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Tuesday, April 22, 2003

At this rate, it won't be long before I'm living underground with the gophers and moles. The higher the grasses around the house get, the more the world seems to be closing in around me. It's getting to the point where I'll have to do something. I'm so desperate that I've been looking through the newspaper inserts. I can't believe I'm actually considering spending money.

Where are all the home improvement ads? This time last year, the stores were featuring all kinds of useful items, like mowers and trimmers and clippers. I went through Sunday's paper and found nothing from the usual sources. Most of the outside stuff was for planting, which is not what I need right now. Plenty of plants already in the ground, thanks.

There's patio furniture available, and assorted grills, but I can't make much use of those with the place as overgrown as it is now. They'll sell me summer clothes, which I'm not ready for yet, and all sorts of indoor paraphernalia. One store has bedding on sale, and another is featuring window treatments. There's all manner of electronics everywhere, as always.

The only place that seems to want to cater to my needs this week is Sears. Even their selection is weak, though. Tillers galore, but a scant few mowers. They have more tractors than anything else, and the zero percent financing is enticing, but I think that's going a little too far. As glamorous as it is to picture myself driving a tractor, it's a bit out of my league.

Let's face it. I'm not going to spend money on anything like that. Like everything else I own, it would break down before I got full value out of it. I already have a line-feed electric trimmer that I can't make work. As soon as I have to replace the line, I'm totally lost. The trimmer has become a wall decoration, something else to gather dust and cobwebs in the garage. I know it's impossible to rethread it, because I tried. (Okay, that only makes it impossible for me. You could probably do it one-handed.)

And there's a gas mower sitting in the garage as well. It was here when I moved in, almost three years ago. I don't know if it works or not, because I've never tried it. I've never even touched it, which explains how I've made the garage spiders so happy. They love it when you leave their stuff alone. Anyway, I'm not comfortable with machines that can cause pollution (or explosions, for that matter).

So. A push mower, right? I'd like to try one out once, to see if I could push it. I'll probably still have to hire someone with a tractor to clear the yard, so I suppose that's where my money should go. If it seems I don't know what I want, you're getting the picture. I have no idea what I'm doing, except being swallowed up by weeds and grasses that are out of my control.


It helps to look up, not down.

Before the yard gets much higher, I'll have to figure all this out. It's come on so suddenly that the reality of it just struck me today, as if I'd been sleeping for a month (oh, don't I wish). Suddenly my own yard is making me claustrophobic. I don't have the time to go out and buy equipment, much less the money. But I'm not so desperate that I'm ready to call someone in to help me, either.

It's a kind of paralysis I find myself in often, with either too many options or too few. I can't decide how to handle things, so I do nothing until the crisis is imminent. I'm very good in a crisis, but I'm even better at creating one. That's not a talent I'm particularly proud of.

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The obituary I read for Felice Bryant, who co-wrote hit songs for the Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly, didn't mention my favorite Felice and Boudleaux Bryant song, Rocky Top, which just happens to be the state song of Tennessee.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Easily Distracted
"Some things get repeatedly shuffled to the bottom of the to-do list and never ever get crossed off."

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Corn won't grow at all on Rocky Top,
Dirt's too rocky by far;
That's why all the folks on Rocky Top
Get their corn from a jar.