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Saturday, May 24, 2003

I don't know about other gardeners, but the ones I watch on TV don't use gardening gloves. In fact, the folks on Ground Force disdain the use of gloves, for whatever reason. So I tried it. I tried getting in touch with the earth, being one with the soil, feeling part of something greater than myself.

Then I went back to the gloves. It wasn't getting my hands dirty that bothered me. It's the fact that everything I touch mangles my hands. They bleed all over everything, and then what have we gained? I have scratches that keep me from more physical labor, and scars that stick around for a while.

Even after a vigorous gardening session with the gloves on, I can feel it. It's like hundreds of pinpricks, and it takes hours to go away. I don't know why I have this curse, but it's been a fact of life. I get a lot of paper cuts, just doing my job. I haven't always remembered that I have the problem, and there are times when for the sake of "pitching in" and being part of a group I've ignored it. I paid for it later, but it must have been worth it.

Over the years I've broken bones in the little fingers on both hands, one of them more than once. I have the same problem with my feet, which is why I rarely went barefoot as a kid and rarely do now. I still have a mangled toenail from a wood-gathering mishap at Shasta Lake several years ago. I'm reminded every time I clip my nails, but the memory of the pain is enough to keep me mindful. I take great care not to drop any more logs on my toes.

I don't consider myself a fragile person. I know I don't have a lot of strength for manual labor, but I can hold my own in most situations. Why my hands and feet crumble under stress as if they were made of rice paper is a mystery. It's not a huge problem, just something I have to deal with. And I do. (In this case, I'm dealing by using it as a journal topic.)

22 May 03

I'm looking for a place for this low bench.

This afternoon I spent some time working in the immediate garden area, just outside the front door. Before I got started, I wasn't sure there was anything left to do out there. By the time I'd worn myself out and had to quit, I could see hours and hours of future possibilities. It's funny how that works.

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I hauled the portable radio outside today so I could listen to the Giants game while I worked. It was better than sitting inside and listening to the Fox TV commentators, who sometimes seem more interested in their television show than in the baseball game.

It was good to hear Jon Miller and Duane Kuiper describe a Giants win over the Rockies in Denver. Wins have been rare lately, and most of the team's early lead in the standings has slipped away. It's a long season, though, and that's the reason.

To be left standing at the end means enduring six months of daily ups and downs, and that's why it would be a shame to add more wild card playoff teams, as is currently being discussed. It would be an even worse idea than making home field advantage in the World Series depend on which league wins the All Star Game. And that's a pretty bad idea itself, even though it's been embraced for some reason by both owners and players.


Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Webster
"It took about fifteen minutes of pressure to stop the bleeding. I shut him in his (my) room to keep from killing him."

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