I had the lawn tractor kicked into high gear on Friday, racing against the threatening rain clouds to get the much-needed mowing done. As I putt-putted up and down the driveway, around in ever-narrowing circles in the side, front, and back yards, and headed toward the west field, the winds increased and the skies lowered. It takes about four hours to get everything mowed, and I wondered if I was going to make it without getting soaked. The west field is a marvelous indicator of the passing of time. I seem to have kept ahead of the weed that throws up flags of mercy, pretty little pink flowers, cutting it down ruthlessly even in its prime because it turns on you and ends up with treacherous, pointed seeds on the ends of augers that I call whirligigs. Now it is the time of lupine and red clover...lots of red clover. This seems to be the flower of choice for the many, many bumblebees up here. We have all-black bumblers and yellow-and-black bumblers, some large, some small, and I'm talking in the hundreds. Bumblers do not dart anywhere. I could see them ahead, and would yell, "Get out of the way," but I fear there were a few that did not make it out of the path of the mower, for which I said, "Forgive me, Lord, and bless the little pygmies in Papua, New Guinea." I got everything done that I could, and tucked the tractor into its little shed and brought a load of firewood up to the house not twenty minutes before the first drops of rain fell. It rained all Friday night.
My very own rays of sunshine arrived yesterday...Larry and Taylor. Larry had generously offered to paint the front of the barn, and together we would paint the living room. An icy-cold wind was blowing and the sun played hide-and-seek in the dark clouds all day. Larry got a good start on scraping the peeling paint from the barn before it got too darned miserable outside and the sun called "Uncle." Fortunately (for me) we had the living room to tackle. I'm pretty good at the cut-in work, but not so much on ladders anymore. Larry doesn't even need or use a ladder! I had to let the fire in the wood stove go out so we could paint behind it, so we hurried with that part so I could light it again to keep us all from freezing. Taking down, washing, and putting back all the tchotzkies (spelling?)...knickknacks...is taking longer than the painting, but, gee, it looks nice. It's always good to spend time with one's son, and Taylor kept us laughing with her antics. Larry puttered around with the Toyota and, unbelievably, it started on the first try! I non-op'd that truck well over a year ago. I may sell it, but it does give a certain sense of security to have two vehicles, living so far from anything up here.
All in all, it was a most satisfying weekend...and I beat the rain!