The January Warm-Up

Outside in the sunshine; I borrowed this photographic paradigm from my talented blogging friend Rachel Elyse Waters.
Outside in the sunshine; I borrowed this photographic paradigm from my talented blogging friend Rachel Elyse Waters.

As my wife languishes in the piles of snow in Baltimore while she visits her daughter and son-in-law who had a new baby last week, I am taking advantage of the sunshine and 72º temps to catch up on yard work. Two days ago I fired up the chain saw to carve more out of the stubborn thicket in the south pasture next to Barky’s mom’s house. Today was branch-dragging day, and I spent more than an hour lugging one double-armload after another the hundred yards to Dorothy’s brush pile. I could have hitched up the trailer to the riding mower, but the point of that eluded me. It would be like those people who pay for a gym membership, but also pay some kid to cut their grass. I toted the peach and apple and elm and pine branches at as fast a walk as the load and the terrain would allow, to get my heart pumping and my muscles moving. It felt great, particularly since I was both exercising and getting something done.

This is the January warm-up that seems to come along every year. I don’t know if that’s a measurable meteorological phenomenon or just my impression of how Januaries go. But this one is on its way out, since there is snow forecast for next week.

I came inside a few minutes ago drenched in sweat and covered in scratches, particularly in my knee pits. I don’t feel like I’m doing yard work right if I don’t have at least one cut or scratch. I showered with some margarita flavored shampoo that Abby was going to throw out. It smelled like a margarita, but also a little like throw-up.

My arm hair is a surprisingly efficient trap for the sawdust created when cutting down bramble branches.
My arm hair is a surprisingly efficient trap for the sawdust created when cutting down bramble branches.

“The winter here is cold and bitter. It’s chilled us to the bone. We haven’t seen the sun for weeks. Too long too far from home.” -Sarah McLaughlin, Full of Grace, which shuffle played on my iTunes as I wrote this.

0

1 Comment

  1. Excellent!

    And seeing your final image was probably the first time in my life I was *glad* to not have arm hair. :-)

    We’ve been in the 70s for several days now as well. Like you, I’ve always remembered Januaries like this… Some cold days, some warm days. It’s good that you chose to take advantage of it.

    (The real tragedy of the gym-membership-guy-who-pays-to-have-his-lawn-mowed is that he still wonders why he’s out of shape…)

    0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.