Wednesday, July 1, 2015

good intentions

I woke today with good intentions of having a productive day on the farm, first to ride the horses, then cut the grass in the yard, bush hog the pastures, spray the tomatoes and put roundup on the weeds, clean the house from last night’s visit from the grandkids, check the pool chemistry, run the dishwasher, wash some clothes, and so the list goes on etc.  In reality, I also woke with a set of arms that screamed in pain from over use as a result of water skiing this past weekend, the second such adventure doing so in twenty years.

thirty years earlier
The first time back on a ski was two weeks ago and I did not stay up long as I got tired pretty darn quickly and, surprisingly was not sore after that time. This time though, felt so good that I stayed up for most of the length and back of the bay of Soldier Creek. I crossed the wake with conviction and turned and leaned and sprayed high banks of water just because it felt so good to be doing something I used to do on a daily basis during the hot summer months at Lake Martin. The muscle memory was back and I smiled as I glided over the water. Today, though, the lactic acid that I built up a few days ago has cramped my forearms into blocks of concrete, heavy and noncompliant.

So I type for now, with these arms of lead hanging off my key board. The grass is calling me to cut it but it will wait for a while and the horses have headed off to the far end of the pasture to the shade. As to the other annoying chores, they too will have to see me another day, unless I make a serious rally.

It really isn’t just about my arms from skiing, there are other new muscles who have joined the ranks of soreness from yesterday having to move the heaviest washer and dryer I could have ever imagined there being. Our daughter was moving to a new place and had this combo that needed to be moved out and so she was donating it to us to use as it wasn’t going to fit in the new place. So out we headed bright and early to my pick up truck to go and get these items moved. I turned my key to the truck, and it turned but would not start. Over and over I tried flipping buttons around to see if I could reset anything electrical. We read the manual’s trouble shooting guide and still it was a no go, nothing, dead, and seeking a tow truck. Punting on this vehicle we headed to the You Haul place to rent something that would start.

Finding a suitable truck, we headed to our daughter’s old house and then, remembered we had left all of our tools to take a washer apart in Mark’s car, back at the You Haul place. More running around to get them and finally it was time to move the washer. We were quite surprised when we pushed to tilt the thing to get the hand truck under it, that the washer had grown roots and would not budge. Another more enthusiastic effort was made and we got the thing on it and bumped it out the door with Mark on the important end of the hand trucks, the part the holds the weight up. It weighed a ton if not more, and my job was to try to not let the rolling mass take off down the very long and very steep drive, with him leaning back to hold it back and me on the down side pushing to slow the descent. Then we all heaved it up the ramp into the truck, with a very close to failure effort. We were shaking and stunned at how close we had come to a total state of sudden exhaustion. But the dryer was still inside and so we repeated the same routine with it. This lovely combo now sits on my front porch next to the dog bowls waiting for a chance to replace my current washer and dryer, and I am anticipating a wait greater than a week for that to happen. It might be easier to hook them up out there under the guise of “you know you are a red neck when” for even contemplating the idea, but moving them did not help out my skiing muscles nor my other ones screaming at me now.

We had been to the beach house for a long weekend hence my getting to ski then, a reunion from last year’s gathering of Mark’s siblings, their children, and ours. It was a very full house with a whole bunch of togetherness but as before, in a good way. It was noisy and boisterous with lots of activity and everyone chipped in to help make things run smoothly. But my being responsible for the opening and closing of the house, making sure there was stuff for the making of the meals, the hoping everybody was having fun, and all of the tiny stresses that hosting a large group entail added up and when it was done, so was I. It was great fun, and then we drove the long drive home, with me whipped, mentally and physically.

My parents used to lease a house at the previously mentioned Lake Martin when we were kids, and we spent the entire summer there every year, until an evil developer of the area took the cabin from us. During those years, especially during our high school years, every weekend my brothers had many friends up to visit and so did I. We ate delicious piles and piles of thick steaks that my dad bought and cooked for us on his Weber. We had everything that a bunch of adolescents could eat and drink and we never gave a real serious thought to the incredible generosity of my parents, especially dad to give us so much. We had full tanks on our boats so that we could ski all day or just ride around the lake, and all that was expected in return was that we behaved ourselves, and we generally did, sometimes.  I think back on my growing up in this water world utopia and think of my self and my brothers, and all of our friends as incredibly lucky to have had such wonder experiences because my parents made these efforts, over and over for years.

Our being able to go now to a lovely beach house, and to share it with others, is directly because of my dad’s insistence on having a place to gather with family and friends, and made it happen. If I could tell him so, I would humbly say, a much bigger thank you to my dad.

It is the first day of July with the fourth coming this weekend. My ill fated truck was hauled in shame to the ford place and I am waiting to hear the damage report. Somehow I already know the news will not be good. Somehow, also, I must get to the store to buy some ribs, or steaks are sounding pretty good too. My plan is to do as little as possible the next few days and let myself rest up so I can attack the farm chores, later.