Sunday, April 09, 2006

At last! A day of sunshine on a weekend! Small blessings. On top of that, DH promised me he would spend the day with me in the garden, pruning, chipping and shredding and moving compost around...all of those heavy work jobs that are so much harder for me since the cancer.

We were in the garden by 7:30 AM and I tried to be sensitive to the fact that for him it was just hard labor, not a labor of love or passion. He quit the first time at about 1:00 PM, saying that the compost all over his arms and hair was making him itch. It's a fall-out of running the chipper-shredder. So he went in to shower. A while later, he joined me again--I know it was his secret hope that if he quit, I'd quit too, but he didn't say anything, to his credit. And I didn't quit. I am sure he doesn't think that's to my credit.

But it was still a warm spring day, many hours of daylight left and more to prune. I can't stop while there's light in the sky and breath in my body. He came back out when I got to some large rose branches I couldn't prune out. Then without my asking, he kindly chipped the next huge pile I had assembled while he was in the house. After that pile he hit the shower again. I kept pruning. He joined me one more time at about 4 PM when I got to the last climbing rose and had to prune out a 7 year old cane.

Poor guy--he's not used to the War of the Roses, and was pricked, scratched, poked, and stabbed. He lamented a lot about his scrapes. I commiserated with him and pointed out that's why I wear long sleeves and elbow length pruning gloves. I must remind myself that he's a total novice at working with the roses, so it's quite a shock to him, I'm sure. (I might also add that I've been pruning and tying up our 26 rose bushes scattered throughout the gardens for more than seven years by myself. )

I really do appreciate his help, although by 5:00 PM he told me "that's it, I'm done." I kept going until 7:30 PM. Finally, the mosquitoes drove me inside. I ask myself "why does the garden energize me so?" It seems to kill others off. I don't get it. But at least now, when he heads off to the golf course on a Saturday and says "have fun" to me as I head into the garden, I can gently remind him of how much work my kind of fun is. It's not that I mind it, it's just I want to be validated...and helped now and again.

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