Sunday, June 26, 2005

Groans and Moans to Spare


How does that song go?
"How do I know my youth is all spent?
My get up and go has got up and went.
In spite of it all, I'm able to grin
When I think of the places my get up has been."

I'm sitting here today suffering aches and pains from yesterday's mission to beat back the red-tipped photinia menace. I'm either older than I thought or I'm way, way more out of shape than I thought.

This house came with a healthy hedge of red-tipped photinia surrounding the decks. I don't really dislike photinia, so long as I don't have to do the maintenance. The stuff grows at a frightening pace after a rain. I bought an electric hedge trimmer to help me keep ahead of it, but I finally had to admit that the photinia was edging ahead in the battle. So two weeks ago I came to the decision that it was time to resort to evil, drastic measures.

Sneaking out in the warm, humid morning of last Sunday, I made my attack on the southern photinia ranks. Armed with my trusty brush cutters, I ruthlessly cut the bushes down to a 3-foot height. (We started at about 7 feet.) Virtually no green remained. It took about 3 hours altogether to win the battle on about 20 linear feet of photinia. After the cutting, I had to drag the mutilated carcasses off to the ditch. By that time I was drenched in sweat and breathing heavily. But I could see my back yard again and it was good.

Monday I could barely move.

Yesterday, the pain and misery a dim memory, I sprang without warning on the northern ranks and reduced them to 3-foot stubs. Chortling all the while. "Take that. And that!" Laughing maniacally, and again drenched, I decided that the bodies could lie there until the next day.

The trouble started last night. I could barely walk, my feet hurt so bad. Which is probably the reason I took another tumble in the yard while playing with the dog. (Plus, I had those dratted flip-flops on again.) My shoulder ached and my hands throbbed. I had the beginnings of a heat headache. And the back yard is littered with photinia bodies that have to be dragged off today. I have no choice but to get my aching body out there and finish the job.

The old grey mare just ain't what she used to be. I've even started contemplating buying some tacky cotton housedresses to wear in the evenings, thinking comfort options. I refuse to go there. Must. fight. back.

So the question here is how does someone with no free time figure out a way to tone up a little? I refuse to give in and become a little old lady wearing a housedress, wandering the yard with a hose in hand. Maybe a Pilates class? There's a class starting not far from the house. Should I get the bicycle out of storage and cleaned up? That hurts to even think about.

Maybe I should just haul myself out of bed every weekend and continue to fight the yard wars. Five years of neglect have created lots of opportunities. A summer of brush cutting and weed pulling could rid me of those extra twenty pounds. Or kill me.

Beginning today: yard 0, Cindy 1. Let the war begin.


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