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Tandra Page 1544, Yard Work

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I’m sitting on my back porch looking out over the yard as the rising sun brightens the Eastern sky.

Mister Johnson came up my way to do some yard work for me. It’s not that I am overly lazy (Well, I actually am.), but I have deadlines and, while I am out messing around in the yard or doing other things away from the drawing board, the clock keeps on ticking. Time and deadlines wait for no man.

In any case, Mister Johnson has been complaining about the brush grown up in my pines for several years now. Brush does not bother me all that much because it screens me from the road and I am happy enough to have folks drive past and not notice me. I get enough uninvited visitors and curiosity seekers without advertising for them. But Mister Johnson is a neat sort of fella and he has been on my case to clean the brush out of my pine stand.

I finally agreed he could do it if the price was right. I asked Mister Johnson how much he was gonna charge me. He took an appraising look at the brush problem and allowed as to how he could probably do the job for free. After all, Mister Johnson is just about my best friend in the world and he made claim he did not feel right about charging friends for work he was gonna enjoy doing anyway.

I said it was no deal. I don’t feel right about freeloading off friends no matter if they make an offer free and clear. We haggled back and forth over the past several months until we finally agreed on a price that is less than the job is worth, but relieves my guilty conscience for taking advantage of a friend.

So Mister Johnson came up early yesterday morning with his old mule, Second, and set to work. I did not actually realize he had showed up until I heard an ax blade biting into the base of a sizeable sapling that Mister Johnson was felling. Mister Johnson is a fast worker and the weather was nice and mild, almost like a Spring day with hardly a cloud in the sky. Toward evening a cloud cover began to build from the South and Mister Johnson said it looked like we were likely to get some rain soon.

By the time the sun was going down, Mister Johnson had the pines cleaned out and the brush stacked into orderly piles. As Mister Johnson prepared to leave, he allowed as to how he doubted the weather would be fittin’ to take care of the brush the following day as he was expecting rain off and on the next week. But Mister Johnson insisted he would be back as soon as weather made it possible and he would burn the brush. I paid Mister Johnson and gave him a big pitcher of tea to take home.

Mister Johnson hitched Second to his old wagon and drove off whistling like a man satisfied with a job well done.

Looking at the pines as they were after Mister Johnson had cleaned them out, I decided they did look better without the scrub brush cluttering up the space among them.

And Mister Johnson was right about the weather. Rain began to come down before daylight this morning and it looks to be setting in for the long haul.

“When your moral code is determined by your politics, you have no morals.” -traditional


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