I am so grateful to be healthy!
For weeks after I had the flu in early February I felt tired and weak. Just walking down to our tank wore me out. But I’m finally feeling stronger. I’m doing some long-needed spring cleaning around our property.
In November, with the help of two young men, we cleared 40+ loads of brush and began a large woodpile. We pulled down bramble vines and dead trees. We worked six to eight hours each day for about two weeks. We cleared the vines, branches, and dead trees around our tank and along the fence line. The tank is lovely! And the trees are budding.
(In Texas it’s a tank; the rest of the world calls it a small pond.)
December through February the weather is too cold to work outside, but now the weather in North Texas is perfect for yard work. Clear skies, temperatures in the 60s to 70s. It’s too cold at night for snakes to be out yet, even in the warmer days. And it’s still early enough that trees haven’t budded so we can see what we are doing.
This past week I’ve been working on our property again: clearing the creek of dams, pulling out dead trees along the other side of the creek, and cutting logs into firewood. Friday and Saturday we cut a new path through trees, across the creek, and to the back five acres.
We spent seven hours working Friday cutting, loading, hauling, and unloading wood. I learned how to use the chainsaw. I can’t start it; I’m not strong enough. But I enjoyed cutting up the dead logs. Here’s a short video of me cutting a log.
We took a load of firewood to a local businessman who uses wood to heat his shop. Freddy is an honest and knowledgeable mechanic who has maintained our vehicles for years, so when I noticed he was out of wood I gladly gave him a couple of loads. He has enough now to get through the few cold mornings until spring warms up.
We took a couple of loads of brush, brambles vines, and branches to the transfer station (local dump) as well. We were working to make a path to get my trailer to the back part of the property. We had some rubble to haul off, and I needed a way to get back there.
Eight to ten years ago, our sons had built lots of cool bunkers and obstacles to play paintball and airsoft. Their friends often came over for day-long battles. They had great fun! But Texas weather has worn down the pallets, wire spools, and other wood structures into piles of rotting wood. These needed to be hauled off.
We cut as few live trees as possible as we cleared a path to get my tractor through. I’d drive my tractor a few feet to see which trees needed to go, get down to help the guys cut and haul them out of the way, then pull forward a bit more. Once in the clearing, I mowed a path around the area, getting as close as I could to the piles we needed to clear. We had to watch for animal burrows, mesquite trees, and prickly pear cacti. It was a long day and lots of work.
Saturday morning Ron joined us after his men’s Bible Study. I pulled the trailer with tractor as the guys cut a few more trees to allow the trailer through. Then I drove to the wooden fort my son’s had built ten years ago. The base is solid, but there were boards and wooden pallets around it on the ground. We loaded it all and moved to the next pile.
I’d thought it would take a few days and many loads to clear the area. We did it in three hours and only two loads to the dump. Many hands do make light work.
We used to have family work days to do this kind of thing. We hadn’t done much more than mow grass since The Accident. None of this stuff mattered. Our boys weren’t here to play paintball any longer; three had moved away and one was dead.
Over time and by doing the next right thing, my grieving heart has healed.
Since last fall I’ve wanted to clean up the property. I wanted to live here instead of just exist. We’ve cleaned up around the tank and fence line, cleared a new path to the back five, cleaned up the stables, and even planted a bunch of new trees. Next weekend Ron and I are tackling the many flowerbeds – after we get the sprinkler system working again.
Yes, it’s nice to be healthy and whole. And it’s wonderful to be able to do some spring cleaning.