I needed a distraction. I needed something to take my mind off of the sadness that seems embedded within. I needed something that would be constructive and yet give me time alone. Raking, would be that very thing.
I have a nice, big yard. In that yard are several large Oak trees. Those Oaks drop enough leaves in the fall that if they were nickles I'd have no money worries. But they aren't nickles, they are leaves and they needed to be raked. Why now and not in the autumn when they fell? I let them remain where they fall to help give insects a place to hide, a covering for plant life resting in the ground. It gives me a nice excuse for not doing something I don't like to do to begin with. But I needed alone time now and that would sure give it to me. I wanted the leaves gone so that no snake would use them as a hiding place. There is also the fact that as long as those leaves were on the ground, nothing would grow right. So, I had all the reasons I needed to get the job done.
I found an old mattress cover and used it to drag the leaves out of the yard. I said that I needed alone time, and I got it, except for Bella, my German Shepherd Dog, who followed my every step and stayed directly in my path as I tried to rake. I will give her credit for obeying my command to move, every single time. One time when I had dragged a load of leaves across the yard and to the woods, I tripped and landed on my knees in the leaves. Bella started toward me, checking to make sure I was okay. She's a good friend. It took several hours to get it all done. I drank several several glasses of iced green tea, I stopped briefly a couple of times, but slowly and surely I managed to get all of the leaves, even those that had laid there for a couple of years, out of the garden area. My hands throbbed from gripping the rack, but the cleared yard looked much better. All the while I was raking, I thought of little else but raking, dragging the leaves away and not falling again.
I have the rest of the yard that needs to be cleared of sticks, rocks, and is some areas leaves, but I will get them a little along. With Bella out there it is difficult to get the sticks as she thinks I am supposed to throw them all for her to chase and return.
After resting briefly I asked my son to go with me to put a rabbit fence up around the small garden that we planted the day before. I did not want what we planted to become a rabbit's salad. I still have to find a way to deter the deer, but that is something I will work on. James went with me and together we worked getting the fence up and secure. He hammered the short fence posts into the ground and together we pulled the fence tight enough and secured it. Once that was in place we went ahead and put tomato cages over the tomatoes while they were small enough to do it easily. Working together we got a lot done much quicker than I would have been able to by myself.
I came back to the house and waited for the sun to lower below the tree line then went back down and watered the plants, the tomaotes getting the most as some were showing signs of distress. I understood the feeling.
I noticed that Wisteria was blooming down at mom's not too far from the garden. Though it was getting late in the afternoon, closer to evening, I decided to do something I had not done in a while. I was going to take some photos of the flowers. I love photographing flowers but I couldn't bring myself to do it as I once had. My husband was no longer here to see what I captured, it seemed almost futile. There wasn't a lot of point to it now. I missed it, but I didn't feel right traipsing around with my cameras, doing things I liked, when my husband wasn't here. He used to ask why James and I were doing certain things like going to the local theme park, when he wasn't here and couldn't go. James and I quit doing a lot of things after that, when he wasn't here. I think a bit of that is what is causing my reluctance to wander about camera in hand. But the urge was strong so grab my camera I did and started taking some photos. My son had bought some flowers for me yesterday and a hanging basket this morning. I photographed that and then headed up the driveway to photograph the Wisteria growing in my yard. As I walked up the drive I was greeted by a wonderful surprise, a flower that my husband had purchased last year, that I thought had died not only was alive, but had large beautiful blooms. After trying to capture it with the camera I wandered around my yard and my parent's yard photographing what I found. I had waited to late to go down into the woods, but that was fine. I was finding plenty here.
Once I finished that, I decided that I would feed my roses. Grabbing the watering bucket I filled it then added fertilizer to the water. Walking once again up the drive way I watered and fed each rose bush carefully. I then fed the flower surprise and a couple others with what was left in the bucket.
All of the work was beginning to catch up with me. I felt tired and my body hurt from the activities of the day. I hurt, but I felt good. I had set aside just for a little while the pain of missing my husband. I showed myself that I could do something on my own. My husband is still gone. I am still finding my way without him. But after today, I feel a little stronger, a little more capable, even as I know, it is one day, one step, one breath, one prayer at a time.