Avoiding the nut house — for now

I am convinced that deep in my chromosomes there lurks the DNA of a tree-dwelling rodent.

I don’t know how it got there and I don’t know if I want to know, but it’s there. It seems to be the only logical explanation for the looks and actions of a few of my relatives and for my behavior at this time of the year.

The leaves start to turn, the air crisps up, the days shorten and the urge to scurry rises in my breast and I have an uncontrollable urge to join my squirrel relatives and scamper around the yard burying nuts.

I don’t, though, since the nuts are few and far between and the squirrels are much quicker than I. The one time I tried it, it was frowned upon by both The Queen and the neighbors, so I haven’t done it since.

Instead, I scurry from one job to another. All the jobs I had planned to do during the warm summer months just didn’t seem to get done. What passed itself off as summer came and went so fast that time kind of passed me by.

I started putting some of the gardens to rest for their winter nap by cutting out day lily and iris stalks. I planted the bulbs I didn’t get a chance to in April. I checked out the gutters — too early to clean them, but at least the plants that sprouted in them during the summer monsoons are starting to wilt. I cut down the Rose of Sharon shrub that died during the summer.

It really was pretty in bloom but was a victim of age and had overgrown the area that it was in. I left a fairly tall stump in the hopes that maybe it’ll start over in the spring. I hauled its corpse out back and added it to the brush pile left over from last winter’s storms that I had intended to do something about last spring.

Maybe when the coming downpour of leaves occurs, I can throw the limbs I rake up on top of the brush pile and hope they all mush down over the winter and at least I can then pass it off as a compost pile.

The North Country farm boy in me kicks in and I consider banking the house with hay and straw, but decide not to give folks around here another reason to consider me a candidate for a rubber room.

I wanted to get the storm windows out and wash them, maybe even start putting them up, but remembered we don’t do that anymore since all we have to do is slide the screens up and the storms down on the windows we have. I washed the outside of the parlor window instead since it’s my favorite window to watch the snow when it falls.

I dug the snow blower out of the back of the garage and moved it up to just behind the lawn mower where it’ll be handy — just in case. I checked the wood pile — there are still a lot of large branches left that I can cut up and add to it. This is another throwback to my youth — we have a fireplace and make a fire almost every night.

I stopped a moment and watched the relatives scurry around the yard and thought about all I still had to do. I now understand why so many squirrels commit suicide by running into the road, they can’t take the pressure of fall.

Thought for the week — The Lottery — A tax on people who don’t understand statistics.

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

Reach Dick Brooks at Whittle12124@yahoo.com.

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