Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Another battle in my wars

Today I completed another battle in my war with the lawns. Although the ultimate victory was mine, it made me again question myself. In the end, I resolved to fight another day.

Yesterday started out sunny, so I thought it’d be a good day to mow the lawns, however, my body was still running on NZ Standard Time, so I was an hour latebeginning the day, and the most important thing I had to do was to pick up my prescription refill. By the time I was back home and ready to mow, it was 3 or so, and it was clouding over. I started doing the back lawn, anyway—surprised the temperature had dropped so much (about four degrees).

The lawns were wet and heavy because of all the rain we’ve had lately, and that also made the grass (etc…) grow like crazy. So, it was very hard going. The mower stopped when I was about 2/3 done, so I cleaned out the underside (yet again) and went inside to charge up the battery.

Here’s the thing: This isn’t just about the charge left (I had a bit more than a quarter which could be enough). The battery has what they call a “battery protection feature”, a sort of fail-safe that if the battery starts to get too hot, it shuts down—and that mower was working REALLY hard on that gluggy mess. Since I had to let it cool, anyway, I decided to charge the battery—except that also doesn’t work until the battery cools down. By the time it was cool enough to charge, and then was fully charged, it was getting darker because the clouds had thickened.

This morning was another sunny start, so I went back outside and finished the back lawn. Then, I came inside and re-charged the battery while I rested and had lunch. Afterward, I went back out and mowed the front weed patch (aka “lawn”).

I gotta admit that yesterday as I struggled to mow the part of the back lawn that’s thick and lush and nearly all actual grass, I thought maybe I should just surrender and hire a service, something I thought about when I was doing the front lawn earlier this month. Three things stop me doing that.

First, I’m stubborn (Nigel and I were a complete set in that regard…). Second, I need the exercise (that’s beyond dispute). And finally, I use a battery lawn mower and line trimmer, and they’re charged by my solar power system, while all the lawnmowing companies use petrol-driven equipment. So, hiring a company just doesn’t work for me, however, I did think about compromising and hiring a company to do the mowing only in the winter months when everything’s wet and gluggy. Maybe, but did I mention that I’m stubborn?

Still, at least at Alert Level 2 I can buy the plants and supplies I need to start the process of making the yards nice, and I hope to do that this week, though the actual outside work may be delayed because, oddly enough, more rain is predicted.

I was thinking yesterday that I would’ve been better off buying a house with established gardens, but not because of a difference in the amount of work they need (once established, both need to be maintained), but, rather, because figuring out what to plant and where at a new house is something that Nigel and I would’ve done together. Doing it alone just isn’t any fun, and getting a friend or family member to help me plan it isn’t even remotely a substitute. In fact, it would make things worse because my stubborn side would take control, making it a very unpleasant experience for everyone (it nothing else, I know myself).

I’m going to follow my original ideas and instincts for the gardens, and then I can change it down the line if I don’t like the results—like everyone else does, but it’s kind of new for me. Still, this afternoon, after I’d rested up from today’s battles, I spent a little while in the garage again looking for the filament for the line trimmer, and I thought, for maybe the billionth time, how absolutely overwhelming the weight of all the stuff I have to deal with is. The garage is basically impassable, despite all my hours spent going through boxes, and there’s extra stuff in pretty much every room of the house. Dealing with the gardens is just another crushing weight on top of the other crushing weight.

And yet, despite often getting discouraged and sometimes dispirited, it doesn’t keep me down for long. That’s when my small projects come in really handy, giving me something to focus on that doesn’t take all my energy and focus, and yet something that’s also a positive move forward, not merely a distraction.

So, yeah, today I completed another battle in my war with the lawns. I resolved to fight another day, as I always do, but the real questions are, which battle of which war, and on which day? And that’s why this is a story arc, not an anecdote. At least it gives me something to blog about.

The graphic above is a screenshot of what I posted on my personal Facebook this afternoon, after I was done with today’s skirmishes.

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