Fall Chores

Summer and Winter are reasonably stable seasons out here. But Spring and Fall… now there are seasons of flux. In the Spring, I’m often out and about getting things ready for the coming growing season. And in the Fall, I’m putting it all away for another season.

We’ve had rain on and off quite a bit lately, but in-between, I’ve managed to get most of the Fall chores accomplished. In the picture above, I’m in the final stages of removing the big dock in our back pond. To do this, I bring a pipe wrench out to the pond, and launch myself into the pond in our small aluminum skiff. I go from pipe-to-pipe in the boat, first pulling the pin that holds the dock up, then using the pipe wrench to unscrew the pipe auger from the pond mud. Once the pipe is clear, I pull it up and insert the pin in its winter position. I do this six times until the dock is held only by one small pipe on shore.

I then wrap a nylon strap around the end of the dock, lift it off the shore pipe, and scoot it over to the side. I hook the whole thing up to my pickup and slowly drive the whole contraption out of the water onto dry land where it will wait for next Spring’s launch.

I have a similar process for my much smaller “watering dock” in the other pond. Getting these two docks out of the water is one of my most physically demanding Fall chores. Others include cleaning the chimneys, and removing the cover from the greenhouse. I still have the greenhouse cover left to do, and am waiting for just the right weather. The cover has to be dry, and the wind has to be calm when that big chore is attempted. The cover itself is 24′ x 120′, and it can turn into a very big sail if the wind decides to come up.

While I was out and about working on putting things away, I spent a few moments at the site of the reception tent for our son Steve’s wedding. It was a big job to get that site cleaned up, grass planted and watered, and ready for the big event. Since then, I’ve kept the area mowed, and I enjoy walking out there and standing in the center, lost in my thoughts about that lovely wedding day.

Fall, with its unpredictable weather, beautiful colors, and air of inevitability, seems like a good time to reflect on my good fortune. Living in such a beautiful place, with the luxury of all this water, the ability to grow a lot of our own food, and with such great friends and neighbors, makes me grateful for all the good things in life. Without family, these things wouldn’t mean much, but I also happen to be blessed with a wonderful family too.

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