Well, I cranked up the riding mower and took a ride around...and around...and around the yard today, but I'm not finished. I was afraid of running out of gas in the south forty, so I stopped when I got all of the high grass cut down. I still need to mow closer to the house, and, though I did a good job, I think, of picking up the sticks, the wind has been blowing constantly, shaking down a fresh crop of twigs that I need to gather for the burn pile. I plan to do that tomorrow morning, buy more gas for the mower, and finish the job.
I wore Eloise's hat today for yard work. It's a nice straw hat with an adjustable chin strap so it won't blow off while I'm working in the yard and riding the mower. Eloise died from breast cancer; my daughter was one of her care-givers to the end. Eloise gave Dorothy a bunch of hats; I asked for this one, and I felt guilty asking for it, but my daughter was generous and let me have it. So, the whole time I was mowing the grass today, I was writing poems to Eloise in my head. I need to write some of them down and send them to Dot. I feel lucky that I'm still healthy enough, in my fifties, to mow the grass, teach my classes, and generally make my way through the world. I should complain less. My life could be worse, really. And while that sounds cliched and stupid, it's true. I should remind myself, more often, to be grateful. And happy.
The semester is almost over. I will miss this current crop of students--they've been fun, interesting, and hard-working. And they don't complain much, really! Everything a teacher likes in students!
And I'm teaching summer school from home, so less driving! Hooray! I can reduce the big oil companies' profits by a tiny bit. Wouldn't it be great if more people could telecommute? We'd be able to reduce at least some of our dependence on oil. Of course, we still have to deal with heating and cooling the house, and a million other products that require petroleum. I wish I had enough money to convert my house to solar energy.
I'm going to make a conscious effort this summer to reduce the amount of gas I use. Except for a trip to Austin, I may only drive to visit my mother. I'll be a hermit! At least until the fall semester begins. Then I'll only be driving in two days a week and for meetings when I must.
Coffee's ready and I have papers to grade, or, as Robert Frost writes, "But I have promises to keep/And miles to go before I sleep." So, I'm off to the next task.
P. S. The peach tree I planted last year has peaches on it! But the plum trees I planted are just now leafing out--I haven't seen any blooms. Boo! That's not going to help the older plum trees that have already bloomed and leafed out. Probably no plums, unless the Victoriana sprouts some. I'll keep you posted.