Sunday, March 27, 2011

Stiff and Sore But Moving On

Mr. Moon and I weeded for about five hours yesterday which leads me to the understanding that we are not smart gardeners because if we were, we'd be doing raised beds but we're not and both of us walked around last night groaning and stretching and rubbing our backs and groaning some more and I'm doing the same thing today.

You wouldn't think that weeding is such hard work but dammit, it is. I was talking to May about it this morning and she said, "It's like cleaning your bathtub for five hours."
Yes. That's it.
Only a lot dirtier.

As we worked in the garden, the sky would bruise up to the north and the wind would blow stiff and strong and we'd both smile and sigh and say, "Nie," quoting Owen, you know, as it cooled our sweaty skin and it even thundered a few times and but nothing happened beyond the popping and dropping of random rotten branches and still, no rain.

After we were done we planted the eggplant and peppers and a few tomatoes but neither one of us had the strength or energy to go ahead and get the bean and cuke and zinnia seeds in. No way. Mr. Moon took a shower and I decided to take the garden cart around and very, very slowly pick up dead branches and kick a little bamboo to try and limber up my weeding muscles and then I took my shower and we played a little cards on the back porch and then we got silly and fooled around some and then I cooked dinner which was leftover pasta with another loaf of home made bread and damn, it was better than the night before. I didn't even mess with a salad.

After that it was all sort of a dream of wandering around, the bed pulling us with great gravity and finally, we quit resisting and the lights were out before ten-thirty and that's how it goes.

None of this has been about complaint, let me tell you. I am completely and fully aware today of how precious it is that both of us still have the strength to do our gardening, to work in the yard, to live the way we live. That point has been driven home this weekend, watching as both my own mother and Billy's grandparents are at a place where they're going to have to have help and no two ways around it.

One day you're fully independent and can get around fine and take out your trash and remember how to write checks and pay bills and drive to the store or even to Kentucky and the next day you're not sure how to do anything and your body doesn't remember how to walk right.

I don't care who you are, it happens.

The day comes when you have to admit that you cannot do it any more and it'll happen to me and Mr. Moon, too, unless a truck hits us before then or we decide to take up heroin and overdose together watching the sunset which we have discussed doing but probably won't. When we were in our thirties, that seemed like a fairly sensible way to end our days and not be a burden on our children but how in hell does an elderly person score junk?

So. I'm sore.
Big deal.
That's why they make Ibuprofen.
I can still swing Owen up on my hip with one arm and I can weed for five hours in a row and then pick up branches and then fool around and then make supper.

And I'm going to work in the yard today. All day if I can. I told Mr. Moon he can plant the seeds because he likes those rows STRAIGHT and I never get 'em straight enough and that'll drive him crazy all summer long so it will just be for the best if he plants them.

My potatoes are coming up. The rows aren't straight but the plants come up rather randomly anyway so that's okay. If the ants don't eat them all, we'll have some potatoes this year. And maybe peas if they'll hurry up. I remember being a young hippie-mama-gardener and cooking new potatoes and sugar snap peas with a cream sauce and I still think that's about the best thing ever.

How many more years will we be able to plant potatoes and peas? How many more years will I be able to cook them?

I don't know. But I tell you what- I'm going to do both for as long as I can.

And I probably won't buy heroin but I already buy Ibuprofen by the case-load.

Time to go put on the overalls. I did a load of laundry last night and so they're clean and ready to go and that's another thing I'm grateful for- I can still do laundry.
I'll probably never not be able to do laundry. Unless someone cuts my arms off.

So I guess my point here is this- when you're young, all these chores and daily tasks seem so damn endless, pointless and burdensome at times but honestly? They're the very stuff of life and if we're lucky, we'll always be able to do them and the older we get, the more we know that.

And if you're smart, you'll get in shape while you're young and work at staying that way because there's nothing in this world that you'll need to be stronger for than aging.

Happy Sunday, y'all.

Love...Ms. (Aged, Aching) Moon


  1. Yes, it will happen to all of us. But I am going to keep going and doing for as long as I can . The raised beds are nice. We put a lot of mulch between the beds to smother out the weeds. Those leaves are good for going between rows.

  2. That last paragraph is haunting me. It's so NOT batshit crazy.

  3. If you drive to Kentucky, you let me know and I'll meet you there ;) I know about 3 gazillion little kiddos that will give you hugs.

    That May always knows what to say. I need to call her today

  4. Syd- We mulch like crazy too. The weeds just keep on coming, though. I like your raised beds. Maybe someday we'll get it together. So much more efficient!

    Elizabeth- No, it's good advice.

    Lisa- And I adore you! And Bob Rosenberg.

    Jo- Blesit to you!

    SJ- No. It was Billy's grandparents who drove to Kentucky. They have a little house up there. But I wouldn't mind those hugs!

  5. I love that you and Mr. Moon fool around like that. It will keep you young more than anything, right?


  6. Fooling around....oh so in love you two. Gardening makes you feel so earthy and why not?

    I just was on the phone with my daughter and talking about taking care of ones body. How you have to keep moving to keep all the joints lubricated and fluid with motion. How when you are young you never think about this but I'm saying don't take it for granted. Keep moving!

    Raised beds. Yes my Love and I go over this soooo many times. I wanted them and he didn't put them in. The garden is devoured by gophers even with wire underneath. I guess I am doing pots, big pots as I did last year. I'm going to start those tomatoes early this year.

    I will swoon over your garden please post photos.

  7. I so agree about the chores. And since I live with someone who can't move or feed herself, I'm all too aware of what a blessing it is to be able. Now, all that bread baking: Long ago, I always made my own bread, and it was a lengthy process with several risings, so I made many loaves at a time. How do you turn out a single loaf for a meal so quickly?

  8. Michelle- Who the hells knows? Not me. I'm hoping, though. Love you, dear.

    Ellen- I'll get pictures, don't worry! And if and when we do move to Apalachicola, I'll be growing everything in pots on the deck. At least I'll get enough sun.
    Gophers? That's one critter we don't have. We do have moles, though.

    A- I don't know. I probably cheat somehow. First off, I use my Kitchen Aid with the dough hook for kneading. And then it needs about an hour and a half for the first rise, about half an hour or forty-five minutes for the second. Now, if I make particularly healthy bread with lots of mixed grains, it takes a LOT longer, I admit. But if I get started by five, we'll have bread by eight-thirty. I try to start earlier than that, though.

  9. Dear Mary, you two are absolutely brilliant!

    What an inspiration you are. You have years left. But you're right it'll happen to us all someday.

    I take so much for granted. You make me think and appreciate the little things. You've inspired me to get on and do my garden which I just stare out of the window at. I know I'll feel good if I do it myself rather than call the gardener.

    The Actor and I said we'd do the double heroin overdose too. I'm sure I'd be able to get hold of something. I'm thinking heroin and ecstacy? Not a combo I've tried. I don't Ibuprofen would be as much fun!

    I adore you and I can't tell you how delighted I am to have you in my life xx

  10. Oh, that last paragraph is sheer brilliance. You've got it right, Mary, dear.

    And, to ease your troubled mind and the minds of all your followers, if you keep moving and doing you may not have to worry about losing it till you get into your 80's......even then, I can still pull a mean weed.

  11. Lora- Sometimes I think you are me in a parallel, different universe.

    Christina- Heroin AND Ecstasy? Will you be my connection? Ah-lah, love. You've made my day.

    Lo- Tank Gotts, as you would say. Or something close to that. Lord, you give me hope. I love you.

  12. You speak true Mary Moon! But you and Mr. Moon aren't nearly there yet. You're too busy fooling around and getting silly. That's a sweet notion for sure.

  13. "how in hell does an elderly person score junk?" --> this cracks me up to no end.

    But I have absolutely no doubt that you could score if you set your mind to it!

  14. Ms. Moon, I've been busy busy busy busy with art stuff and haven't been around much, but gosh, you don't think about not having your arms you crazy woman! but I do understand your point and as often as I do, I agree with you. <~~was that a bit of a poem? Have a great day Ms. Moon and stay strong and healthy please.

    Hugs to you and all your luvies

  15. I really liked this post a lot. As they say; getting old is not for the weak of heart. The way you describe gardening is a lot like a ritual. My wife once watched our German neighbors plant their garden and it was funny how she described the husband and wife each having their own routine or role in the planting. Almost like a dance. You echoed that sentiment as well. Also really cute how you segwayed into getting silly and fooling around. Have fun!

  16. My Dear Ms. Moon,
    I could not weed for 5 hours, and I am not yet 45. Wowsa.

    This is so true:
    And if you're smart, you'll get in shape while you're young and work at staying that way because there's nothing in this world that you'll need to be stronger for than aging.

    The Viking must be pretty smart. He is very aware of this.

    I love you so!

  17. Angella- Mr. Moon just told me to quit telling people we fool around. "Too much pressure," he said. "Okay!" I told him. I lie. He's so sweet to me.

    NOLA- I liked that line too.

    Lisa D- Glad to see you here, glad to hear you've been doing art! Yay! Thanks for the huggies. And I plan on keeping my arms for awhile. No worries.

    Scott- Well, work hard, play hard. And truly, Mr. Moon and I should have separate gardens like our friends Lon and Lis do. It would work out for the best, I think. But we manage with the one.

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- I can't wait to meet the Viking. I think I'm going to love him.

  18. Yes. Yes. You are right. And I need to get smarter. Very soon. Much smarter. Thank you.


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