My multi-shower, Northbrook kind of day!

the pond, at the end of the day, water jet and netting visible

Did you ever have one of those days? One of those days where you spent the entire time just seemingly spinning your wheels and despite all of the continued effort at hard work, only managed to have the feeling that you were treading water and getting nowhere really fast? And then of course, you awake at some ungodly hour and find that although you think it is time to get up and it is really only a couple of hours past midnight?

My Wednesday was like that. I went for my morning swim, came back and had another cup of coffee and then about nine or so went outside to work on the pond and do a few yard things. I had already thrown in a load of wash before morning breakfast around
6:30 AM and the wash was waiting to be hung. Of course, in order to be hung, a certain amount of folding had to occur and then that folded in (no pun intended) to taking the clothes upstairs and putting them away, which ended up with hangers being collected here and there to be taken downstairs…in another words, every started task seemed to slide into another task and then another and then…

I ended up doing about four loads of wash and thankfully did end up pretty much clearing out the laundry room. I had originally thought that while doing the wash that I would turn on my netbook and scan the pile of receipts I had (so I could rid myself of the paper) and that turned into a turn on/shutdown computer situation because at first the software wouldn’t run and then the computer had issues which turned out to be multiple downloads of updating material and on and on so that I never actually accomplished the task of the receipts.

The Wednesday watering of the in house plants never occurred because I never actually got around to it; I did manage, however, to wind the clocks, but somehow had already started that late Tuesday night!

My actual straightening up of the house somehow happened in a frenzy of activity that preceded one my many showers during the day, before noon when I was quickly attempting to clear things out before my 11:30 AM tutoring session in Northbrook.

I neglected to mention the pond stuff, so waylaid was I by my day. It was a beautiful day and at 9:00 AM or so I headed outside and began unraveling a large net, seeing it was damaged, used some fishing line to repair it, attached morsels of clothesline to one side and attached it to the fence in order to stretch it out in web-like fashion over the pond area. My goal here was to keep the huge amount of autumn leaves from adding too much organic matter to the pond. Of course, despite my having laid out the netting to see how I should do that, that is, which end would go where for the seeming rectangle, I put it up the wrong way and had to redo. This process got me into the jungle of vines that I literally needed a machete for in order to find workspace, so the shears were brought out in a frantic mode and I finally got the netting in place. I was beginning to think I was dealing with the kudzu vine in the south, so much work I had in dealing with the wild grapes!

Occurring before final placement was the cutting down of the water iris, the removal of excessive roots and growth from them before replacement back in the pond and the relocation of rocks around the water system to keep the netting in place. I had originally intended to not only do this but also clean out the spongy filters for the pond, but that was relegated to my afternoon after tutoring.

So somehow I managed to get out of the house by somewhere around eleven and headed to Northbrook, the house being in a semi-straightened order and my day pretty much on track. The session went well, a good thing since this was a complicated tutoring gig, one originally started early summer and ending up in many phone conversations, many e-mails and only one seemingly fruitful session. This type of situation doesn’t happen often, but what with dealing with humans and, in particular, students who need help for whatever reason, well…

Back at home by 12:30 PM, I grabbed a yogurt, a few other items to stave off my hunger and quickly went outside to complete the water work. By this time, I had already spent time in cleaning my body twice, two showers that is, and I was wondering if I would manage to avoid a third. This was not to be.

This part of the work process involved undoing part of my netting, which was actually no big deal, to get at the hoses of the pond. I disconnected the hose from the major submersible pump, pulled it out, checked it for blockage, cleaned it up and threw it back in, all of this after being in the complicated garage, pulling out the Rubbermaid pond boxes, and locating the paraphernalia I needed to complete the job, and the return of the water jet to the center of the pond (to aerate and help maintain the open hole in the ice). I also located the actual pond warmer to keep a hole open in case the water spout happened to be frozen over due to continued excessive wintry weather.

So I undo the netting, and do the work, soon I get involved in the removal of filter material, cleaning it with some high pressure hose work and laying materials in the sun to dry. Meanwhile I cleaned up some of the yard work, shears and such from the earlier part of the day and put things away. All of this was under a time frame as I was picking up Samantha from the babysitter’s and since my domino effect work sometimes happens, I needed to be careful…

It all worked out, but in between getting the playhouse ready for Samantha and the pond preparation for winter, it was tight at times. That shower I was hoping to avoid took place since the pond filter cleaning was messier than all get out, our having waited way too long to clean the filters, and the muck and smell on my hands and arms was very hard to clean off. While doing the work, I cut my finger, of course, on the quartz-like stone in the pond surround and had to take some time off to do some first aid, washing my hands, cleaning them carefully, and tending to my wound which had bled all over the place before getting in the house, even leaving a drop of blood on the bench by the pond.

Somehow I managed to be ready by about 3:30 or so to get my body in the house, leaving a yard that would not give the impression of all the work it had provided, and taking my third shower of the day.

Around 3:50 PM, I headed out the door, headed once again to Northbrook, and relying upon my addled, almost sixty year old brain, to figure out yet another way to get to where I was going and figuring out the return path as well. One might wonder why that would be the case, but the north shore region has been under massive re-construction road-wise and of course all of my east-west, north-south possibilities were being re-constructed at the same time, thus making me try and figure out the best way with all of them being really less than advantageous routes.

I arrived on time, got Samantha, and we headed back to Deerfield. By this time MK was home, I got the chairs out, a few catalogs from the mail, and set up a leisure area to use while Samantha was checking out the “chalkboard” wall paint in the playhouse. She had a good time while we semi-relaxed and MK threw the dinner together. I hadn’t even mentioned in my maelstrom of activity that I had located the pork chops, defrosted them from their semi-frozen state and seasoned them. To be truthful, much of what I did was neither mentioned here nor would even be noticed, it was just one of those days.

The evening was relaxing, after a preliminary throwing of dishes into the dishwasher, I crashed downstairs. Oh, yes, and I hadn’t mentioned that Christian and Samantha stayed for dinner (which was delightful) and a nice way to tend the day.

We went to bed and well, at about 2:30 AM I woke up thinking it was time to get up and quickly realizing that I wasn’t going to be able to fall back asleep! Here I am, it is just after three and maybe I shall put my head down again. I am, however, wide awake, it happens and today it shall be a little less crazy as I enjoy the fruit of all of yesterday’s labor, take care of Samantha once I pick her up from pre-school and chill a bit. Or so I think, knowing me, I shall find some sort of trouble to get into!

Ali, sitting next to me at dinner time, a locust leave on her nose, making me laugh (and as Christian put it, "It seems funnier to you than to the rest of us!")

About Richard Koerner

Seventy something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
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