Self-generating tasks and sore muscles

A week ago I was flying back from Holland, with a tremendous urge to see my grandkids. We were going to see them this weekend. But the potatoes that we had ordered from the Maine Potato Lady were beckoning and we postponed our visit to next weekend (Memorial Day weekend).

The potatoes had arrived while we were away and had not received the care prescribed on the information leaflet tucked in with them. They had developed thin leggy sprouts and were screaming out to be planted.

Planting, we knew, required preparing the garden. It was one of those self-generating tasks: before you know it you are looking at a long list of to dos that aren’t half as much fun as the planting.  A large pile of Essex Gold was deposited on the lawn and needed to be scooped into wheelbarrows, spread over the garden and then dug in – all heavy labor which mostly fell on Axel.  It is now two days ago we did this and the muscles are still very sore from bending and scooping and pushing and pulling.  I am beginning to think we ought to pay someone else to do this for us.

While we in Ha Long Bay and kayaked and hiked and biked, a young couple from Belgium told me they could not imagine their parents (presumably our age), could do what we did; that made me feel good. I thought about my parents when they were our age. My father would not have been doing what Axel did because he was already dead at 70 minus two months. My mother might have been weeding, which I think I can do until my nineties if I live that long, but probably not the loading of a wheel barrow with heavy dirt.

I cut back the raspberries, fed the shallots, garlic and asparagus and pulled up anything I didn’t like. And when that was done it was time for our houseplants to go on vacation. This meant more wheelbarrowing, more lifting and cleaning the sticky stuff that gets deposited on our plants by the end of the winter, and not just our plants: on the floor, curtains, woodwork and furniture. This too was a self-generating task.potatoplanting-2016

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