Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Steady By Jerks, Like A Toad A-Walkin’

That used to be my elderly neighbor’s reply when I’d ask him how things were going. I always smiled at hearing the expression. Now I know what he means. It’s no fun when your health, the weather and your budget all conspire to keep you from accomplishing anything.

I can’t handle the cold like I did when I was young, and especially the wind. Nor can I handle the heat, like I used to do when I’d tell my wife not to tell me how hot it was until my workday was over, for fear I’d melt. The bursitis in my hips won’t let me climb or even walk that well, and my heart rate and breathing go up so easily that I have to take a breather after splitting every piece of firewood. Imagine how long it takes me to fill the wood rack from which I occasionally sell a face-cord of firewood!

And then there’s my budget – sometimes, I have to collect the small list of materials for a project over several weeks, or even months. One coming project will only take about $30 worth of parts, but it will probably take me a month to get everything together. Oh well, it’s teaching me better management skills!

Still, I take pleasure in moving forward, even if it is at a snail’s pace. In the last week or so, I’ve got my can lids ready for use, moved some concrete stepping stones in position near the porch, Put up a for-sale sign for my firewood, moved some dirt down by my truck-tire “garden,” painted creosote on the bottom of my mill frame (and moved and retarped it), and bought end caps and sealant for a yet unpurchased length of gutter, which will serve as a “dip tank” for wooden bats and bean-poles. Little things, all, but progress none-the-less.

Incidentally, for several years at the farm, we had a huge toad which we nicknamed “Hoiman” (Herman) that hung around the patio outside the kitchen door. Only ONE time, I was privileged to see him walk, instead of hop. Interestingly enough, his gait was as smooth flowing water, with nary a jerk! © 2017


Sunnybrook Farm said...

You brought back the memory of an old story my grandmother told about her father that took place probably 75 or more years ago. In his final years he couldn't get around to good as he had worked hard all his life and just wore out lots of things I guess. Anyway he would sit on the big porch and swat flies and a toad would hear or see him, not sure which, and jump over and snap up the fly as it hit the floor. I always thought that was a neat thing to have a toad to clean up the dead flies and how it was fun for the old man who I never met.

Ralph Goff said...

I may have heard that expression long ago and forgotten it. Sounds appropriate for many situations. At least you are moving and have a positive attitude which means a lot. Theres younger,healthier people can't be bothered to get off the couch and make a living.

Gorges Smythe said...

My paternal grandfather used to sit in the front yard and swat flies when he got old, SF, but he had no pet toad! - lol

True, I guess, Ralph, thanks.

Pumice said...

Your list of "little things" exhausts me just reading it. I continue to pray for your health.

Grace and peace.

Gorges Smythe said...

lol - Pumice, all told, we're talking a couple hours out of the week. Not much, I assure you.