Monday, August 6, 2012

Saturday in August

Funny how half of the week now seems like weekends.  When you retire, or at least your other half retires, (I seem to be more busy now than ever, ironic isn't it?), there is no longer the weekday routine that establishes your day patterns.  Friday was always marked as the end of the work week and the "out of work" early day.  Saturday and Sunday were the weekend.  If nothing was scheduled as plans, it always meant trying to cram in as much that needed doing as possible.  And that was generally a miserable failure.  After a hard week at work, (and by that I mean mentally hard, as it sure as heck wasn't physical), Kurt wanted nothing so much as to relax and do only what he wanted to do, which if it wasn't summer and dog time, or fall and hunting time, it was sit around and watch television shows about dogs, fishing and hunting, not necessarily in that order.  The fact that we live on a farm and be it only a hobby farm in the broadest sense, it still has fruit trees and out buildings and an old farmhouse that need maintaining, much of it routine and yearly maintenance.  We are finding out now that things pushed away until we had the time, are now more than yearly maintenance and are demanding of attention before a few things crash down around our graying heads, (at least Kurt's graying head).

So we do things when we feel like them now.  Kurt's started to establish a new routine, at least one that works for summer, including sunrise walks of three miles or more every day. It gives me a brief respite from the togetherness that is our lives now and gives him time to just think and I hope just be.  He tries to work the dogs most mornings before the summer heat kicks in.  That one will be adjusted as the summer falls to its close, but for now those two things and inevitably meal times with him are his only routine in retirement.  We're working out the kinks but sometimes its slow going, almost like being in mud.  I have always run the farm end of this deal, and decided what repairs and things need to be done on a year to year basis.  I repaired what I could and kept the place up and running for the most part.  I was in charge of gardens, fruit trees, simple repairs and all of the painting.  In winter I shoveled the deck and walks clean.  Kurt was in charge of lawn mowing and running the tractor in winter if the driveway was snowed in.  That always came after work though and I was crap outta luck if I needed to get out before he got home.  His 4-wheeel drive truck always got out.  But that has all changed now, and I become impatient when he seems to be settling into retirement as every day is now a weekend kind of deal, and he does only what he did in the past with more sitting and more playing on the laptop he has taken over.  Yesterday was one of those smack him upside the head kind of days.  I had put the second coat of paint over two coats of primer on the railings and spindles of what will be new front porch railings.  After 22 years and snow and water damage, some of the railings had simply rotted away.  It seemed better to replace them all and get another 20 years, and hope we're no longer doing this kind of philosophy, than to just leave them another year.  Of course, this brought up porch flooring that has rotted in spots on one end and should we replace that while the railing is being replaced, but that's a whole 'nother story for another time, as they say.

After painting, Kurt wandered out looking for something to do I presume, but more or less watching me paint.  After shooing him off to pick blueberries, something he had promised to do and apparently needed a not so subtle reminder, I hauled out the stepladder and began cleaning gutters over the back deck, another thing I had asked him to do but knew would be forgotten.  I had cleaned two sections when he got home and graciously, since I had the ladder out, decided to help me finish.

In the afternoon we went to Home Depot and bought a new screen door for the back deck.  The one we had now featured broken hardware and some broken stiles in the ribbing.  Rather than replace the hardware, I decided it was time for a new door.  We only had two choices in styles in our size, but even that Kurt wanted to debate upon.  Since I had looked at all of this before I was in no mood.  Decision made, and door somehow loaded.  Pop cans collected from home and returned to Meijer.  Gas has taken a 30 cent jump yet again, and is just wearying to a public made numb by the constant fluctuations of this market.  Another thing to worry about or just put behind us and try to live as best we can. 

By the time we finished dinner it was a quiet, very muggy sunset.  Weather predictions were for storms later around midnight.  While I wasn't excited about more thunderstorms, we are to the point we will take all the rain we can get.  We went for a sunset bike ride and the tension of the day slowly melted away.  Another day of learning to adjust to our new life and another lesson in patience.  I will be making up a Kurt's weekly list, of things he can do every day now that he is home every day.  It will free me up to do some other things and help, (I hope), get him into some kind of a year round routine.

A Saturday in August and summer's leaving us more swiftly now.  We still have over six weeks of summer officially with us but I feel the shortening of the days and know that it is going.  I am trying to look for the season's change as a welcome thing as I used to do, and get back that spirit of the child who loved autumn and then winter for the quiet times it brought.  Perhaps if I just shut off the television more and ignore the electronic world I live in and just be.  Its worth a try.....

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