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Date:4/24/2014 10:22:11 AM
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May Mania, Part II
Pat McManus wrote hilarious stories about growing up on a small farm in the Idaho wilderness in the '40s. One dealt with trying to explain to his step-dad Hank that they could either go fishing, or work all day on the farm. What they could not do was what Hank proposed: Finish just one task and then go fishing. Hank wanted to finish mending fence. Pat went on to point out what happened the last time they had tried doing just that. First they had to go to the neighbors to get back their fence stretcher, but in order to do that they had return the tools they had borrowed from theses same neighbors that they were going to use to make shingles and repair the shed roof. In order to do that they had to finish the job of repairing the roof. All in all, a full day's work before they could even think of going fishing. I can't say that I've retold the story completely accurately, but you get the idea. What it amounts to is that May Mania entails discovering two more jobs to do for every one that you complete.
As I mentioned last time, this year's May Mania means catching up on things all at once. Today was a classic example. The flower beds needed cleaning up before the early growth grass and weeds entrenched themselves. As I started at that, I noticed that the Yucca plants (a notoriously tenacious, not to mention, insidiously spreading species) had re-asserted itself in one of the beds. After ripping up the grass and weeds from where I don't want them to grow and hauling them to bare spots of the backyard where I do, I set myself to attacking the Yucca's. BUT FIRST, I had to go to Ma's and get Pa's adze that I use as a mattock for really heavy uprooting. BUT BEFORE DOING THAT, I realized that I was walking past the orange and white marker sticks that My Ruthie had set out last winter to demark the driveway for the snowplow. Sooo . . . first I had to pick up and put away the markers, but as I did that, I noticed the chipmunks and starlings at the birdfeeders. Soooo . . . I grabbed the pellet gun and shot at them awhile and then walked to Ma's and got the adze and then tore up and hauled away the Yucca's and it was then that I noticed that I had to hoe THAT particular garden and clean it up.
So you get the idea. I am like the leaf in Paul Verlaine's "Chanson d'Automne" "And I'm going on an ill wind that carries me from here and there, like a dead leaf." I putter about like a butterfly or bumblebee, going from task to task. It sounds dismal but it's really quite enjoyable, just flitting from one job to another 'till it's time to go in for the night. It's the kind of day that a Countryman or Woman would enjoy. --Gary
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