Bear and I went into the dark, dark garage and found them and I took after the bushes. After 30 minutes, I had a pathway from the garage to the front fence and Bear’s second favorite hole.



“It’s still here, Human!”

After another 30 minutes, I’d cut a similar swath back to the little sidewalk that runs along the garage. I was done. Lunch and water and back out there, surprised to see I had a lot less work remaining than I thought.

I went for it. Thirty minutes later I invited Dusty to come out to inspect my work. His conclusion? “Yes, human, you’ll have no problems finding my poop here. Good job.”

That is, of course, the point.



“Couldn’t have done better myself.” “Dusty, you don’t have opposable thumbs. You couldn’t have DONE it yourself.”

The next chore awaiting my attention will not take place until Monday. It will involve the lawn mower and the front yard. Strangely, I’d rather cut down all those lilacs with hedge pruners than get out the lawn mower and go through all that. That’s a job I truly hate.

This evening I’m going to try something new; taking Dusty and Bear to the slough for a walk. Maybe no one will be there and certainly the light will be wonderful. There are lenticular clouds out there now and that could (please whoever’s in charge) mean rain.




14 thoughts on “Martha’s Saga

  1. Well done. Hard work, not fun, and I imagine pleasurable to be able to be doing it again. And I do love tasks that have such visible progress. Rest well.

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