The Good Wife

The heat had subsided and autumn had arrived with the week-end. The skies were the bluest and the clouds the whitest. The sun was warm and I had planned to enjoy a local festival, but alas, it was not to be. Good wife that I am, I spent Saturday doing all the chores my husband and I generally did together. Due to his back injury, I had to do all the household stuff, like laundry, cooking and cleaning, alone. After completing it all, I was ready for something more challenging, something outdoors on that gorgeous day.

Our two acres, which usually looked like a park, no thanks to me, was really in need of cutting. I thought it was a perfect time to try out that new John Deere tractor my husband, Raymond, thought was so great. It was a small garden tractor with tilt wheel and other neat gadgets I had never used. I was sure he would appreciate my help, since I knew how he liked to keep the property looking neat. After twenty minutes of his assuring me that it didn’t really need to be mowed, I was undeterred.

The thing really did run like a deer, but it was not a dear to handle. No matter how hard I chased a snake I was unable to run over it, which of course, meant there was a big snake out there holding a grudge. The orchard part of the property now looked rather like a crazy quilt, but there were dozens of beautiful butterflies on the ground enjoying the fallen fruit and I couldn’t just run over them as though they were a snake! They were like monarchs except electric blue! None were lost, thanks to my fancy maneuvering.

Version 2

We had a lot of trees in the yard. The big ones still bore my marks from the last time I had mown, thirteen years before, following Raymond’s car accident. The little ones, hopefully, would heal as well this time. Of course those blue spruce seedlings would never see the light of day.  Too bad Raymond didn’t tell me that he had planted them, or maybe he had, but I sure never saw them, at least not while they were vertical.

The whole thing took a few hours to complete. At first Raymond watched his “woman” proudly from the deck, smiling at me as I waved to him with each circle I made around the house. Then, I noticed that each time I drove by his posture was a little more slumped. Finally, his head was hung in his hands. I guess he was in pain, poor guy, so I smiled encouragingly, gave him a thumbs up and kept up my speed.

Finally, I was finished, except for the trim work. I hopped off the tractor and headed for the shed to get the weed whacker and a small push mower, but he called for me to come have a coke and rest with him on the deck.  While I sipped the cold drink, he explained that both the tools I needed were out of commission. He, regretfully, said that he could not find the string stuff for the whacker anywhere and that the little push mower had already been “winterized,” whatever that meant. Just when I was ready for something more physical than just riding around! I was quite disappointed, because there really was a lot of trimming needed, about two feet around each tree, flower, walk, structure, etc., to be exact.

That night at supper when my husband asked the blessing, as he always did, he prayed something like this: “Lord, if you can’t heal my back soon, please hold off on the rain until it frosts.” Now, what do you suppose he meant by that?

Written September 15, 1990 and Edited for Blog September 3, 2016


17 thoughts on “The Good Wife

  1. Oh Auntie, you are so funny. I am still laughing over the mad snake, the spruce trees that you never saw vertically, and Uncle Raymond’s last remark.
    I used to try to dodge honey bees while mowing Mom and Dad’s big lot, but finally had to give up and just go on. There was no way I could not run over some of them. Love you and love your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I too have encountered a snake while mowing, but thankful I had a push mower at the time and was able to make sure that snake would not return to scare me again. I covered my eyes and face while pushing the mower quickly in the direction of the slithering snake that in my view was every bit a 12′ python. Snakes with a grudge are very dangerous! I’ve also had 2 acres to mow with our trusty John Deere that my husband loved so much. I’m still bent over with laughter on your attempt to get that grass mowed for Raymond. Poor trees.. Oh the memories. Love your blog and love to you Aunt Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Due to a back injury, I had to do all the household stuff, like laundry, cooking and cleaning, alone.
    You had a back injury and yet you had to do all this stuff alone? I think something is missing in this sentence; from the last sentence I assume it was your husband’s back injury.

    I found this tale really interesting and your husband’s last comment is indeed priceless. 🙂 (My husband doesn’t trust me very far with any motor-ous or electric equipment, either.) In this country we’d be apt to cry over those fallen spruce trees. Trees are precious here — esp evergreens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the tip. I’ll fix that sentence right away. Funny, just yesterday a friend who follows Crooked Creek said I needed more honestly from my readers. Then, she said something like “they seem to think you’re perfect!” She’ll be glad to see someone pointing out my poorly constructed sentence. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

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