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Dear Readers,

Thank you so much for visiting. If you care to follow my story from the beginning, I encourage you to click on the oldest post first and make your way to newer entries. In so doing, hopefully, you will see the hand of God in my healing journey that started in April, 2009.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Grass, Garden And Groundhogs

Posted May 27, 2009 ~ (Five weeks into widowhood)

Aside from the initial challenges of getting the lawn tractor out of the shed, all went well with this rookie’s first solo lawn mowing on Friday. If you have ever read Scott Peck’s, “The Road Less Traveled”, you might remember the very first sentence: “Life is difficult”. My first moments of experience operating my lawn tractor proved he knew what he was talking about!

Last week, Ed taught me how to use my jumpstart system to start the lawn tractor, because the battery was weak. I tied the tractor seat down; knowing I would need to dismount in order to disconnect the battery cables when I got the tractor started and knowing that an empty seat would mean the engine would stop. I thought I had everything under control.

I got her started, unhooked, put her in reverse and immediately got the deck hung up on the ramp! Forward, reverse; the wheels just spun. I was good and stuck! Great, now what do I do Lord? My pride and embarrassment kept me from seeking help to get out of this mess I had gotten myself into so soon. The Lord and I had to figure this out on our own. I turned the engine off and used a two by four under the tractor to get some leverage. I got the tractor to pivot somewhat and maneuvered it down the ramp and into the grass.I jumpstarted her again, disconnected the cables, turned her around and she was making a strange noise. Now what? I got off and looked underneath to realize that the way I tied the seat down was interfering with the wheels turning freely. I held the seat down while untying the rope, hopped back on and finally was on my way. Live and learn the hard way.

A few hours and a fresh sunburn later, the yard was shaping up and I was learning what not to do. Maybe an old dog can learn new tricks after all! At the end of the day, I was feeling good about things getting done. I spent some time weeding my new raised bed vegetable garden that my dear friends and neighbors, Mark and Kristie put together for me while I was staying with Sarah and family. I came home to find three tomato plants, two broccoli plants and several different varieties of lettuce. Buck told Mark about his plan to put in some raised garden beds like the ones Mark and Kristie had installed on their property. They had high hopes that Buck and I would be enjoying fresh veggies from our own garden this summer when he got home from the hospital. How kind and thoughtful of our friends to carry out Buck’s plan to provide a garden for me! Thank you Mark and Kristie for your labor of love.

Unfortunately, I was also sharing my garden with a family of groundhogs. It seems my antics and efforts have persuaded them to move on. I wondered if my neighbors thought I must have lost my sanity, if they witnessed my running across the yard while banging two large fry pan lids together like cymbals in order to terrorize the greedy veggie vultures. I happen to have a really bad attitude about the mooching marauders who consumed my broccoli and harvested my lettuce. I hope they got the message! I also planted some more lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, basil and lavender that my friend Pat brought for me.

Mark stopped by this week and took the batteries from our camper and lawn tractor to charge on his battery charger. I am hopeful the battery will hold the charge and start right up when I need to mow again.

I have found that keeping busy is very helpful when one is grieving, but it does not protect me from dealing with the pain. Every time I think that maybe I’m getting a little stronger, because I have experienced a day or two with no tears, a new wave will open my wounded heart again with another precious memory. I was in Buck’s closet on Saturday and was simultaneously thrilled and broken over what I found. I will share that in another entry, as it is very late and the Melatonin (a natural sleep aid)is kicking in. Perhaps I’ll sleep better tonight.

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