Wednesday, June 22, 2011
  Rediscovering a yard

Back in April I had the Pine Weapons removed from my tiny yard, which eliminated a source of windborne fear and also a source of crowding and mess.

Having four constantly shedding trees in a 30 x 50 space made it hard to maintain, and I had acquired a sort of phobia about the yard because it reminded me of near-deadly attempts to fight ice dams on the back roof in -10 weather.

So, a fresh start. No new pine crap falling on ground and roof from now on. But there was a decade-long accumulation of existing pine crap, plus a fresh mess caused by the tree cutters. Their stump-grinding process left four holes and four mounds of wood chips mixed with soil.

I could afford to hire a lawn service to clean it out fast, but decided to do it myself for several reasons: exercise, breaking the phobia, and sense of pride. Something like the old common law / common sense doctrine of adverse possession: you don't own a property fully unless you're defending it from human and natural enemies.

Each week's work was limited by the volume of the city's yard-waste container, which was fine; I wanted the work to be rationed so it would last a while, give me a good chance to get re-acquainted with the space.

Yesterday I finally finished the hard part, and the goals are achieved. The exercise built up my upper body and strengthened my back. At the age of 61, I have perceptible biceps muscles for the first time! (Back in the '70s I did a lot of physical work, but I was eating hippie food which didn't allow muscles to develop.) And the sense of pride did in fact overcome the old phobia. Now I can't wait to get out there and continue planting, watering and trimming.


 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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