I went to Austin today to help the daughter in the garden. I put on long sleeves, pants, and double gloves. I pulled up a garbage bag full of poison ivy. I didn't get too much of the roots, but I made a dent in it. It was hot work. My shirt was soaked with sweat.
When I finished, I took off all my clothes and put them in the washer. Then I took a shower and scrubbed all over with soap. The best way to handle poison ivy is to be totally paranoid about it. I've gotten it before, and it's hell. You see the glistening leaves, and they call out to you in a very wicked way, "Touch me, feel me, stroke me."
However, by doing the toughest job, I pleased the daughter and then lazed on the couch for a while.
In one hour, when it's cooler, I will go back out with the weedeater and give the yard a trim. Then, first thing Sunday morning, when it's cool, I will rake it all up -- that's quiet work, and I will have the pleasure of seeing something get done.
Removing the poison ivy focused my mind quite wonderfully -- total focus, total paranoia. This was good, because I was in such a funk, such a you-can't-win and my-life-is-over mood. I am such a moody bastard. In fact, now I'm sitting here again, sinkng back into misery.
It's so good that I have work to do. The garden has saved my life a thousand times.
I am at the absolute end of my rope at the newspaper. It has been this way for over a month. The only thing keeping my there now is a need to maintain my esteem in the eyes of my children. Both of them would wish that I "make something of myself."
Well -- it's what I have expected of them. I was never totally demanding with them, only slightly demanding. And fairly direct, not coy. I told them, more than once, "do something to make me proud, give me something to brag about to my friends," and they accompished things, like graduating from college.
Now the shoe is on the other foot. I am short of being an embarrassment to them, but they have don't have much to say either. I don't know. I want to ask my daughter to please just let me be myself, and that I can't live up to her expectations.
Aimless hippy drifter -- that's what they have on me. It never ends, from one generation to the next.