Best laid plans of mow­ers and men

The weather is keep­ing us in a hold­ing pat­tern

Truro Daily News - - COLCHESTER COUNTY - Rob Ma­clel­lan

There are few things Nova Sco­tians like to talk about more than the weather, and we’ve cer­tainly had lots to talk about on that topic.

Folks like to com­plain about it be­ing too cold, too hot, too wet, too dry, too windy, or too ev­ery­thing!

Here it is the end of May, and as I walk across my front lawn, I hear, ‘squish, squish, squish!’ My lawn is get­ting so long for want of mow­ing, that the lit­tle birdies are get­ting lost in it. I see them stand­ing on their tippy-toes to get their bear­ings, and to stare re­proach­fully at my house. Stupid birds, don’t they know they can fly! I’m not go­ing to be judged like that!

Af­ter the first few squishes, I back war­ily off my lawn, much like you might back away from a mother bear with cubs. It’s with some­what of that same trep­i­da­tion, fear­ing per­haps that a huge sink­hole will open be­neath my feet, suck­ing me down into a mael­strom of mud, wa­ter, and birdies too stupid to fly. Nope, it’s not get­ting mowed to­day ei­ther.

From the rel­a­tive safety of my grav­eled drive­way, I think about all the stuff I plan to do in­clud­ing chang­ing the oil in my lawn­mower, in the di­min­ish­ing hope that I will one day soon be able to wheel it onto this quag­mire of a lawn and do the whole ro­tary devastatio­n thing. Faint chance though, as the tem­per­a­tures are so cool that drain­ing out the old sludgy oil in the lawn­mower would be akin to watch­ing mo­lasses run up­hill. Again, I must wait. Maybe I should toss those land-bound birdies a com­pass, so they can find their way out.

I walk the U-shaped drive­way around my house to view my lawn from the other di­rec­tion. Maybe it is less squishy on that side. Here though, the safety of my grav­eled drive­way is not as as­sured. Step­ping gin­gerly, I have to be care­ful not to move too far east, for fear I will fall into the great chasm that opened up on that side of the drive­way in the del­uge of winter rains that washed so much gravel down to the end of my drive­way that kids on BMX bikes have been stop­ping by to ask if they could use that use­less pile of gravel to do jumps.

Only re­cently have the load re­stric­tions been re­moved from the highways. I hope that my con­trac­tor has lots of trucks, be­cause he is go­ing to need them to fill the great trench in my drive­way that must reach all the way to China!

Did I men­tion it was an un­kind winter? Well it was. Never mind ‘Fire and Ice.’ It was more like ‘Wa­ter and Ice.’ My snow blower hardly got enough exercise to work out the kinks from last year, but you’d think that would be no rea­son to com­plain. I might have to re­think that. I can com­plain about that be­cause of the weather we got in­stead.

Usu­ally, come winter, we can count on two or three warm­ing weeks that would have some flow­ers start­ing to bud early, and for the hardy few to stroll about in t-shirts and shorts. Hah! Bet you didn’t haul out the shorts this year!

In­stead, we only got one or two days of warmer tem­per­a­tures at a time, and when it warmed up, it dumped a del­uge of rain or snow on us, and then froze solid. I talked to guys who said their sep­tic tanks froze up, self-gen­er­at­ing heat sources that they are. The drainage pipe along the side of my drive­way froze up about three quar­ters, and with the flood of rain we got, it backed up, send­ing wa­ter into and through one of my base­ment win­dows. My shop vac did get exercise, as did I, out at midnight on one of these tor­ren­tial nights of rain­fall, shov­el­ing a hasty dike around said win­dow to fore­stall wash­ing my house fully off its foun­da­tion.

I’m well past putting paid to this past winter, and like so many other Nova Sco­tians, I am aching for a spring that I de­spair of ever ar­riv­ing. C’mon Mother Na­ture, take pity on your be­lea­guered masses! We have lawns to mow and birdies to res­cue! Rob Ma­clel­lan is an ad­vo­cate for ed­u­ca­tion and non-pro t or­ga­ni­za­tions. He can be reached at 902-305-0311 or at rob@nsnon­prot­con­sult­

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