Well, my luck ran out.
I had been able to spend much of the time during this shelter at home period without having to do too much work around the house. There was my job, of course, which keeps me busy. But when you are home almost all the time, there is also some downtime.
I procrastinated a great deal, of course. It is in my nature. But a nice day came along and I knew I had to get outside and start doing some spring yard work.
Look, it’s not that I don’t like working in the yard. Once I get going, I actually like it a lot. I especially like when I am done and look at the yard and know I have done a good job.
So with sun shining, I made my way out to the garage. The first task was to get my wheelbarrow down from its place in the garage. There was a hook in the ceiling when we moved in and I thought it would be a perfect place to hang the wheelbarrow to get it up and out of the way.
The problem is that I have to basically lift the thing with my head, which is thankfully very hard, to get it down. So as I lift and use my head, the wheelbarrow comes free and I dance around the garage with it on my head trying not to drop it on the riding lawnmower or – worse – my motorcycle. Or much, much worse, my wife’s motorcycle.
I finally get it down and see that the front tire is flat. No problem. It can go a little flat over the winter. So I grab my trusty air gun so I can fill the tire. After trying to attach it for 15 minutes, I realize I have a problem. Apparently, something got jammed in the air gun and it now will not attach to anything.
I give the tire a kick and realize it is very low on air, but not flat. I grab the shovel and begin the long trek down the driveway to the culvert near the street. I need to get all of the dirt out of it the plows throw there in the winter. I get a nearly full load of dirt into the wheelbarrow and begin the hike back to the house – I plan to put this in a low spot in the back yard.
I make it about 10 feet before realizing this might be a mistake. I did the math: Low tire, load of heavy wet dirt, a guy who just turned 57 and is not exactly ready for the Olympics. The answer I came up with: Probable failure.
But I kept going, nearly calling my wife halfway up to send the dog down with water … or a beer. I finally made it and dumped the dirt. I was ready to celebrate when I realized that was just my first task.
Next I took the wheelbarrow around the yard picking up tree branches. Our lot is filled with trees, and winter can be tough on them. I gathered a couple of loads and took them to the back near the fire pit. They will come in handy soon.
Then it was around the south end of our property to pick up garbage. Yes, people are slobs. There is always an assortment of random car parts, fast food bags and empty booze bottles. If this says anything about society, it is that we are overweight drunk drivers.
Finally, I had made it to the fun part. I fired up my trusty Cub Cadet to mow the yard. It started on the first turn and we hit the lawn with a fury. I know I should mow the grass at a nice, slow pace. But this baby can fly, and I love to ride it full out.
Lawn mowed, I parked back in the garage and went out to survey the yard. Looking good, I thought, turning to go inside the house.
I sat on the couch with a water, feeling pretty good. My body didn’t start aching until about 30 minutes later. It was a great 30 minutes.