The last week in May, 2010 was one of the most intense weeks of work that I’ve had for awhile. And, looking back, I feel so good about it! Yes, I got tired, hot and sweaty! Yes, I got my 4x4 stuck, and yes, the differential plug came out of Dan’s tractor on the highway—but these short-term problems ended up with satisfactory solutions.
What is so “wonderful” about work? My first thought is that I couldn’t have done what I did if I had not had my knee replaced 15 months ago. Secondly, at 69, I didn’t know of what I was capable.
My satisfying week started on Saturday, May 22. A team from our Sunday School class constructed 5 raised beds at a free health clinic in the inner city of Lexington. A class member, Dale, and I hauled 3 ½ cubic yards of dirt to fill the beds, and they were all planted by noon. Our planting was timely, since we had rains Saturday afternoon and night.
A tree had fallen across a lane that gives us access to the lower side of our property. It was a large Elm tree that had started sending limbs straight up like new trees. A grape vine almost as large as my wrist encircled the tree. I cut the stem into 3 large logs and was going to pull them out with my Titan. But, alas, the rain-soaked roadway was too slippery—even for my 4-wheel drive—so I had to shut down and let the sun and wind dry out the surface enough for me to get some traction. That’s one of the good things about retirement—I can wait until conditions get better. And, that strategy worked. Got the truck and the logs out by evening. Those logs plus some salvaged from the burn pile gave me sides for two new raised beds.
Amidst the work, Kaye and I took an evening to celebrate! We used an 8-year-old wedding gift to dine at one of Lexington’s finest restaurants. We truly celebrated 8 years of happy marriage. We have lived by the example set in the book of Ruth, “Your people are my people; your God will be my God.” We’ve cared for parents and grandchildren, we’ve worshipped together at both of our churches and shared work with friends at each church to serve people. I wish we had logged the miles; there would be a bunch, with many of them round trips from Nicholasville to Tulsa or Nicholasville to Blacksburg. Air miles have been accumulated with trips to California, Washington state, Hawaii and Chile. We’ve also been to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and we’ve taken “History and Heritage” trips with grandchildren. We still have 13 grandchildren who haven’t made the H&H trip. Do you suppose the Lord will grant us health to finish this project?
The longest, but also some of the most fun, days were Wednesday and Thursday, working with Dan to make hay. The hay-making took me back to my younger days and the great desire I had to farm. I’d spent a lot of time in the hay field, but not on the bailer. Dan trusted me with that task, and it took us awhile to get the unfamiliar machine adjusted. But, by the second day, we got the tension on the bailer right. On the way home, the transmission cap came off. Dan’s ingenuity patched that problem until a permanent fix could be acquired.
I was tired at the end of those two days, but so happy that I could be useful to a friend and could be a team member to meet the ever-changing crises of farming. The grandkids were impressed that old Grandpa could actually drive a tractor. So that, along with a couple years’ worth of hay for Duke, was ample pay!
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