Of all the various yard chores I've learned to perform over the last year, I think my favorite (the one I hate the least) is burning things.
Fire! Fire! Fire!!
Because I'm a responsible neighbor and citizen, I limit my burning to organisms which have tried to take over my flowerbeds or house (they started it!). And this year there was a crapton of it. A guy I was seeing devoted a miserable 95 degree day to my yard a few months ago. With loppers and chainsaw, he helped me try to whip this mess into shape. It still has a long way to go, but we can now actually see the house.
But since it WAS a 95 degree day, and by the time it was done we were both exhausted, I gave an ill-formed directive to The Boy: Just drag it all out to the way-back.
Yeah...the way-back, or the west 40, is where I put things I don't want to deal with.
|If you look real close you can see my eating disorder.|
So about two months ago I started burning stuff. Every weekend, weather permitting, I pile the fire pit as high as I can and burn it down. This is a LOT of work, digging the dead out of the live stuff beyond the railroad ties, and loading and hauling wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of this crap from the dumping areas on both sides of the way back into the fire pit. And every weekend I think 'next weekend I should be able to finish up'...but I swear the stuff multiplies!
But each weekend I unearth more of that straight and orderly railroad-tie boundary. Each weekend I reduce a pile of what was just too much for me to deal with at some point to a pile of ash. Each weekend I come that much closer to having my shit together.
In 5% of the yard anyway.
As much as I DO NOT enjoy devoting the better part of every weekend to maintaining Hell's Acre and a Half, I've been a little worried about what will happen to my state of mind when the snow flies. This time last year I thought I was in love. I was in the middle of making plans to visit him over Thanksgiving and discussing what it would be like when he moved here, planning my family's visit here over Christmas. There was tangible promise and hope and I actually looked forward to a reprieve from the yard work so that I could focus on all of the things in my life that held hope and promise. I'm not entirely without hope for my future, that's not what I'm saying, but it is less tangible at this point. All is not lost. I just don't know where it all is at the moment. Maybe it's in the way back.
Here is where some would say I shouldn't worry about what will happen next week or next month or next year. But hey, I gotta be me. I do not live well in the moment.
But as I look around this house, or what I can see of it from my kitchen table, it all looks fairly neat, sort of like the foreground of that picture up there. But what I can't see...the basement, the closets, the cupboards, are overflowing with the indoor equivalent of lawn clippings and dead branches, stashed away until the day I feel up to dealing with them. I had a hysterectomy almost two years ago for God's sake and I still have tampons in my bathroom closet! And right this second I sort of thank God I have all of that...because each of those closets and cupboards represents weekend project that will keep me from losing my ever loving mind when the snow is flying but the driveway has been blown clean.
The Man always criticized me for never throwing anything away. Who's the smart one now?
But for now it's Sunny and 63 on November 11th. I'm afraid it's a little windy for burning but the Goddamned ornamental grasses need cut down before winter and I can stack them in the fire pit and let them start to dry for next weekend's fire.
Cut it down, throw it in the way back, deal with it another day.
Happy Veterans day! And thank you to those who have served and are currently serving to protect this great country.