June 9, 2018


This is what wind is for.
I walked through the front door of the Lodge in the usual fashion, panting, red-faced, dizzy, and covered in tiny flecks of grass and debris and probably dead bugs.  "Done.  It," I managed to slur.  I peeled off denim overalls and sticky bits of clothing and left a trail on my way to the shower.

I showered in the usual fashion, with the water as icy-cold as I could make it.  Well water never disappoints.  The weed trimmer had vibrated in my hands for almost an hour, so my hair felt rough and wiry instead of smooth inside the shampoo lather.  There was no blood.  That was good.  The guard had fallen off pretty early in the job and then I couldn't find the nut to put it back on, so I trimmed our property with only eye protection [read: the sunglasses that always try to slide down my nose and off my face onto the ground].  I trimmed the toe of my left shoe twice and got hit in the face with debris three times.  Only one left a mark.  No, no blood.  Need to remember to bring nut.

Common sense isn't really my thing.

P.J. usually does the trimming after I mow, but today she's sick and I mowed last week and I needed some exercise after hours of enforced relaxation, so I suited up.  Okay, maybe it was more like this:  I looked around for anything else I could possibly do, but after hours of surfing the Internet, checking in vain for online work, staring out the window, reading, playing on my tablet, playing with the dog, and sitting and staring at the wall, I didn't have a leg to stand on, so I suited up.

Weed-whacking isn't really my thing.

P.J. told me recently, "Weed-whacking isn't exactly a walk in a sunny meadow.  Well ... I mean, it is, but you have a weed-whacker."  This was after I complained of sore muscles two days after trimming.  It might be my new favorite thing she's ever said.

No spiders bothered me today.  They're planning something.  Probably a surprise party.  Or a coup.

The guard surprised me, but the support strap didn't.  The strap refuses to stay attached to the trimmer (for me, never P.J.), but that's fair because I refuse to learn how to rely on it, and end up holding the full weight of the machine with my arms the whole time.  You get better control that way.  Otherwise, I feel like I'm swinging a troll club.

Then there is the matter of snakes.  A neighbor up here has mentioned several times that we should watch out for snakes when mowing and trimming.  Today, it occurred to this city girl:  How?  How the fuck does a person watch out for snakes?  I know the basics from a Weekly Reader in fifth grade ... make a lot of noise, keep your eyes peeled, and immediately run like greased shit if you hear rattling from a distinguishable direction.  I live in appropriate fear of the space under our little plastic shed.  But short of that, what do you actually do?

I sent him an e-mail a few minutes ago.  "Wait a minute, Jeff -- HOW DO YOU WATCH OUT FOR SNAKES?  I have questions.  Lille"

Once I'm in the middle of trimming, though, it's honestly pretty satisfying.  My mind drifts and I can see objective progress, something I don't get a lot working in tech support.  I'm weak and sweaty and exhausted, but each time, I can look back and see the path where I've reclaimed from Nature's slow, patient encroachment what I carved out from Her and took as my own.  The carving out is never truly done.  We encroach on each other.

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