This last week I took vacation and for the first time in my adult life, didn't leave town. Counting weekends it was 9-days of doing nothing but work around the house and we worked ever single one of those 9 days. Diane and I had a plan going in. We wanted to clean up some gardens, work a bit on the yard and maybe have a little free time left over for a day trip to the mountains or something fun like that. The fun part never happened. For 216-hours we never got any further than the yard. Oh we visited the hardware store, the landscape supply store. 8 times, and went to the grocery store twice for medical supplies and ice cream, but that was it. For nine-days we worked side-by-side in the heat, then the downpours, and in a miracle not known since old testiment days, we remained married...and friendly! But during these days of unwavering dedication to reclaiming our fertile soil, we lost a dear friend. My back. It seems the 5 ton of rock moved, 2 ton of gravel laid, 200' of landscape timbers installed, 5 truckloads of Washington Cedar mulch spread, lawn fertilized, new shower head installed, outdoor canvas gazebo put up, 300' of backyard fence line garden weeded and trees trimmed was enough for my back to say, that's it. I've done your dirty work for almost 55-years and this has got to stop. And with that, a new era began. One filled with ice packs, pain relievers and a new 15-minute dance that looks like wild animals mating but is only me trying to put socks on. I believe this was glorys last shot. No longer will I be able to say, "Oh, I'll climb that large Maple tree and get the cat." Never again will I speak out loud, "Let me put in the new concrete driveway." O.K., I never said those things before, but they were on my bucket list!!! It seems my 9-days of vacation and non-stop yard work taught me something new. Damn I'm getting close to old!!! Through shear determination and good old hard-headedness we finished our list...just before it finished us. We got the house with the big yard so the kids and grandkids would have room to play. We never saw them once in 9-days. Amazing how that happens even when they're older when there's work to be done. Anyway, it's on to the Yardwork Senior Tour for me now. I'll be the guy on the porch with an ice cold beer supervising younger people. That's the life for me. Except Diane said we're not paying someone to do what we're still capable of doing. Sure hope the neighbors like weeds!