Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pruning Helmet

I love pruning my fruit trees and I don’t care who knows it. Yes, I am a gardening geek. (I reckon eventually Judd Apatow will come up with a trendy catchy label for gardening geeks and it will go viral and then I’ll refer to myself as that, whatever it is. A gardeneek or something.) Last year I took a class in pruning at Mendocino College and my lovely husband gave me a pruning ladder for Christmas. Good to go! I pruned all my trees myself, and I only fell off the ladder once. Blame that fall on my nemesis, the large and defiant apple tree. Fortunately, I was so relaxed that I landed like a linebacker and bounced right back up—wasn’t even sore the next day.

So this year, that pesky apple tree got me again. I was ducking under a low branch, walking on the ground mind you, and a pointy branchlet cut the top of my head. Those head wounds bleed like the dickens. I dripped blood through the garage and up the stairs into the house, where I grabbed an old rag in the laundry room and pressed it against the cut. It was only a flesh wound, nothing serious. It stopped bleeding pretty quickly. But it was enough excitement to rouse the Jewish mother lurking just below the surface in my not-so-Jewish husband. He immediately remembered that I had fallen off the ladder last year and he insisted that I wear a helmet to finish pruning that apple tree.

I began to protest. But I stopped short when I recalled all the years that my husband forced my teen sons to wear helmets to ride their skateboards down the street (so I realized it was a losing battle) and I recalled all the bike helmets I had bought for my grown-up children in the hope that they might wear them when riding their bicycles (gosh, I’m remembering a lot—maybe that gingko is working). I even remembered that one of said unused bike helmets still resides in my garage. I know how much I worry about my children riding their bikes without a helmet. It would not be fair to make my husband worry about me up in the tree. So I obediently fetched that bike helmet in the garage and wore it to finish pruning the apple tree. The things we do for love.

[I was prepared to blog today about the shootings in Tucson and about King Day. But President Obama said it all pretty much in his brilliant speech at the memorial. And his very presence as the prez is a tribute to Dr. King every day. I'm not needed to weigh in on these topics.]

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