Monday, March 17, 2014
I got a sore neck from trimming one of my trees Saturday.
Since the fire and the threat that nearly blew up the house two weeks ago, I’ve turned into a handyman again – just as I planned when I first moved in, figuring to save money by doing the small things – such as trimming tree branches.
These are the branches in the front of the house – not the back which largely fell down during the Halloween snow storm in 2011 (which left me sawing wood for months). These trees in front have become the haven for birds – a conversation tree from which they also poop (not on my car, but any car that is unfortunate enough to park in front of the house).
The branches have played havoc on windy nights, brushing their fingers against the gutters like haunting spirits I cannot escape; spirits that wake me in the middle of the night so near to my bedroom window does their touch come.
But it is those branches that have grown entwined with the power lines that I fear most, thinking that a heavy gust will leave me in the dark. For all that we have advanced over the last century, we are still very primitive when it comes to wires – strings of which hang everywhere and become the victim of wind or frost.
Armed with a ladder and a long pole, I took to the task little realizing that I would have to look up for so long that my neck would ache for a week.
Age is finally catching up with me. I’m no longer able to sustain the level of energy that I did at this time twenty years ago, and so after an hour or do snipping off the branches and dragging them to the ground, I was forced to rest.
I noticed the ache when I ventured out to cover the parade yesterday, but thought it would ease as they day wore on, and it did, but rest last night, brought it back this morning again worse than even yesterday morning.
I keep thinking of the old men in the general store complaining about their aches and pains, and the ointments they used to make the pain go away.
I used to work very physical jobs, truck driver, warehouse man, dunkin donuts baker, each creating its own impact. I remember throwing out my back a few times when I had to hoist the huge caldron-like steel bowl onto the bakers table in order to loaf and roll out dough. This usually happened on days of cold and wet -- this time of year.
The worst was that year I worked in the wine warehouse where I fed a convey belt with cases of wine and other booze, and had to adopt a yoga regiment in order to loosen my back before going to work, and then do the same routine afterwards to keep my back stiffening when I went to sleep.
Later, I used the routine as a warm up for jogging, and still use the routine from time to time these days, but did not get a chance to do it over the weekend – thus my aches and pains.
I doubt I could survive long in Ireland or Scotland where cool, wet weather is a near constant.
I did eat like an Irishman yesterday, cabbage and turkey ham, with a bit of mustard on the side.
I did not wear green yesterday, except briefly – putting on a pair of glasses sent to me from a friend. I am not wearing green today. I remember the mistake I made when jogging in the early 1980s when I went jogging along the Passaic River wearing an orange t-shirt, a true sin to any of us southerners in that orange symbolizes the north and those Irishman who sided with the British.
My leg feels better and I’m debating taking up jogging again if and when the weather finally gets warm enough.
I keep thinking about how lucky I am, having survived so much – including the resent carbon monoxide and natural gas build up in house, just when similar more fatal disasters have struck others not far from here.
Maybe it’s the luck of the Irish. Perhaps it is just dumb luck.
What’s the old saying about God looking out for idiots and children? I’m clearly not the second.