Bad Timing

strawToday I had “one of those days.” There had been little mishaps all along, but when I was taking the farm trailer off the Scout this afternoon, I stepped over the tongue of the trailer, which was still very close to the Scout. I got over with my left leg just fine, but my concentration lapsed as my right leg was following, and I banged my knee on the trailer hitch on the Scout… hard! It was one of those whacks that forces you to think about keeping all your sphincters closed. “Ow Darn!” I said as I sat down on the bed of the trailer.

Other incidents followed that one, but not so dramatically. It made me think about how important timing is in such matters. When the body machinery is functioning smoothly, you’re scanning ahead, moving to anticipate any dangers, and doing all this without a thought. And it works very well most of the time. But some days, the timing is just off enough that things just seem to reach out and snatch you.

The purpose of the removal of the trailer was I needed to run the Scout out to the sugar bush where I have a pile of pretty good dirt I dug out of a swampy area in order to build a farm trail some years ago. I needed the dirt because of a gift. I’d bumped into a friend that I hadn’t seen in some time, and the first words out of her mouth were, “Do you want some strawberry plants?” Foolishly, I said yes.

I stopped by their place later that day and told them I could probably use 5 plants. They had a bunch of very nice plants they’d dug out to redo their patch, and put 10 plants in the coffee can while I wasn’t looking. When I got home, I fired up our 25 year old Troy Bilt ™ rototiller and started making a place for the plants. Our faithful tiller, who just got new tines installed the week before, gamely started breaking up the sod until a terrible noise came from some where, and the tines quit turning. Uh-oh. So the tiller went to the shop where it has been for a while, and I had to go with plan B.

I shoveled the whole area with a spade, breaking out chunks of clay and grass, (they came out with a slurping sound) turning them over, and doing this for the whole area. Next I opened and poured on 2 bags of peat moss, which I happened to have. Then I shoveled the Scout load of swamp dirt on top, and covered the whole thing with a length of landscaper’s cloth.

Once that was in place, I got out the poor strawberry plants, which had been languishing in their coffee can for a week or more, and laid them out on the cloth. With a utility knife, I cut 10 Xs in the cloth, planted the grateful plants in the dirt, and gave them all a good drink.

Now all we have to do is wait for some lovely berries that are so sweet and delicious when they are ripe and chemical free that you think you’ve eaten strawberries for the first time. It may not be this year, but this investment should pay off eventually. Maybe about the time my knee heals.

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