Monday, March 24, 2014

A Weather Whine

It’s called the Serenity Prayer. Originally created by Reinhold Niebuhr, it has been adopted for various purposes, like the AA Twelve Step Program. It goes, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”  Weather certainly counts among the things that can’t be changed, making whining pointless, but frustration, at least for me, trumps serenity.

I’m working on the last of the posts on voyage planning. In the meanwhile, I’m saddled with the usual chores that we all face in trying to get the home front stabilized enough that I can walk away long enough to go paddling. My task now is cleaning, weeding, digging, separating, planting, fertilizing, and mulching 400 and some feet of flowerbeds, which I detest, abhor, and otherwise look upon with disfavor. I’m totally lacking in the gardening gene that some possess in abundance, some even to the point that they find pleasure in this chore. Therefore, the first part of tackling this job is always overcoming the burden of inertia.

If this wasn’t enough, we’ve had four days of gale force winds, in the 45-50mph range, just in the last week. The balance of the time it’s just windy enough to knock birds over onto their faces if they miscalculate and turn their tails to the wind. The wind makes this job somewhat like the proverbial one-armed paperhanger. I weed, trim back dead growth, and clean the flowerbed only to have a gust of wind blow it all back into the freshly cleaned area. Worst yet, it blows back into areas I have already dressed and mulched, so it looks like I haven’t done anything.

The waste is supposed to go into the bag-lined garbage can. If I’m fortunate enough to graduate to the point where I get enough raked up to put the yard debris into the can, as soon as I pick up a rake-full of debris, the can blows over. This is solved by dropping what I’ve just gathered together so I can grab and set the can back up and reattach the bag as I watch the gathered yard waste scattered back across the yard. I’ve tried propping the can up so it can’t blow over, but then the wind sucks the bag out of the can, whipping it about in the air. Occasionally the wind will even rip the bag off the can, even though it has been pulled well down over the outside of the can. That sends the bag off cross-country with me in hot pursuit.

Part of the displeasure comes from dealing with county leaves. I raked, bagged, and disposed of my own leaves months ago. Then I raked, bagged, and disposed of my neighbors’ leaves. At least once more during the winter and again in the spring, I have to rake, bag, and dispose of the county leaves and litter, which I’m convinced travel dozens of miles to get here.

If the logical first assumption is to just wait until there is a day when it isn’t so windy, then you need to come to NW Oklahoma. If you rule out the days of snow and wind, freezing rain and wind, sleet and wind, hail and wind, flash wild fires driven by wind, severe thunderstorms and wind, and tornadoes, that only leaves on average about four days a year. If a nice day comes, assuming it comes before the paddling season is over, I’d rather spend it out paddling somewhere rather than fooling around with bloody flowerbeds and aerial trash. Serenity? Not here!

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