Ted’s essays

misbehaving … again

My wife and I keep reminding me to act my age. That is easier said than done. On the other hand, FEELING MY AGE is a piece of cake.

The theory is “I will do little bits per day” – therefore not abusing my 69-year-old body. Unfortunately, my ability to correctly estimate, or properly plan just what A Little Bit IS appears to be a weakness of mine.

Somewhat understandable when I am doing things I have almost no experience doing. Take tiny concrete jobs for example. I was in my mid-20s the last time I fed an electric cement mixer with a shovel. It is not much harder today, but numerous body parts of mine complain afterwards. They didn’t last time.

This corner of the barn-becoming-shop had huge rodent freeways built in. There was this ugly sand and gravel semi-pit that was otherwise a good location for my vertical air compressor. Expediently, I put that on a wooden platform when we moved in a year ago, and ignored the two HUGE gaps under the ‘foundation logs’.

That particular ROUND-TUIT arrived. Who-da-thunk I could fit 6 batches of concrete into that little corner? Certainly not me.

Perhaps some of my aches and pains relate to the mountain of dirt I removed and canyon I filled nearby BEFORE I began the concrete job.

Amateur concrete finishers often scratch the date into their proudly completed project. As often as not they also put their handprints, or kids’ footprints into the surface. It is nice to memorialize the occasion and our place in it.

Turns out that my rodent residents feel the same way. They made their marks while I slept.

Tonight I am leaving some snacks in traps so I can get to know who my neighbors are. Just friendly curiosity, mind you. But If I can catch that rascal weasel who killed our spring brood of baby chicks, I will be doing a happy dance.

Those footprints immortalized in my new concrete look very weasel-ee to me. Hopefully he/she/they come back to admire their work … and with tremendous good luck want to try for a taste of the sausage in the two rat traps I hung low on the wall.

The little hen next door with her half-dozen new chicks will appreciate the absence of serious threats.