I’ve been busy lately.
After our road trip I came home and have been jumping into a lot of chores.
There’s the garden of course. Weeding and watering and picking and more weeding and (gosh fresh potatoes are so good... I love my Yukon golds!)...
The bigger chore was dealing with some overgrown trees. We went a little nuts on trees (or were we a little fruity?) about 15 years ago and planted too many, failing to appreciate how large they would become. So... down came the apple... over went the peach... We climbed and thinned and pruned and cleaned up the maple and the dogwood and the walnut. We did the same for the fig and the cherries and the pine and the flowering plum. The rhododendrons (seven of them) went from over ten feet tall to about seven. Then for good measure I took out three rose bushes.
What piles of brush that created! That led to another major project (see previous post).
We rented a chipper.
When we were done the landscape area around the rhododendrons (approx. 15’ X 40’) was six inches deep in chipper regurgitated flora.
Brenda was a little surprised to find me at more chores the next day. I went to Canby Builder’s Supply and bought some wood and paint and a few hours later the trim around two doors was repaired as good as new.
I arranged a nice little area in the backyard for repotting plants.
After church today I got out my splining tool and a roll of screen material and fixed a couple of screens.
I have more projects lined up.
There is a 50’ pine tree in the yard I am removing. “Joe the Tree Guy” is going to take it down in pieces, lop it into 18” lengths, chip and haul off the limbs. I will then see to splitting the pieces of wood into fire wood, grinding the stump (it is nearly four feet wide!), and level and reseed the yard.
Brenda came out, heading for the store, and paused to watch me press the spline into the screen frame.
“You’ve sure been busy lately.”
“What happened? Get a wild hair up your a$$?” she chuckled. (Her language is a touch more colorful than mine.)
I smiled. “Just trying to get a few things done around here.”
“Has some elf folks come in the night and left a changeling in your place?”
“You sure have a backhanded way of giving a compliment, you know?” I smiled, taking the sting out of the mild rebuke. “‘Gee, you aren’t nearly as lazy as usual,’” I mocked in a light falsetto.
“Yeah, you’re right. Sorry. Thanks for all you’ve been doing the last few days. I appreciate it.”
The tensions of marriage rise and fall. A few days ago were a little hard for her. She had been pushed beyond her limit and had blown up at her mom. The waves from that little storm washed up on the shores of our home for a day or so.
It’s nice when she is happy.
I try to make her feel loved. I touch her gently as I pass her in the kitchen or hall. I tell her I think her beautiful, I tell her I love her, I buy her little things.
I heard about a book once... The Five Love Languages. I should probably read it some time. The premise of the book is that there are several ways that people express and feel love, that conflicts arise when the language of love of one person, how they express and how they perceive love, differs from their partner’s language of love.
I have been thinking about that idea and it occurred to me that perhaps I have been telling Brenda I love her in a language she does not hear.
Touch, gifts, compliments... those may not be hers. In fact they almost certainly are not, since those are not ways she expresses love to me.
She is a hustle bustle type. Always busy, never slowing down to appreciate quiet time together. Always with a list of chores to do.
I decided to try to speak her language. I looked hard at the things that could be done, things I have been putting off. And I made a mental list of those tasks.
I got the chain saw serviced and started working in the yard.
Branches started dropping, chips started flying, old wood came down, newly painted wood went up, screens popped from windows, sprang back repaired...
“You get a wild hair up your a$$?”
(Those of the fair sex find their own way to make a point. Those of the unfair sex should sometimes let them.)
I told her I wanted to just get a few chores done. She said something about the fact that I was even putting all my tools back properly.
Another backhanded compliment. (She has a point.)
I had the hair of love.