Today marks the official lawn-mowing opener here at the Lovestead, and I'm feeling a bit apprehensive about getting back to one of my lifelong passions.
I could write a book about all my lawnmowers and mowing experiences. In fact, I did include a chapter called "Lawnmowers R Us" in Postcards from Potato Land.
That segment told of the ever-growing fleet we had accumulated over the years and probably even mentioned that I had been accused of trying to stretch my lawn to downtown Sandpoint because of all the mowing on my own lawn and all along the roadside running past our former home on Great Northern Road.
Bill always liked to note that I was the champion of lawn mowing on the north side of the bridge while Garry Bristow held the title over there in Sagle south of the bridge. Yup, Garry liked extending his mowing also.
Of late, however, my passion for mowing a huge lawn and mowing it often has been tempered by the annual ITCH, which started about four years ago.
The ITCH was first blamed on little Foster, our mini-Aussie, but later it was directed toward nasty gremlins hanging around in the outdoor air hanging around for a couple of months each year.
I'm still not quite sure what causes me to endure this very uncomfortable and seemingly interminable annual itch, especially around my hairline, but last year's strategy of mowing the entire lawn in one session, immediately shedding all clothes, taking a bath, washing my hair and throwing every single item of clothing into the wash seemed to make it a whole lot better.
While mowing, even on hot days, I also wear long sleeves, long pants and boots, all of which seem to protect most of my body.
This year, I've had another "DUH" epiphany: those baseball caps I like to wear while mowing need to be washed too. My sister Laurie sez she has a designated mowing cap, never used for anything else. Sounds reasonable.
It takes time pinpointing the source of allergic irritants, and I'm hoping my gradual discovery of helpful strategies is the ticket. By tomorrow, I'll have a good idea of just how miserable the ITCH is gonna be this year.
AND, by tomorrow most of my lawn will have been mowed. We still have standing water or sponge conditions in the north sections of lawn, so I may have to go through the "mow, shed, bathe" routine twice in a row this week. And, then there are the next seven or so weeks until whatever it is that makes me itch goes away.
The bottom line is that I truly love my mowing and wish the ITCH would find someone else to pick on.
While waiting for the lawn to dry out and feeling only about three drops of rain yesterday, I painted some fence. In fact, just three sections of the barnyard fence next to the driveway needs a new coat after this past winter's major scabbing attack.
Yesterday was also a fun day for visiting with folks along the road. A few days ago, Joan, who always walks past our place from her home down Selle Road, brought us some quince jelly which her daughter Emily made.
So, a thank you was in order as she walked by, and we enjoyed a visit in the pleasant spring air. My friend and former colleague Betsy (also a neighbor over on Center Valley Road) stopped for a few minutes as I was raking dead grass next to the road.
Later, on my evening walk, I met the Miller family which grew by one since the last time I saw them walk by last summer with their dog. I remember that visit distinctly cuz Liam bolted from the front pasture and followed them clear to Gary Finney's driveway.
A lot has changed since then. Liam does not go to the road, and they are walking their daughter and not their dogs. Country roads are, indeed, helpful for keeping up with the neighbors.
No griping about weather this morning, and it's about time. I saw a post yesterday where a confirmed "native" was issuing a disciplinary message to newcomers who had expressed their displeasure with the "inconvenience" of North Idaho weather.
She basically instructed these "buttercups" to toughen up and to learn some patience.
I could not resist commenting to this former student, suggesting that I was both native and buttercup cuz I was as sick of the winter as anyone.
To which she bestowed upon me a "lifetime buttercup" certificate.
So, from this newly minted, permanent North Idaho buttercup to all: Happy Wednesday
|Lily desperately wants out of the barnyard and into the pasture. I just keep telling her she'll have to wait until the field dries.|
|I met this home builder on yesterday's evening walk. Hearing a tap, tap, tap while walking past some trees in Taylor's field, I thought this must be an awfully quiet woodpecker.|
I walked around the area to see where the bird was pecking.
No woodpecker, but this little mama(?) preparing a home for whatever.
The bird seemed oblivious of my presence, maybe because it wanted the home habitable before dark. Twas a fun roadside distraction.
|These pansies have obviously have had a rough go of it, but they're the first volunteers of the season, so, of course, they're special.|