A Montana Season

The hot days of summer are slowing,

I open the door and Autumn dances in ,

In all of her brazen glory and childish splendor,

She breezes by with a cool morning kiss and a rustling of leaves.

leaf-62710_640     “It’s about time!” Summer grumbled as Autumn swished past him with a cool kiss on his cheek and a swish of colorful leafy skirts.
“Summer you are such a grumbly old man!” Autumn laughed. “What a way to greet someone who is going to give you a much needed rest.”

And a much-needed rest Summer needed indeed. After the sabbatical he took last season (which actually is what he took every season through Autumn, Winter and Spring) Summer felt refreshed and ready to start this season anew. But true to Nature, all good things must come to an end. And Summer’s good thing ended the minute he walked in Spring’s door.

That is when Summer’s horrible season began. Oh, he thought it was going to be just fine when he took over for Spring.  Spring had everything good to say about his season. The rains had been bountiful and had given all the trees and growing things a good start. But Spring failed to tell Summer that he went a little overboard and the flooding began. Now if anyone knows the human race, you can guess how angry they were when Spring mistakenly added more rain to the already swollen creeks and rivers and caused a myriad of wet mishaps that the humans were still trying to correct, even now.

When Summer took over for Spring on June 21, Spring assured him that all was good and well. Everything was well taken care of or so Summer thought. He shouldn’t have even begun to think that what Spring told him was even half the truth.  The farmers were angry that they could not get into their soggy fields and  most got a late start on planting. No one was even prepared for the hot days to come. And the bugs…oh the bugs that followed the wet season were atrocious. Summer knew he should have read the Book of Nature a little closer, but as always Summer was a little bit lazy and barely glanced at the book and Spring’s notations. He closed  it after seeing an abundance of “OOPS” written all over the first few pages of the Book of Nature.

So Summer’s season started out in a bit of hot water…so to speak. And like a snowball rolling downhill, (to use old man Winter’s quote) troubles just seemed to grow. Summer tried to make things right by adding a little extra sunshine but with the humidity already in the air; well that just brought the huge severe thunderstorms,the hail, and the most dreaded of all….tornadoes. Tornadoes were the bane of Summer’s existence. They had been around since before grandfather’s season. No one really knew where they came from and even now, nobody could actually predict when or where they would pop up. They had a mind of their own and like a bull in a china shop, they caused destruction wherever they landed. But the humans were getting closer to figuring it out. Summer just wished they would do it soon. Tornadoes were not good for Summer’s reputation.

“Summer…” Autumn was waving a golden sunflower in front of Summer’s face.  “Yoo-hoo Summer, are you listening to me?” She breezed.
Summer came out of his melancholy musings and focused on what Autumn was saying to him.
“Summer, you do daydream aplenty!” Autumn tittered. “Do you have anything to sip? The trip here was very hot and dry, and I am just parched!” Autumn gushed.
“I have some leftover lemonade.” Summer offered.
“Actually, I was hoping for a nice cup of spiced apple tea.” Autumn hummed.
Summer sighed. “Autumn, you know I don’t keep spiced apple tea in my cupboards. You ask me this every season. And I tell you every season, I don’t have any. You should try to bring some with you next time.”
Autumn chortled. “Oh Summer, there’s always hope for you. I know that one day you will be prepared for my arrival. I do have some packed in my suitcase.” She danced off, leaving a chill in the air.

Summer shivered. Ooh …Fall was in the air. Or rather Autumn was. Autumn was very meticulous about what her given name was. She did not think Fall was eloquent enough for her. It reminded her too much of stairs and skinned knees. She much rather liked to be called Autumn. It sounded colorful and cool. There was no arguing with Autumn about this. Summer learned long ago, that Autumn looked sweet and calm on the outside, but make her angry by calling her Fall and she could give you one of the frostiest looks that would freeze even old man Winter on his coldest days.

Summer sighed. He had better get his suitcase packed. He still needed to put his finishing notes in the Book of Nature. Today was September 23, the first day of Autumn’s season. Autumn would be moving in with all of her cool weather belongings. Autumn was prepared for anything…you could tell by the many numerous suitcases and boxes that she had packed for her season.
Summer once asked Autumn if she really needed all that stuff.

With a frosty look Autumn replied, “Summer… one must be prepared for anything. Oh my goodness, don’t you remember the year that you mistakenly left some of your summer heat behind and it got up to ninety plus degrees here for the whole month of October. I had to actually dig out some of my  short sleeved green leafy outfits to stay cool.” She continued, “And remember the year old man Winter forgot what day it was and mistakenly showed up with snow in September. That was one of the coldest seasons I have ever endured! I am lucky that I brought my wool coat and snowshoes that year. Well, that is why I have to be prepared. Humph!”
Autumn had sighed and flounced away in her leafy skirts. Summer made a mental note to himself, that he would not ask Autumn that question again.

Summer  finished packing his one suitcase. The Book of Nature was  finally completed for this season. He remembered to write about the flooding waters from Spring. And then there were the many insects including the grasshoppers, though not invited this season,  that had come back three fold this year. Summer had been cursed with these buggers for four years now. And he saw no end in sight to get rid of these unwanted pests. Heck, the pesky little buggers would probably don mittens and scarves and try to eat their way through Autumn and old man Winter’s seasons. They were in the same category as the misquitos, flies and gnats. They were a pain in the royal neck.

Summer also noted the hot days and severe storm days. However one good note was that even through all this, the flowers had bloomed beautifully and the crops had turned out wonderfully. Of course, there was that incident with the oil spill and a few ruined crops. But that wasn’t his fault. He blamed that on Spring and human error. Spring would have to take the brunt of that blame. Besides,he knew personally that the farmers had been well compensated for that mess. And of course he forgot about the wild fires that were still raging caused by a bit of miscommunication. Try as he might he couldn’t get  Mother Nature to send enough rain down to put them all out, and he didn’t know if his messages were clear enough but sometimes instead of sending rain, Nature just sent thunder and lightning and that made  it worse because lightning had no conscience whatsoever. The electric terror loved to start wild fires. And along with Thunder, his partner in crime, they caused more damage than good. And so on and so on.

No worries he thought as he closed the book,  Autumn would fix it all. She was good at that. She would cool down the hot  angry earth with her cooling rains and dropping temperatures. And if that didn’t work than she would get a bit frosty. And if all else failed and she got desperate enough, Autumn would humbly call on Old man Winter to send some of his white stuff a  litte bit early. Summer knew that would be Autumn’s  last ditch effort because Autumn did not like to ask for help.

Summer knew Autumn would never forgive him for starting all the wild fires. But what could he do. You can’t argue with Mother Nature for recieving the wrong message.  Of course, Summer didn’t blame himself for sending the wrong messages.  One good thing was that Autmn had a whole year to cool down before she saw Summer again. and by then all would be fine and dandy and Autumn would be a cool breath of fresh air again.

Summer looked around to see if he forgot anything else. Already the place was taking on Autumn’s personality. The leaves were beginning to turn colors of gold, red and orange. The first frost had settled in some places which had caused the garden plants and flowers to wilt. The pumpkins were turning orange on the vine and  Mr.  Harvest Moon was a round orange circle in the cool night sky.

Summer could not understand, however, how Autumn could handle this time of year with all the trees shedding their beautiful green leaves and the beautiful flowers wilting and turning brown. But Autumn just sighed and said, “The earth is just settling down for the long winter sleep, Summer. And I am here to sing it a lovely lullaby. Summer you should know what a good rest does for the soul.”

That, Summer did indeed know because he was looking forward to this one.    So with a warm goodbye Summer bid Autumn a final farewell for the season.

Summer was long gone when Autumn finally finished unpacking. It was time to sit down, put up her feet and take a sip of that nice warm cup of spiced apple tea. And time to get acquainted with the Book of Nature for another season. As she opened the book, Autumn squealed in surprise.

“Summerrrrrrrrrrr….” She yelled.

But it was too late.  Summer was all the way down Nature Lane when Autumn made her discovery. If he did hear Autumn he pretended not to. Summer disappeared around the bend skipping and whistling like a small child on a warm summer day.100_3767

Rain

A calm soothing rain softly drifts down

In the early morning hours

When the birds are still sleepily testing their morning songs

And the early light of dawn bathes the land

As it it awakens from it’s nightly slumber.

The smell of wet earth permeates the smokey haze filled air

caused by the wild fires of summer.

Rumbles in the far off distance warn of  the passing storm.

The dry cracked earth welcomes the rain

Sighing , crying out for more.

Flowers raise their stately heads and green foilage

Skyward

Reaching for the water blessing.

A chill breeze blows through the window by my desk

Causing a shiver

Letting me know that although we are

In the middle of these hot August sweltering

Dog days of summer that

These too will soon pass.

And the chill frosty days of Fall

Will soon be upon us

When the pumpkins turn orange on the vine

And the leaves fall from the trees

In a kaleidescope of colors.

When our breaths come out in small

puffs and the frost covered grass crunches

under our feet.

I can smell Fall in the air

In this season of summer.

Soon Summer’s hot days

Will fade away for another year

And Fall will dance in on

A cool Autumn  breeze.

The cycle of nature will go on

In a neverending circle

of time.100_6149

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storm – Endless Dance of Nature

100_4043A storm is coming.

The dark sky grumbles it’s displeasure

In the hot summer day’s heat.

Mammoth, dark, looming clouds swirl together

In angry bubbling clusters

As the storm forms overhead.

A crescendo of ferocity echoes off the horizon.

An ominous foreboding of stormy vengeance.

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

A gray mugginess creeps slowly

Over the sun kissed earth

As the dark clouds cover the golden sphere.

The earth shudders

In the gray chill.

The trees have stilled their dance in the breeze.

The birds have silenced their songs of melody.

The earth waits in muted silence

As the sky decides it’s destiny.

Suddenly! One large drop of water

Falls…….

To the ground.

Soon  more drops follow

In a torrential, pounding downpour,

Soon becoming frozen nuggets

Of icy Destruction.

BANG! BANG! BANG!

The storm plays it’s own symphony

In a cacophany of ice and water

as trees bend to the relentless pressure of the tumultuous wind

And the earth is pelted with crystal orbs of icy assailment .

Nature is at war with Nature

In this tempermental dance of unpredictability.

The sky bellows out large claps of thunder

and lights up the dark horizon with searing bolts of light,

Flashing, crackling, zapping

In a frenzied display of electric mania.

But the earth stands it’s ground against the storm driven assault

Unwilling to surrender.

And just as suddenly as it came

the storm wanders away like a mischievious child

Leaving the remnants of it’s tirade scattered about

like forgotten

toys.

Lo and Behold…..

The dark clouds roll away

to reveal a blue, blue sky.

Warm caressing rays touch the wet weather shaken land.

The rain kissed leaves of the trees drip remnants of the storm

As they sway in the cool breeze.

The birds once again tweet their happy

songs of life.

The storm has passed, the war has been waged.

 

Once again the earth will renew itself

And go on.

In this endless dance of nature.100_6157

Grand Parents- Sometimes The Forgotten

As I get older I have more time to contemplate things. And this week I have been thinking about grandparents. No I am not a grandparent myself but I have many friends and family that are  and I did have grand parents and I do have to say someday I am looking forward to being one.

I have talked to various grandparents and have found they all have one thing in common. They love their grandchildren. You know a grandparent would do anything for their grandchildren. They would move heaven and earth for their grand children if they could. They get their faces painted, make silly sounds and faces just to see a grandchild laugh.  The make sure they have lots of toys at their house when the grand children come to visit and they always have goodies just for the grand children. Tears come to their eyes when a grandchild says I love you Gramma or I love you Grampa. Grandparents are a special breed because they are parents too.  They are the last resort as a baby sitter when you can’t find one. They are the shoulder you cry on when your worn out and tired from an all nighter with a crying daughter or son. Sometimes they even help you pull the all nighter. They are the advisors when you don’t know why your child isn’t pooping. LOL. And they are just there when you need to talk to someone who has seen it all. They can advise you on how to warm a bottle for your baby, what to do when your fifteen year old stays out too late, or your eight year old decides to finally say the F – word.  A grandparent is a parent that has been through the complete  cycle. The child cycle.

And sometimes a grandparent will be the most honest person on earth and tell you how it really is. Because that is the world as they see it.  Trust me all you grandchildren. Grand parents do know what they are talking about. They have alot more years of experience on you and they in all honesty have been where you have been long before you were even a sparkle of a grandchild in their eye.

What really is heavy on my heart is how some grandparents are sometimes treated. And no this does not pertain to any one in particular. But if this part does make you feel guilty than maybe its time to take a good look at how you treat your grand parents or as children your parents who are grand parents.

Sometimes grand parents become parents again. When their children can’t handle being a parent or when for some reason they aren’t able to be the parent, the grand parent will step in and lovingly take on the responsiblilty of being a parent. This is where the apple cart gets a little upset so to speak. Because that is when the grand parent/parent relationship gets a little fuzzy. Now I am not saying that any grand parent is complaining. It’s just the way I see it in various situations.  It’s very easy just  to take a grand parent for granted then. Easy to think they will baby sit when you decide you need time to yourself and you are just completely tired of your kids. And trust me they will take your children in a minute. That is the unconditional love of a grand parent. They may be tired on their feet from working all day or just plain tired from growing old but when they look at that child of yours who is a grand child of theirs, all they see is a wonderful creation of God that they have the awesome chance of getting to know for awhile. Because and this part brings tears to my eyes, Grandparents eventually go away to a place where someday we will see them again. Grand parents don’t always get the chance to see their hopes and dreams fulfilled in the life of a grand child. It’s sad but true.

What I am trying to say is this. Sometimes our lives get so busy with living our life that we forget about others, especially the ones that gave us life. In one way or another. Some times we forget that our grand parents won’t always be around to tell  stories of when they were young or give you well earned advice on how to live.  Spend as much time as you can with your grand parents/parents. Sometimes one just takes for granted they will always be there but we all know but do not want to admit that they won’t be.

I know myself that some of the best memories I have are when I got to spend time with my grand parents. Those are memories I will cherish forever. Whether you barely see your grandparents or if you spend alot of time with your grand parents, let them know how much you love them and appreciate them. You don’t have to do anything very special. Grand parents don’t ask for much. A good visit, a hug and and an I love you would pretty much make their day. Listen to their stories, take walks with them, look at their flowers and just spend time with them. Make some precious memories because someday that will be all you have. grandparent-2656412_1920

Night Visitor

SUBTITLE: Panda the Protector or Socket Revenge

The night started as a cool summer night, in our subdivision just outside of Douglas, Wyoming. Our house had quieted down when our kids went to sleep. My husband was working his third night shift at a mine seventy-five miles away. And I had just settled down with a good book.

Suddenly our dog, Panda, started barking. It was not an ordinary, “Hey, I think there might be something out there,” bark. It was more like a “You better get out here this very minute and I mean now” bark.

Since my husband, usually the dog bark checker was not around; I walked out through the kitchen to the garage and peeked out the door. I am not a very brave person. When our dog barks, I check all windows and doors, to make sure they are locked. I also make sure our phone is working, just in case I need to call 911. I had become a little braver since my husband started working night shifts. But it still took all my courage to walk out to our kitchen to the garage and peek out the door. The garage was connected to our house via the kitchen. It looked like the garage was clear, so I tip toed quietly through the garage and peeked out the back door of the garage, to the backyard beyond.

Luckily, my husband was prepared for such times as this. He left a flashlight on a shelf nearby. I grabbed the flashlight and shined it outside, peering through a small crack in the door with one eye.

Panda was still barking incessantly. By that time the bark was, “Get your butt out here this instant, or I am going to tear this place apart.”

Panda was a black lab – samoy mix. She had the bushy samoy hair and the black lab color. So she was hard to see in the dark. She did have one big white spot on her chest. I did finally locate her, underneath the swing. Whatever she had cornered was hiding under the slide. Panda was our protector. I have never seen a braver dog. We got panda as a pup from Montana. My husband’s sister in law had two purebred Samoy’s that had taken to running with a rogue black lab. Well, needless to say, pups happened. And we were lucky enough to get Panda. Panda was one of the best dogs we ever owned. And she did look like a big fluffy panda bear. She became my husband’s best friend and protector over the years and naturally became mine and the kids’ protector also. So it didn’t surprise me that Panda had found an intruder on her nightly rounds of our one-acre back yard.

I thought it could be our neighbor’s crazy black cat that taunted Panda about every day by peeing on our trees through the fence. I didn’t blame Panda one bit for barking. Or it could be another raccoon trying to pass through our backyard for his nightly feast of our trashcans. I did see two eyes peering out from under the slide. So being the master that I was for the night, I gave Panda permission to attack.

“Get it Panda!” I yelled as I peeked through the door gap with one eye…

And the attack was on. She dove under that slide growling and barking and started pulling the intruder out.

We both realized our mistake at about the same moment. She let go of the intruder and I smelled the intruder! The worst eye watering, plug your nose, gag a thousand times smell wafted toward me… the one… the only…odious skunk smell.

Panda by this time was running around the yard, rubbing her head on anything, she could, to try and get rid of that horrible smell and I was gagging trying, with all my might, not to throw up. In the meantime, our intruder, who knew he had mastered the situation, was slowly waddling towards our house, headed for the back door, where I was at.

I knew Panda was not able to attack at the moment, since I could hear her sneezing and snuffling out there in the dark. So I did the only thing I could think of to stop that bumbling smelly intruder. I started throwing things at it. Since I had no rocks, I spied the next best thing. I grabbed one of my hubby’s half-inch sockets and whizzed it through the air. It hit the slide with a bang. The skunk stopped, Panda jumped and I grabbed another socket and whipped it out the door. It hit the ground with a thud. By this time, the skunk had a change of mind and had high tailed it back under the slide. Whiz, whiz, whiz… I kept throwing sockets and they hit the slide, the swing and anywhere in between. I think I may have managed to hit the skunk, but I am not sure. I finally exhausted my supply of sockets so I threw the case out there for good measure.

Panda by that time had regained her stamina. She managed to get a hold on that wily skunk. And was shaking it with what little strength she could muster between the snuffling. I seriously thought about throwing some of my husband’s hammers out there, but I figured they might hit Panda instead. So I cheered Panda. She let go of the skunk for a moment to look at me and wag her tail. That gave the wily, smelly intruder a chance to sneak out the fence hole it came through. The last I saw of our smelly night visitor, it was waddling its way to the neighbor’s house, tail in the air.

Whew, what an ordeal that was. Of course, Panda ran up to the door, to get her “Good job, you did it!” pet. With one hand, I plugged my nose. And with the other, I patted her lightly on the back and told her what a good job she did.

All was well for one more night. I walked back into the house, checked on our two little children’ who by the way had slept soundly through the whole thing. I scrubbed my hands as best I could, and sat down to read my book. I eventually fell asleep. The next morning, my husband was greeted with the wonderful aroma of the late night skunk escapade, as he came home from work.

“Phew, it seems like we had a visitor last night.” he said wrinkling his nose.

“Yep,” I said, “Panda and I took care of it.”

“Mommy, Mommy!” our son yelled as he raced into the house from the backyard, where he and his sister were playing.

“Look what I found,” he gushed happily.” And there’s a lot more out there too!”

My husband looked at the socket in our son’s hand and then looked at me.

I sighed.

“Let’s go out back.” I said. “I’ll tell you the whole story.”

And the story still lives on as one of the best tales my husband tells about a wife, a dog, a skunk and his brand new shiny socket set.

 

The Saga Continues

 Subtitle : What a Wonderful Day

In my last post I mentioned Murray my old dinosaur lawn mower. Well, here is the update on her condition.

Late afternoon of the very bad day turned good, my loving husband came home from work to two broken lawnmowers and a very happy wife. Like I said in my last post it had been a very bad day but God had given me a reason to celebrate and so my day turned into a good one.

And even though our two recliners in the living room looked so inviting we decided by the looks of our overgrown yard of a park that maybe we should try to get a lawnmower fixed. We decided to concentrate on Inny since she was the newer of the two but even after replacing a fuse and checking the battery and the cellanoid(I think that is what my husband called it) Inny would not budge from her bed in the shed. My husband figured she needed a 30 amp fuse that had blown. And since no store was open to get one we decided our only option was to look at old Murray. So gas can and airtank in hand we trekked back to the junk pile to check on the old dinosaur of a lawnmower.

There are some things you need to know about Murray first. Like I said in my last post Murray was a reborn mower, but (tongue in cheek) with parts that weren’t there before. One of those was a shut off valve for the gas line, since Murray had this habit of leaking all of the gas out of her tank if she sat too long. So, as my husband told me three or four or maybe twenty times or so, I needed to shut off the gas when I parked Murray,  but in all my despair of not getting it to start, I failed to do that. As we lifted the cover off of Murray we saw gas running like an open faucet out of everywhere! My husband can be a very patient man at times and this was one of those times.

“You forgot to shut off the gas, but don’t worry we can fix this.” he says as he proceeded to shut the gas off.  I also forgot to tell him earlier; when I had called him at work in despair;  that some little piece of wire had fallen off somewhere in the vicinity of the motor when I had tried to start it.

“And I even saved it!” I say happily, holding up the wire to show him.  The look on his face was hard to explain but he kept his patience.

“Okay this is another problem, but we can fix this.” he repeats as he takes his hat off and scratches his head. I think he was trying to reassure me, and maybe himself that Murray would run again. He looks at the wire and looks at the motor and suddenly says,  “This wire goes to the choke. We need to take it apart, air cleaner and all and check the carburetor to see if the float is working because there is still alot of gas pouring out of this thing. Why don’t you get me a pair of pliers out of the garage?”

I gladly went to do that since I had no idea what in the world he was talking about. When it comes to cars and trucks and small engines I have no idea how they work. I can tell you how to sew a buttonhole in a shirt or how to replace zippers in jeans, or what type of fabric to use for what type of sewing job; but don’t ask me how an engine works. It is all goobly gosh to me. By the time I got back he had the thing amajig apart and was trying to start it again.

“I hope the engine didn’t fill up with gas.” he mutters.  I wonder why that is so important as I watch him pull out the a long piece of wire called the oil dipstick and smell it.  Suddenly he hands it to me. “Do you smell gas?” he asks. Well, if anyone knows me well enough they know that I and gas and oil and especially all kinds of stinky smelling fluids that come out of a vehicle do not get along well at all. I get dizzy and a headache and my stomach rolls at any of those smells.  ( Funny that I married a man that loves to tinker with all kinds of gas engines and loves cars and trucks; sometimes more than me. And I have a son that has followed in his father’s footsteps. But they have been very good at respecting my condition as far as bringing it into the house.) And now my husband is asking me to see if I can smell gas in the oil.

“What the hey,  I can do this! It’s not like I have to touch it or anything.”  I say to myself. I wave the dipstick under my nose. I smell oil, but no gas. I sway a bit from the dizziness that follows but I take a deep breath and I proudly tell my hubby.  “I don’t smell any gas , just oil.”

He sighs in relief. “Okay that is good.” He says for the third time. “We can fix this!”

My husband tells me to get on the lawnmower and try to start it while he tinkers with the carburetor. That I can do. I know how to start and run the thing, for pete’s sake. The only problem is that my foot is right in the path of the carburetor opening. And when I push on the clutch and try to start the dinosaur, it decides to spew all of it’s contents in the form of gasoline onto my sneaker, sock and foot!

My husband jumps back of course. “I didn’t expect that to happen!” he laughs. He laughs? I jump off the lawnmower and pull my sneaker off gagging. But now my sock is soaked and my hand is covered in gas. I rub my hand in the dirt as my head begins to hurt. Okay I tell myself, you really need to get past this reaction to stinky car fluids, so I bravely let my sneaker and sock dry out as I watch my husband continue to work on this odious piece of a junk pile that has suddenly decided to eject it’s bodily fluids all over me! In my earlier years I would have ran to the house and scrubbed everything  off a million times but at the mature age of 57 (hehe) I figure I am too old to be acting like a child. Although I really wanted to run to the house and scrub my foot and hand a million times I bravely stood my ground thinking, “What the hey. It’ll dry and I am too dang tired to walk all the way to the house and back.”

My husband knowing that I am putting on a very brave front does not ask me to help him start Murray again.But he does ask me to hand him tools. Which I can do. I know what a  3/8 socket is and a crescent wrench. I can even retrieve needle nose pliers. I have helped my hubby clean his garage so many times that I can tell you he has an enormous amount of sockets that he will probably never use but he keeps them just in case he loses one.  Of course that’s why he acquired so many sockets in the first place because of the notorious 3/8 socket that can never be found. He has been known to buy a whole new set because of the missing 3/8 inch socket.  And truthfully he has lost more than his share in the junk pile; which if we decided to take the time to look we would find a whole herd of 3/8 inch socket minions hiding and giggling under an old engine and planning a socket revolution.

I digress. This day I do find the 3/8 inch socket. And proudly bring it to him in an ahhhhhhh! moment.  The moment lasts only for a moment. “I guess I don’t need the 3/8 socket after all.” he says. “It’s metric. I need the 10 mm.”

Duhduhduhduhduhduh!!! Like a scene in a bad scary movie I freeze in horror. The 10 mm socket is the bane of my existence. It is worse than the 3/8 socket. Maybe because it’s metric. I don’t know!  I do know that I have searched for hours on end for a 10 millimeter socket for my husband more than once and like it’s notorious american counterpart it evades me like a sketchy leprechaun with gold at the end of the rainbow. It will never be found!! If you searched for the 10 mm sockets in the junkpile it would be worse than minions it would be like a battalion of evil war mongers,evilly evading you, intent on metric revenge.

“Wait I have one here.” My husband proudly holds up the 10 mm socket and I breath in relief. I have been saved from socket search hell. I have been given a pardon!

Well, thanks to my husband the Murray was revived that day. And after about three times of mowing through the thick grass and losing the belt on the mower, my husband who kindly laid in the  thick grass and the dog doo which our friendly dogs decided to leave as a gift in the yard, got the belt on tight enough for me and Murray to mow in slow mo turtle speed and get our yard of a park mowed. Barely. It was dark by the time the Old Murray and I got done. But we got ‘er done. And after putting her away and waddling cowboy legs style to the house, I had to admit that Murray saved the day once again. Albeit a long, long day.

As we  later sat eating our DQ blizzards at Dairy Queen; which we decided that we had earned for the night; my husband laughingly commented. “You know I thought after the gas spewed all over your sneaker, I really thought that you’d be trekking into the house full speed. But you didn’t. I am proud of you sweetie!”

I laughed thinking of all the comebacks  that I could have spouted.  ‘Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do’ and ‘patience is a virtue’, all came to mind. But I held my tongue. “Thanks!” I said as I dipped into the delicious turtle pecan blizzard, ignoring the grease under my fingernails and the faint gas smell on my hand.  I sighed happily. And I think to myself – “What a wonderful day!”

bw murray

 

What could have been a very bad day

Once again I sit at my desk typing on this Thursday afternoon. I guess this is where I am supposed to be. I had planned  on having a very productive day mowing the lawn, watering flowers and pulling weeds but once again life had other ideas or God did.

I knew that it wasn’t going to go the way I thought it would when I climbed on Inny my lawnmower for mowing the inside yard, and yes I do name my lawnmowers, cars, weedeaters, etc. Call me crazy, yea pretty much I am. Anyway Inny would just click when I turned the key.That shot down my quicky mow the lawn and get it done before noon plan.  I decided the front yard really needed mowed so I resorted to Ol” Reliable” our push lawn mower. It cuts but it’s a manuel push. And we got the job done in “pant” “pant” about one hour.  By this time Ol Reliable and I both had our tongues hanging to the ground and even though I had good intentions of mowing the back yard, when I pushed Ol Reliable to the back and looked down that long grass infested neverending park of  a yard, my good intentions flew away with the cotton that floated off my tree in that backyard park.

So off to it’s resting place Ol Reliable went and then I had an AHA! moment. I would use the very old, dinosaur of a lawnmower that we had scavenged from my Mom and Dad. It was originally our riding lawnmower back in the day when I was young and fit and could actually throw my leg over the seat to get on. The Murray had cut grass like a John Deere in its’ hey day.

Words straight from a farmer’s mouth. My neighbor in Wyoming was a farmer from way before I was born. He was one of those farmers that believed the only good tractor was a John Deere tractor. Nothing else measured up to a John Deere tractor. My neighbor used to laugh at me on the Murray as we bungled along cutting the grass in his lot next to our house. My neighbor had had a stroke and had lost the use of his arm and leg but somehow his family had found him a John Deere hydrostatic lawn mower that would work with the push of his good leg and arm. He could mow circles around me and my Murray. Literally, he would be mowing and pass me twice before I got around the lot. But he had quite a bit to mow and I offered to help with Murray of course. He looked at me a smile hovering on his face and said. “You best keep up with this John Deere.” The Murray and I did keep up, sort of, and we got the pasture mowed. That is when the greatest compliment  the Murray and I ever got happened. The farmer pulled up beside me on his John Deere.  Mr. Freeman looked at me and then he looked at the Murray. “You know if you paint that red mower green , it could almost pass for a John Deere.”  I about fell off the Murray right than and there. I still don’t know to this day if he was kidding or not but I am going to remember it as a compliment. I figured Murray and I had earned Mr.Freeman’s respect because after that I was in charge of mowing that lot.

But that was years ago. About twenty or so years ago. Anyway a long time ago. Now the Murray and I are older. The Murray has gone through years of mowing grass, weeds and maybe even trees. It’s been used, abused and just plain worked until it ended up in one of my Dad’s old sheds missing a tire, a belt and a battery with the grass catcher tied together with baling wire and a board under the seat. It was destined for the junk pile in the sky, well the scrap pile in town, actually, but my Dad offered to bring her over to our junk pile if my hubby wanted to fix her. I have to say when it comes to mowers my husband has the gift. With a little TLC and alot of cussing and banging and a few new parts, he can get anything running…for awhile. It takes alot of TLC to keep old dinosaurs running. Years of use can to that to hard working machines. They don’t last forever. Ask any junkyard owner. But as luck would have it Old Murray had a comeback.

And like Frankenstein one dark night the new, old, cumbersome, lumbersome Murray was reborn. “It runs, It runs.” my husband yelled over a roaring one speed, only the rabbit works motor. “Just keep her right at the rabbit, wiggle the shifter until she finds a gear and let her go!” My husband jerkily took off out onto our dirt road, racing toward the electric fence but turning just in time to start mowing. Following along I had to admit the Murray still had it in her. She was cutting that grass like there was no tomorrow.  So I decided to give it a try. I have to tell you right now that I also had aged a bit. The first realization came when I tried to throw my foot over the seat, like when I was young and I got stuck there until my husband came to the rescue. Second, I didn’t realize that Murray didn’t have power steering. She was one tough broad to turn. Third was something I never realized in my younger, fit as Rosie Riveter days, this mower was one tough lumbersome cumbersome mower to operate. She didn’t have shocks and she didn’t like trees. That’s all I have to say about that. But Murray mowed, so Murray became part of the mowing family.

I digress. Back to the problem at hand. The backyard park needed mowed. Lumbersome, Cumbersome and I would finish it in no time at all. But once again it was not to be. After forty five minutes of pushing the dinosaur out of it’s lair and trying to start it on rabbit run,then it would cough and spit and just die, I gave up. Words came out of my mouth like Oh crap and all the other words that seem to come along with it. “Why I yelled Whyyyyy!” So leaving old Lumbersome Cumbersome in the junk pile where at the moment I figure she belonged, I awkwardly crawled off the dinosaur, gave it a good kick to the tire that always goes flat and stomped into that grass infested park of a yard, seriously contemplating getting horses ,cows, goats,sheep whatever eats grass and letting them devour the whole mess. But then again therein lies another problem. My dogs. That’s a story for another day.

I angrily stomped to the chickenhouse. Might as well gather my four brown eggs that I get from fifteen molting isa brown chickens and ten budding leghorns. Grumbling I walked in the chicken house and looked through the nests and suddenly it was like the clouds were swept away and the sun shone down on one little white egg laying all by it self in the nest.Ahhhhhhh! My little leghorn chickens were starting to lay. It was a white egg! My first ever white egg since I had chickens! I was ecstatic. The chickens were ecstatic or maybe they were flying around because I was dancing crazily in their house. Whatever it was it was a celebration of the white egg. Some how my day of doom and gloom had become a day of celebration.20180719_135624

I quickly walked to the house with my treasure, and tripped over a brick in my sidewalk, stubbing my toe in pain, but the good news was I still had the white egg. And just as I came to standstill before falling ,eggs and all to the ground, I spied, wonder of wonders , my Orange Crush Rose had finally bloomed. Another dance of celebration.20180718_082552

Okay by now you probably think I am crazy. Yes, I may be. But,suddenly, it came to me how easily one can let a day turn from bad to worse in the splash of a moment. And how God can in the blink of an eye make that day amazing again. It might be just a little white egg and a plain orange rose, but those two little simple things made my day of gloom and doom become a day of celebration and joy. God made me realize that all this will soon pass, and of course there’s work ahead but just don’t forget to enjoy the little things in life and for goodness sake stop and smell the roses (in my case see and smell the roses) once in awhile.  God Bless!