I Blinked in May

Yesterday was a beautiful day with sunny skies and just-right temperatures. We have the sense that summer is slipping away, and there are things we still must get done before it. Every year, it feels as if I blinked in May and it’s suddenly August.

JJ had to work all day yesterday—from 11 a.m  to 7 p.m. After he left, EJ and I went to the laundromat and then I hung the clothes on the line while EJ measured and calculated how many pieces of fencing we needed to buy to further our fencing projects. Then we drove to one of several home improvement stores in our area. This one has the fence pieces EJ needs–six feet high and quite thick and sturdy. They are heavy. I was hoping that there would be staff to help load the two pieces we needed into the truck, but we had to do it ourselves. I tried to help, but I was more of a hindrance because the pieces were heavy and unwieldy so EJ waved me away and did it himself.

EJ is very strong but years ago, before we met, he didn’t realize the floors had just been mopped at the factory he was working at, and he slipped and fell down two flights of stairs on his back. At the time he shook it off because he was young and tough and even stronger, but he injured his back and has struggled with back problems since. He lives his life to a melody of pain. Sometimes the pain is less and bearable, but often it crescendos into agony. At some point, he might have to have back surgery, but most people he’s talked to regret having the surgery so he doesn’t want it until there is no other option. Meanwhile, he wants to do as much as he can, so we plan activities and chores around his level of pain. Sometimes tasks go slow, but we have learned patience.

Taking down the old shed.
Taking down the old shed.

In May EJ and I took down the old dilapidated shed. He tore apart the shed and I helped put the pieces into the truck. We carted the debris to the landfill. 

It was amazing how much more space we have with the shed gone. EJ put in raised beds there for his veggie garden.

We also put up a taller fence–six feet instead of four feet–dividing the front yard from the back yard. We did not get the gate in, so part of the new fencing will be used to make a gate. 


EJ putting in raised beds where the shed was. The woodshed is to the right.
EJ putting in raised beds where the shed was. The woodshed is to the right.

We also need to finish the woodshed. Our woodshed has had several lives. When we moved here, it was a grape arbor. We changed it into a gazebo, but found that it didn’t really get used that much. Plus, we needed a place to put the firewood for our woodstove. So we moved our round picnic table on the front porch, where we use it more, and we are putting sides on the grape arbor so it will look like a nice woodshed. We got some of the sides up in May, but have to finish putting the rest up. 

EJ and I carried the fence pieces off the truck and into the back yard. EJ used a hand saw to cut the fence pieces into the sizes we needed. It was getting dark toward the end, so I held a flashlight so EJ could see.

EJ had hoped to be able to nail the fences pieces into place today, and we had hoped that we could carry out last year’s leftover firewood that is inside the woodshed so EJ could lay a pallet down so we could keep the firewood up off the ground, and we had hoped that we could then carry the firewood back into the woodshed. However, today was a rainy day.

We discussed what task we could do together since we couldn’t work outside. We finally decided to empty the RV. Last night EJ’s friend he has a friend who might be interested in buying our RV if we were interested in selling it. We have discussed whether to sell or keep it for a while now. We enjoy the RV we bought several years ago and really love the whole camping experience. However, with EJ’s work schedule, back pain, and all the things we have to do at home, we haven’t used it in two or three years. If we sold the RV, we could pay off some bills and we’d be almost entirely debt-free, which is one of our major goals. There is great appeal in that, so we emptied the RV today and I spent the afternoon finding places for stuff we brought into the house. Tomorrow is supposed to rain again, so maybe we can empty the outside compartment and give the inside of the RV a thorough cleaning. Just in case anyone wants to look at it.

When the sun comes out again, we can finish the woodshed. Then we can start getting firewood in. I wanted to spend all summer getting firewood, but I blinked in May and now it’s mid-August.


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