Saturday, April 21, 2007

Hiding the house's past

I spent the morning in the gym. Shoulders and legs. Just powering through the routine and trying to forget about anything else.

Hit the yard, next. New adventure though. Borrowed my father-in-law's tiller. An ancient thing. Probably south of twenty years old. Half broken. Half rusty. All pissed off and angry. A beast to crank and a bronco when it gets going. It was like trying to hold on to a bucking mule. It would bite into the ground and try to pull itself free from me.

There were huge lumpy mounds in the back yard. I tilled them smooth, mostly level with the rest of the ground. Took multiple passes and I had to stop frequently to hack up big roots. And sometimes the old blades would get wrapped with vines. Cumbersome at every turn. But it gave me a newfound respect for my ancestors. Men who must of have done the same thing, with even less favorable tools and in less favorable conditions. The tiller may be a rough brute, but at least it isn't a plow tied up to a braying, stank mule.

Also tilled up an old half-road which led from the back gate to the garage. Of course the garage didn't used to be a garage. It used to be a carport. And the former owners used to come in through the alley, drive through the back, along the half-road, then park under the carport. Over the years the grass had faded and stones were everywhere, like a primitive dirt road. I tilled the whole thing until it wasn't compacted and the stones were gone. It looked like freshly plowed earth.

Come summer and then fall, the grass will grow again. The scars will heal. And hopefully nobody will ever know how I hid the past, how I ground down the mounds or how I covered the road. Nobody but me.

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