Sunday, May 21, 2023

Stacking Forever

These are my arms. I am covered in bruises on my arms and legs.
It’s the combination of physical labour and being on a blood thinner.

I did 2 loads of wood at 7:30 in the morning, and after just 2 loads my back was aching. It was so disappointing! I took Sheba for a walk while it was cool (there were thin clouds overhead yesterday morning), and then came home to do more barrow loads.

At 10:30 yesterday morning, I went out to work after a short break and only lasted 15 minutes. I wanted another break, so I took it. By then, I’d been working for 3 hours, and my ‘cumulative fatigue’ kicked in. I am not complaining; I am reporting. I love the work, I truly do. I love having to think about what to do. I get up and get to work and it’ll be like this for a few more weeks as I have the deck to scrape and brush (and maybe stain) and all the wood from the felled trees to split and stack. 

I had a good long rest, and then went enthusiastically back to work. I did a great job of stacking and cleaning up all the crap that always comes with loads of wood. I worked diligently and my back felt much stronger and less painful as the day passed. I was thrilled with all I did, but I didn’t want to overdo things, so early in the afternoon I went into the village to get some bark mulch to cover the surface of my planters and help them retain water better.

I must say, tourist season has hit Gabriola. Holy crap, there are a lot of tourists here now. There are people everywhere! Walking in the village, swarming the market, cars parked everywhere, lineups at Nesters’ tills. The hoards arrive so suddenly, and they leave as quickly on labour day.

I must say, dinner with Dave and Ursula was a treat after a long day of work. I mixed the meat with herbs, onions, tiny breadcrumbs, and a dash of fish sauce, and I put together a rich assortment of condiments and sauces for the table. And, of course, potato chips. Ursula brought the salad, and I had fresh strawberries and ice cream to serve for dessert. It was a spectacular evening. It was bright and warm, and it was fun to debrief on our work wood splitting together.

I’m looking forward to weighing myself when all the work is done. I’ll be keen to see how much I have lost from all the calories that I have been burning since the advent of non-stop idyllic Summer weather that began April 26th. Since then, I have been outside working every day for between 5 and 7 hours. That’s 3.5 weeks of solid working except for one Sunday off. 

I love the exercise, I love seeing the improvements, and I love conversing with my neighbours who pass by as I work. I love this rural lifestyle. Yesterday was the opening of our Farmers’ Market. I avoid crowds and noise, so I didn’t go, but I’ll start going when I get back from Victoria. I go to our capital city next weekend to visit with Dianne and do my monologue.

Today I will walk Her Highness and then Zoom with my stuttering friends, then it’s back to stacking wood and I’ll end the day by cleaning my car so that when Susan and her young men can be ferried around tomorrow in a clean car. And tonight, I go to Stacy’s for dinner with her, her partner, Bryce, her sister Kris, Kris’s husband, Steve, and Nancy. I love getting together with these friends. 

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