It has been such a mercifully mild winter thus far–so much more benign than years in the recent past when, after the first week of December, there’s been little that could be done working on the next year’s wood for the ice and snow, and just getting to the paved roads was a daily challenge. (On the other hand, we are expected a terrible year of TICKS, and I hate to put that poison on the puppy to keep them off. There were 25 cases of Lyme Disease at our vet’s, four of them fatal last year.)
I have a project I might actually complete. I’m replacing the supports under the stacked wood–some of which have been in place since we first moved in. After we burned up a half-cord stacked up against the bank, I pulled a rotten “landscaping timber” out of the wet ground. It came from the rudimentary bridge across the branch, the way we found it in March of 1999, the year we bought the place.
I’m replacing the old rails with locust or oak, and even poplar will do since I’m elevating them on cinderblocks to keep the bottom row of wood drier than I’m finding it stacked just off the wet ground.
The other day, I found myself working hard enough to shed all but a sweatshirt. I realized that, one year ago, I could not work long enough to work up a sweat because of my hand pain. The April surgery was an agony, not because I had any appreciable post-op pain or complications, but because it took me out of the woods, so to speak, and the garden, for about six weeks.
Now, with the exception of the occasional sharp pain in the un-operated thumb, I can work until I get ready to stop–which, admittedly, is too near the very beginning of a task I would once have completed in one pass. Now, it takes several. We roll with the punches.
We have March mud on our road, with temps 15-20 degrees warmer than normal for this typically frigid time of year. The ground (including the gravel road) is frozen down deep, but the top couple of inches is a semi-solid more treacherous to drive in than snow. Thank goodness, once again, for Subaru.