Tuesday, May 26, 2015

LONE PINE

Do you remember this picture from a very famous movie?
Now is your memory jogged?
Now?  Perhaps you never saw Back To The Future.
This is the scene where Marty bursts out of the barn with the Delorian and runs over one of the two pine trees on farmer Peabody's ranch, Twin Pines.
(Did you also know that in the movie farmer Peabody's son is called Sherman a tribute to Peabody & Sherman? I may not remember why I walked into a room but I have memory cells of totally useless information to entertain myself)

And, as you sip your morning coffee you are probably wondering why on earth I am babbling on about an old movie and Twin/Lone Pines Mall.

Get a second cup, trust me, I'll get you there.

Last Monday John put new blades on the year old lawn tractor. He actually commented on the fact that the blades just needed to be sharpened not bent back into shape or replaced all together. I beamed.
For those of you that haven't popped in to visit over the years, I have a very bad lawn tractor blade issue. If there is a rock or submerged boulder in the grass I managed to hit it, despite my husband so graciously painting the tops of them blue. Rocks and lawn mower blades don't play well together.

So, feeling rather pleased with my progress as a lawn mower jockey I backed the tractor out of the barn, last Monday and made my first pass on the lawn. By the time I reached the forsythia bushes by the pool I heard a clunk and the blades dug into the grass turning it into a dirt shaped circle. I shut everything down, then started it up again and took myself back to the barn. 
I walked away, closing the barn door feeling like a 14 year old that just wanted to shrug her shoulders  and roll her eyes when questioned and say, "I don't know what happened, I was no where near it."

Monday night wasn't a good night to bring up the subject because John got home late and there would be no time to fix anything. Tuesday he was gone in the evening, Wednesday, Riley had her last swim lesson and he took her, you see where this is going right? 

Yesterday morning with Justin's family down for a visit I decided bringing up the subject would be a no brainer. Lots going on, not a lot of time for a long discussion on the impossibilities of my having done something wrong on my first pass. Blades were changed, no discussion. I can breathe again.

HAH! Did you actually think THAT was the story? Oh sweetie-pie, just get a warm up on that coffee and sit back. 

In Wisconsin, when you get cold spring days and one warm one you work like crazy in your yard to try to clean up winter's mess and stay ahead of Mother Nature. We had cool weather, plants and grass all growing like crazy and then yesterday, Saturday the sun shines, the temperature soars, the grandkids hit the pool and I start to tackle the 101 gardening jobs on my list.

I mulched, I trimmed, I planted, I weeded, I cut down volunteer walnut trees and watered potential transplant sites. Basically, I worked my bottom off. I wish.

I can cut the main section of the back yard so the kids could play on it. I left the back 40 for the end of the day. Probably not my best decision. I cut the trails in the woods a relaxing easy to do project. I keep my eyes focused on the edge of the path and just keep going around the interlocking figure eights until I have cut both sides. A no brainer. At one point my mind suggested that I actually look up and enjoy the woods while I was in there. A fortuitous moment because I lifted my head to look into the eyes of a very startled deer. I stopped and she ran off.

I'm tired, hot and my stomach tells me that is is getting close to dinner time and I haven't finished cutting the lawn.  It's going to rain Sunday and Monday so I really need to finish this job. 

There are two sad, dying pine trees at the edge of the woods where I cut the grass. They stand about 10 feet tall but most of the lower limbs are gone and what remains has been hit with some sort of pine blight. But, they still stand as sentinels and the grass still grows close to their base and the beauty of my new mower is that is can cut very close to things without any difficulty.  That is until last night. 

As Myrna Loy said in the movie, Mr/ Blandings Builds His Dream House, "All I said was..........." Well, all I did was cut the back side, make my turn to sweep out and come back in and cut another side along the base of the trunk. Unfortunately, something happened and I didn't sweep or turn I got stuck. 

Now, common sense would tell a person to just STOP and perhaps back up and I would love to say that is what I did but I think I did more of say let's turn the wheels that way and then this way and back up and what the hey let's try forward again until despite all odds and as John later said, "A team of engineers couldn't have even executed what you did. The damn tree looks like it was growing out of the lawn tractor."

I wish I could say that was a slight exaggeration. 

As I stood next to the tractor studying the problem it occured to me that this was going to be a lot like that old story.

      A man is sentenced to die by the Kind.  As the verdict is announced, the man says, "Wait! If you spare my life, I promise that in one year, I will teach your horse to talk.  If I fail, you can kill me then."
The King is intrigued and figures he has nothing to lose, so he agrees.  Afterwards, the man's friend says, "ARE YOU CRAZY? You will never teach the king's horse to talk."  The man laughs and says, "Think of it this way.  I have an extra year to live and a lot can happen in a year.  I might die.  The king might die. And who knows, maybe the horse will learn to talk."

And, so I waved to John who was walking toward the back door and said, "Youhoo, I need your help up here." 

I even suggested that he stop by the barn and get the tractor to drive it on up so he wouldn't have such a long walk to me.  That idea was rejected and I watched him after a long hard day, trudge out towards me.  "Is there something wrong with the lawn tractor? Is it broken?" he innocently asked.

I smiled and waved and muttered under my breath, "nope nothing broken, nothing wrong except a pine tree is now part of the apparatus.  

My husband, the Stoic stared down at the pine tree wedged between the two wheels. "Got any ideas?"
I shrugged and made a motion as if to lift the back end of the tractor. "Nope, that's about 800 pounds." he replied.
"Well, cut the damn tree down then, it's mostly dead." I shot back.

I walked away.  There wasn't anything I could do at this point. I offered up my entire file folder of possible solutions. He yelled after me, get Justin.

So, I sent Justin out to deal with the problem. Two male heads, in this case, would probably be more creative than me.

Then I heard the chain saw start up. The back forty, which sported Twin Pines with pine rust blight now sports only one, hence the new sign, LONE PINE.

From the kitchen window I saw Justin return the lawn tractor to the barn. I guess other than being wedged in "great tightness" like Pooh Bear in a bee hive, it is fine and I will live on to cut more grass rather than take down diseased pine trees.

:)Bea

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