The pecan trees are shedding like there's no tomorrow. My yard is awash in crinkly brown curls of leaves, and I ran the lawn tractor today hopefully for the last time this season.
I have found, time and again, that yard work, simple grunt-stuff, the harder the better, is one of the best ways to spend time with myself. I know I've mentioned it before. For instance, here, and here too. I like my yard work. A search of the blog will turn up quite a few mentions of yard work, and while I bitch about it a lot, especially when it's the heat of mid-summer it's still deeply fulfilling, it's mentally encompassing, and it's better than most any prescription drug you care to mention. At least for me.
When there are things on my mind, like right now, I like to think about them while in the yard, sweating. See, it's my family. Yes, I hear it now, from all of you--there's nothing quite like one's family to make one crazy, and mine are no exception. And without going into a huge hullaballoo over it, let's just say that I bought my uncle's old Ford truck because he's retired now and can no longer afford to keep it and his regular car insured, so he wanted to sell it. He mentioned this to my brother, who knew that he would sell it to some ingrate for $500, with all his tools, gear, everything still inside it, and they'd find out that it's got something like $3K in work done on the engine and tranny and that while it's as ugly as home-made soap it's running gear is about as good as it gets. So the brother acted fast, made sure one of us could buy it from him, and I bought it before he could sell it to whoever, and I emptied out all the tools, air compressors, wrenches, hell, most of Sears and Roebuck's tool section and gave the resulting truck-full of gear back to him.
The thing being, now that I have the truck it's going to stir the pot with the family. They've been bickering over his bones for almost a year now, and he's nowhere near his grave. They've gone as far as going into his house under the auspices of being nice and taking the things they want. It's not pretty, and makes me feel sick at heart, but I have managed to stay out of it for the most part. Naturally, until now, since his Ford F150 Custom 4 wheel drive with the giant steel flatbed is now parked most of the way under my shed.
It's been haunting me a little bit, knowing that I have kicked over a hornet's nest because I love my uncle, but I guess sacrifice is part of the deal. *shrug* So today, while the wife was out wheeling and dealing for her future job in a business meeting with her soon-to-be grooming partner, I went into the yard.
After the rain, that is. It hasn't rained here since Katrina came through. Rita didn't even bring any rain. But this morning, girding my loins for yard work, it poured. For half an hour. And I didn't let it stop me. Out into the yard I went, worked like a fool, had to do some damage to myself putting the drive belt back on the lawn tractor, and after all that was done I went BACK into the yard after a late lunch to assemble another flowerbed.
Yes, I'm a sucker for my flowerbeds. I've got one covered a foot deep in pecan leaves to let them mulch until Spring, and since I had a pile of Pavestones left over from a border in my old rose bed I went ahead and did a sort of free-style bed. I say that because there wasn't enough stones to make a nice sized round, but with the careful addition of a bunch of old red clay bricks left over from gawd knows where I had enough to go the distance, which was nice. And I even got to see the family at me mum's house lowering the blind because they didn't want me to see them fighting over the fact that the Ford was now under my shed.
So, another bed complete, one more small step in the never-ending climb toward a perfect Victorian-style cottage garden (hah!) and I even laid out a walkway with some old pavers (again, from the old rose bed) to a place in the yard where perhaps one day I'll put a little wood and iron park bench, or perhaps that great big ole swing that I need to finish working on. But for now, the family is feuding over the fact that I now own the Ford.
And I'm not even a Ford guy.
Tomorrow begins the long and arduous process of dealing with the DMV: applying for a lost title, then relinquishing the license plate because I don't need another vehicle on the road THAT bad, and then once the title gets here I've got to go thru the transfer process at the DMV. Will the fun never end?
Did I mention I'm not a Ford guy?
The only thing keeping me interested in this behemoth is that it'll be a good work truck for around the house, hauling branches and debris so I don't get Rita's paint job even more damaged than it already is.
Funnily enough, even carrying around a good half-ton of solid steel flat bed that truck will haul some serious ass.
And the A/C works.
As does the power steering.
And the power brakes.
See, it's got a 351 Modified (also called a '351 Cleveland') V-8 with a brand new Holley 4-barrel carb with electric choke and a high performance Edlebrock intake manifold, all of which should, with just a little tiny bit of effort, fit nicely into a 1965 Mustang that a certain brother of mine is slowly restoring in his garage for me.
Anyway, it's two-tone yellow and white where it's not rusted through.
I'm not a Ford guy. I have to keep telling myself that.
I've already had one offer to buy it.
And it's a Ford.