Rick headed out of town with our eldest son a few days ago.  Spring Training in Phoenix.  I would have seven full days to do whatever I wanted.  Bwaaahaha…   Part of me wanted to be practical. “Work!”  Get busy writing again.  Something other than emails and blogs and preparing Bible studies for the Tuesday night home group, and notes for a future project – future meaning: not today.  

I know when I’m ready, and I’m not.  Time is fast approaching, just not yet. And besides, the forecast was NO RAIN.  After weeks of downpour and flooding, sunshine peeked through clouds.  The temperature climbed into the 50s and the backyard beckoned. I knew exactly what I’d be doing for a week.  Getting down and dirty!

The first morning, I filled the very large yard waste can, then started dumping pruning debris and weed piles in a mountain next to it.  Tuesday, I had to drag that thing can out to the curb so I could fill it again on Wednesday.  I could hear Rick in my head.  “Pace yourself!”  He’s not here.  He’s not checking on me (except at night when he calls…) A pyracantha planted decades ago by previous owners had gone wild, become diseased and was covered with treacherous thorns.  I “pruned” it is down to bare trunk and branches.  Someone bigger and stronger than me will have to dig it out.  Someone with a backhoe!

Grinning and rubbing my hands together, I looked around.  Now what could I tackle?  Ah, yes! Why not work on the pathway I’ve wanted around the berm? There is a hill of pea-gravel left over from another project. I donned my work gloves and managed to move five wheelbarrows full before my back screamed “Enough already!”  I staggered into the house for a cup of hot Earl Grey and slice of coffee cake and began calculating.  Five wheelbarrows of pea-gravel per day and I’ll be done with the path in a few weeks.  Maybe. 

The vineyard awaits.  It is mature, well-established and “vigorous” according to an expert. Alas! We don’t drink.  All those lovely syrah and chardonnay grapes are wasted on us, but birds love them, and oh the leaves in fall are gorgeous.  I pulled all the thistles from thirteen rows.  (More piles of weeds to be wheelbarrowed to the yard waste can.)  The goal is weedless earth beneath the vines and mowed grass between the rows.  Mowing will have to wait.  The ground is too wet, and Rick hid the key to the John Deere. 

If Rick was home, he’d be rolling his eyes. If he was home, he’d be coming out to see if I’d expired among the rows.  He made me promise to carry my cellphone while outside.   He also made me promise NOT to rearrange the wood pile.  “Snakes might live under it.” (And he says I’m the worrier.) Rattlesnakes would be on higher, dryer ground, but there might be other interesting creatures living under there. Hmmmm.  I do love nature. And besides, a girl has to have some fun while her guy is away.