The Fifth of July

I was semi-bragging to a friend this past Sunday, explaining about all the yard work I’d been doing, and how I alternated jobs and worked for short periods at a time (less than an hour, usually) before taking a break, just to keep my back at bay. There’s too much tendency to bend at the waist with this sort of landscape drudgery, which never ends well.

We have one of those endings today, drawn off-guard by the bliss of having family back home, and a holiday with Aaron Copeland murmuring in the background. Julie decided she wanted to give one of our remaining chain link fences a shot, since this section is a huge hassle. There’s a strip of no man’s land, about 12 inches wide and 30 feet long, bordered by my neighbor’s wooden fence on one side of those 12 inches and this chain link nonsense on the other.

And inside, the Northwest flora has done what it does. It’s become effectively a cage match between this wildly growing stuff and me, and I never escape without thinking I’m glad I survived to fight another day, and maybe I’ll just stop fighting. I draw blood every time, serious blood.

So once I walked my wife around the yard, showing off all my work, she set her eyes on that section of fence. I’d already read a Wiki on how to take these down, and it seemed like a lot of work and more of an “advertise on Craigslist for someone who needs a fence” situation.

But she went for it, so I went along, and we managed to get the top rod out and various other unlinking maneuvers. We’re almost ready to roll up that section and have the room to work, which is going to require a chain saw at some point but will be a lot easier without the fence (when I get around to digging out the posts is another, less interesting question).

Point is, I don’t work well with others, particularly my wife. I tend to ignore my rules and do what I feel compelled to do, and now I’m heading for the ibuprofen and wondering how much I’ll get done today. Marriage is complicated.

I’m tempted to make a joke about post-traumatic stress, and it occurs to me that this is a not particularly funny subject. More and more, I’m aware of this, how events linger for people and how there’s not a lot of help easily available. Even small trauma. And there’s a lot of large trauma out there.

So, I’ll just note that for some reason I didn’t care for the fireworks last night. They’re always a little annoying, living right across the street from a big show on the lake, and even though we have a much nicer view now (the construction has given us a very nice look at the lake from the bedroom window, and Julie parked a chair there part of the night just to enjoy the show) a few spectacles don’t really cover for the noise.

The trauma part only comes from spending a week alone, and so working hard to ignore the various sounds that show up in the middle of the night when you’re all by your lonesome in a big house. Of course, there’s a guy downstairs. Of course, there’s a cat. Still. I slept fine and didn’t spend my nights wandering the rooms, jiggling doorknobs, but it took some effort.

So that was it, I think. I don’t care that much for explosions. I cared less for them coming on the heels of a very quiet week, for some reason. I finally just hid in my room and watched a few episodes of a TV series.

I had a brat on a bun, which tasted the way that always does, and then around 10 or so, long after I usually feel like eating anything, I finished about a third of a carton of ice cream that had been in the freezer for a week, something I bought to use for a dessert experiment (ice cream sandwiches; too much work for a simple thing, easier to buy). Just ate that ice cream and felt like I was having a holiday, then slept like a baby and the only trauma I see is now in my lower back, and it’s really not that bad.

Chuck SigarsComment