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Monday, April 13, 2015

As Long As I Can

The other day, we were clearing brush and dead trees. It was a particularly dense area, the trail too narrow for a tractor.

Greg used his 4-wheeler to pull out the last tree. I wrapped the cable around the trunk and he dragged it out of the gully where it had fallen. It was nearly out when it caught on something. I managed to lift one end, hoping it would be enough to give it clearance.

Suddenly, the tree broke free and swooshed past me. One of the branches hooked my leg as it went by. Down I went, dragged through the forest floor for several long seconds.

The only thing going through my head at that moment was: Where was the rest of that tree? I had visions of being raked over by those spiky branches.

Fortunately, Greg stopped immediately, and me? I just kept rolling--hoping I was rolling perpendicular to the direction of the tree.

When he reached me, my back was embedded with mulch and cedar needles. I was scraped up and bruised, but otherwise unharmed. He said I rolled really well for an old person. :grin:

It might seem that we rough it, but we really don't. We raise our own food, and we recycle and upcycle whenever we can. Someday, we hope to even make our own energy, but we'll never be as cool Mr. Jack English.





I did a little research after I saw this video. Sadly, Mr. English can't live in his cabin anymore. At 94, he's become too fragile after his heart attack. Still, I'm in awe just to witness what one man can accomplish.

Good on you, Mr. English. The next time somebody tells me I'm too old to do something, I'll think of you, and tell those naysayers I've only just begun.

One thing I did notice on the video was how gnarled his fingers were from arthritis. I have arthritis in my hands too and I can well imagine the pain he suffers. That only makes me admire his tenacity more.

Anybody out there suffer from arthritis? Gotten injured lately? I need some company in my Klutz Club.


28 comments:

Mike Keyton said...

Take a bloody rest, woman! Seriously, a great post.

LD Masterson said...

I enjoyed the video but was saddened to read he had to leave his cabin. People should get to finish their lives where they want to be but too many don't get to.

You, on the other hand, are likely to get squished under a tree or something if you're not MORE CAREFUL!

Angela Brown said...

In my overactive imagination, I imagined you in such a state that it made my heart stutter a moment before getting back into gear. You are a woman of rugged tenacity so I know you won't stop your homesteading. I don't expect or want you to. Life is precious and living it to the fullest is truly the only way. With your arthritis and all, you've found your "fullest path." I'm proud you share your adventures with us :-)

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I so admire what you're doing, and very glad you didn't get buried under that tree. When my parents retired they moved up to northern Minnesota, heated their little house with wood, grew their own food and their friends who were retiring to Florida wondered how crazy were they? But my parents seemed to go backwards in age and looked and felt better than they had in years.

Stacy McKitrick said...

You probably almost gave Greg a heart attack, not that he would admit it, right? Glad you're okay (as I knew you would be since you wrote this!). As for me? Well, I haven't done anything klutzy recently. Doesn't mean I won't in the future.

Sarah Ahiers said...

my mom has mild arthritis in her fingers and severe arthritis in her knees. She got one replaced last year and I'm sure she'll need the other one soon. She's not even 60.
I'm really hoping i skipped that gene

betty said...

I was fearful when I was reading this, thinking you had gotten hurt really bad!! Glad you didn't! It sounds frightening! I do admire you for what you do with growing own food and recycling; not sure what upcycling is. We do recycle though here what they take for recycling.

Poor Mr. French that he got too fragile to live like he had for so many years. Got to give him credit for being able to do it for all those years though!

betty

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: LOL. All in a day's work.

I found Mr. English so inspiring though. Thoughtful, practical. He did what he had to do, and when that was done, he did what he wanted to do.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: As isolated as it was, I imagine his family was too afraid for him.

I liked what he said though. When his time was done, he knew he'd be back, his ashes mingled with his wife's and scattered over the land he loved.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: Greg said to me just the other day, we're finally living the way we wanted. We saved all our lives and it finally paid off.

We work a little, we play a little. It's all good.

Maria Zannini said...

Karen: Oh, my gosh! Your parents are true pioneers. Minnesota is only for the most hardy. Good for them.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: Aw, he's used to me tripping over on a flat surface. :)

I guess the first time I break a bone, I'll have to slow down.

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: I wouldn't wish arthritis on anyone. It's a miserable pain.

I hate to take pain relievers, except as a last resort. Sometimes it's just unbearable.

I'm sorry your mom had to have her knee replaced. I hope it gave her some relief.

Maria Zannini said...

Betty: I can't imagine being that active at 94, which is why he impressed me so.

I think the one thing that ages you fastest is doing nothing.

Re: upcycling
That's when you take something that's discarded and turn it into something useful or beautiful.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Glad you're all right. I noticed it takes me longer to do some things than it used to but for the most part I haven't stopped doing any thing because of my age.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: I'm a little slower too, and I try to be more careful than when I was younger--but sometimes I miss. :)

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Wishing you hugs for your bruises and scrapes. I loved the video. I can't imagine roughing it, even at my age. I still think of myself as a stud who plays basketball, lithe and active. Until I fall down clipping the hedge. Argh.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

Arthritis in the house! All my sympathies.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Holy cow. I'm so glad you weren't injured. I haven't done anything injurious to myself lately (knock on wood), but there's always next time. Good thing all the major projects for this year are already done.

I have achy joints and old bones and other age-related ouchies, but nothing diagnosed as arthritis. Aleve and Aspercreme are my friends. ;o)

Keep your head down and keep rolling, my friend.

Maria Zannini said...

Mac:
Re: ... lithe and active. Until I fall down clipping the hedge.

LOL. I resemble that remark.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: I know you understand. I'm just sorry that it struck you at so young an age. That's criminally unfair.

Maria Zannini said...

BE:
Re: I haven't done anything injurious to myself lately...

As I always say, the day ain't over yet. :)

I should be a poster child for bubble wrap.

Jenny Schwartz said...

Scary! Glad you're okay, but what a near miss.

Maria Zannini said...

Jenny: I'm absolutely certain I've retired many a guardian angel.

:D

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wow! That sounds super scary. I hope you mend quickly. I fell down part of my stairway last January and I'm finally able to walk and start biking again - I sprained my foot and ankle and gave myself whiplash on my back and neck.

Maria Zannini said...

Tyrean: Not as scary as the snake who slithered up a tree after I stepped on him, but that's a Facebook story. :)

Glad you're back in action. Even the simplest injuries can put us on the bench, especially as we get older.

Raelyn Barclay said...

Sheez woman. Take care of yourself!!

I haven't had it checked yet, as it only appeared after I started on littlest's stocking, but I think arthritis may have settled in my thumb. Thankfully, in my male dominated home, we're currently injury free. But I could tell tales of years when I was waiting for DHS to knock on my door, LOL.

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: Oy, the thumbs. That's where I have it the worst. It's so bad, I can no longer snap my fingers, let alone any intricate work.

Hope yours was only temporary.