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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Yard Work Report: Need a Rake?

My wife and I spent the day at her mom's house so we could help out with a few chores that needed to be done. The city is supposed to start brush pick-up in her neighborhood Monday, so we went over for some tree trimming, fence mending, pecan picking, and a little entertaining rake repairing.By the time we arrived, my brother-in-law Junior, had made quite a project of the deforestation of the yard. The house, over in the Lackland area of town, has pecan trees, front and back. But, many of them have outlived their pecan life and the branches fall without warning. So, some major trimming had to occur.

My big project involved the replacing of an old gate with an older gate. I know, doesn't really make sense, but what the heck. A few months back, I had built a new gate for my own privacy fence with the intentions of throwing the old one out with our brush collection. My mother-in-law saw it and said it would be perfect to replace one on the back of her yard. She has a small section on the side of her shed that we often store old wood and stuff in, and the gate covers the ugliness from view. Plus, when some people drink beer, they often get the urge to pee outdoors, and that little closed area allows them the freedom to be one with nature, but not offend anyone else. I know what you are thinking, and no, I prefer to use any of the three "regular" facilities available. I can't take my wife anywhere. Just kidding.So, the gist of it is, I pulled off the old gate with no problem but found that the new old gate was a bit wider and heavier and was going to need some heavy duty hinges. So, a trip to Home Depot, then a trip to my house to grab my circular saw, and we were in business.During the course of all this work, my wife and her sister started picking up pecans. This led to Junior throwing a leaf rake into the tree so as to shake loose some of the pecans. The end result was that my mother-in-law's favorite gardening tool was damaged during the turbulent flight into one of the unforgiving and unyielding tree branches.Junior made a valiant attempt at hiding the damaged rake from view, but my wife promptly ratted him out to the mother-in-law, and over the next hour or so, he began a rather unorthodox attempt at repairing the yard implement.Luckily, my late father-in-law Nando, was always good for having some spare screws, washers and other assorted items handy in his workshop, so Junior had all he needed, provided his imagination held out.

In the meantime, my sister-in-law's husband Armando, used a plastic spatula tied to a rope to lasso a dead branch from the tree and pull it down. Everyone cheered when on his 7th or 8th attempt, he found success.My son watched from mid tree.Naturally, we couldn't let this day pass without some vittles, so the grill was lit and we threw on some chicken, ribs, and a few burgers for good measure.Armando repaired an extension cord that had seen better days.Finally, after several screws, a few pieces of hardware and lots of sheer determination, Junior had successfully put the rake back into clean, dry, and serviceable order. And he even took it for a test drive to prove it.The only problem is, it requires safety gloves, eye protection and a hard hat to use it, due to the China-like refusal to follow any acceptable OSHA standards!

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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