Saturday, July 18, 2009

I Am An Idiot

Yes it is true. I can be an idiot, but generally speaking my stupidity usually does not cause me physical pain. Emotional turmoil and/or intellectual frustration perhaps, but never physical pain. That is to say, until today. :o/

I mentioned last time that I've been having mojo issues. Nothing seems interesting to me. I've had no desire to engage in any of my "normal" activities. This morning, I woke feeling fairly decent, relatively speaking and decided that maybe today would be a good day to kick my mojo in the butt. Today I would try doing something that, I enjoy, would get my sluggish body, mind, and soul, moving and also included the ever powerful, ultimate motivator for me, destroy something.

For the last few weeks Joe and I have been discussing the lilac bush nearest the patio. I use the term bush rather loosely here. Out of respect for her age and stature, I should prob'ly refer to her as the Lilac Tree for I am confident she is much older than I and apparently, as you will soon come to understand, more sturdy than I. Several years ago we "trimmed" her back to a manageable size reducing her footprint in the yard to maybe a fourth of what it had been and brought her down to maybe 2 or 3 feet in height. The time had come to cut her down to size once again, hence our near daily discussions of the Lilac Tree. She was no longer producing her once legendary showy display of fragrant blooms in abundance, a few small bundles of joy here and there was all she seemed capable of these last couple of years. Added to her inability to produce said bundles of joy she was getting waaaay too tall thus blocking most our view of the backyard. Yes, a trim was needed once again. I do know that trimming a lilac this time of year is a no no. There would most likely be no bundles of joy next spring if we trimmed her now. But considering how few her blooms have been we wouldn't really be missing much of anything, besides, her sister who occupies an enormous area in another part of yard would still be able to satisfy our needs for vases of lilacs next spring.

So having had this discussion with Joe several times plus my desire to do something different I asked Joe if I could start trimming the old girl today. He gave me the go ahead telling me to do what I wanted. He cautioned me not to tire myself too much and told me to quit any time I felt like it cuz we could finish it up together on Tuesday (his next day off). I decided that I really didn't want nor could have done a lot on my own today so I focused on just lopping off the really tall branches to better improve the view for now.

I began cutting the branches off level with the height of my chest. On Tuesday Joe and I together would determine which branches should be cut to the ground. Another factor which determined at what height I would begin trimming today was the diameter of the branches. Just about every branch taller than me was more than an inch in diameter, almost too large in girth for me to lope off even if I was using the 'Big Bertha' loppers. I worked slow and steady walking the branches out to the far edge of the yard to the burn pile frequently not wanting a pile I couldn't manage by myself to accrue. I stopped and rested frequently but did actually enjoy the task at hand. Many of the branches were a tad bit too big for me cut without using more leverage than I could muster with just my arms so frequently I wedged one of the handles against my body for resistance and used both hands to pull the other handle. Everything was working just fine that way until I came across a branch that as slightly bigger than the others. It was a stubborn old branch. One that had apparently escaped unscathed the downsizing trim of a few years back. It was old and gnarly. It bore the rough, craggy bark of age, not the relatively young smooth bark of all the other branches I had been cutting. I repositioned the cutting jaws and tried again. The blades barely creased the bark. I inspected the unyielding branch and decided cutting it a bit closer to the ground might be a good idea. Yes, the branch was thicker down there giving the old girl an advantage but I figured the advantage would be mine. I would gained a higher degree of stability by being able to kneel on the ground, thus the resistance of my body to the pull of my arms would be increased. (it sounded like a good idea at the time) I repositioned the cutting blades again, had a firm stable base, one knee down one knee up, the handle of the loppers nearest me firmly settled against my chest. I grasped the other handle with both hands as close to the end as possible and readied myself. I released a single, swift, firm burst of power.

Snap!

I heard it.

I actually heard it before I felt it.

Now I wonder just how long I will feel it.

I broke a rib.

I am an idiot.

Plus I have to look at this until Tuesday.