Wednesday, June 1, 2016

JM - 31

It was worse at the beginning.  My 82-year-old mother fell and broke her hip.  She needed a caretaker, or she was going to go to a nursing home.  I became her caretaker.

The first couple of years, I still did some small side jobs so I wasn't jonesing too bad.  After the third season, my mother's house was sold.  She didn't own it.  Her garage, where my equipment was, had to be emptied.  Most of it went to my sister and brother-in-law, not only for their home in Raymond, but also another vacation home uo north that they'd bought with one of their daughters and her husband.  The new owners of mom's house bought my snow blowerrs.  And my trailer went up to Milwaukee to a friend's home. (

But it was hard, every spring, to see and hear and smell the people working in the landscape.  In the early years, if there was a particularly interesting job, I'd circle around and take another look at it to get my fix.  I sorely missed working in the landscape.  Every chainsaw or string trimmer or mower turned my head.  God, I was made for work.  But there was nothing I could do.  Even if mom were in a nursing home, I'd have to go to work for someone else.  That would be very difficult at my age.  Very.  There's one guy, Tom, up in Milwaukee, who knows me and my work.  He'd probably give me a job, but it would be something I hate, like shearing all shrubs into geometrical shapes.

Anyway, I'm dreaming of ten years ago.  I've noticed that the decades take progressively larger chunks out of my health with age.  The difference between 20 and 30 doesn't seem that big, but the difference between 50 and 60 can be huge.  If I went back into the landscape today, I figure I'd last 15 minutes, at best.   Still, the old man dreams of younger years when he'd put in 14 hours easily, sunup to sundown.

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