Youth is wasted on the young.

I remember being young. Do you? Sometimes I still think I am. i mean, I FEEL young. The mind works well (most of the time), the digestive system doesn’t complain too much about overindulgence (thanks to pharmaceuticals), the heart beats, the arms and legs do what they are meant to do. Seems pretty good, most of the time.

Then, I try to do something I did ALL THE TIME when I was younger, like 20’s and 30’s. I try to dig  hole. You would think digging a hole would be nothing, in our sandy loamy soil. Theoretically it’s a breeze. Nothing is easier to dig than sandy loam. Remember digging in a sandbox? It’s like that. Swoosh goes the shovel and 3 minutes later you have this great big hole suitable for nearly everything that wants planting.

Only, remember those pine trees? Pine trees have roots, and even after the tree is gone and the stump is ground, the roots are still there. And they are fairly shallow roots, a network all over the ground about 6-8 inches deep. big ones, too, as big around as a broom handle and about as hard as well.

No big deal, I thought. I will have the loppers handy and will cut them as they appear.


If only.

It took a solid hour. Yes. An  HOUR. To dig a hole half the size of what was needed, and it required the use of a small trowel to dig around the roots enough to get to the point where they could be cut. It still is too small, that hole. Also, the one part of my body not mentioned above is my back.

Several years ago my left hip was replaced with a shiny fancy titanium and stainless steel one, much improved over the original misshapen and cartilage-free model. Which was great, less pain, more mobility, all that. But it also straightened out my pelvis which for the previous 40 years was cocked at an angle, but that meant my spine grew accustomed to the angle and now that it is straight the spine part is a bit wack. The point of this is to say that my back resents digging.

after digging 2 small holes and attempting one large on and only getting half of it done, my old, old, far-older-than-the-rest-of-my-body lower back did more than just complain a bit. I was prepared for some complaints, but not this.

Nausea, tears in my eyes from frustration, and deep, deep resentment for perceived infirmity is kind of overwhelming at the moment.

I have looked into all sorts of treatments for the wack back, and physical therapists and orthopedists have said that yes, it can be fixed, with about 5 years of intense physical therapy and a whole lot of pain. Since my insurance only covers 20 PT sessions, that is pretty much out of the question.

There will also be gentle recriminations from Himself about exceeding my limitations, admonitions to allow someone else to do it, stuff like that.

I resent and despise limitations. I grew up in a family that didn’t allow them. Pain was meant to be plowed through until it was conquered. Giving up due to it was a character weakness. And yet, if that hole is returned to, it will result in an inability to function for days afterward, in any capacity. So. The hole will have to wait until stronger backs can dig it.

It is hard, being that person who needs help.  Oh sure, there is someone I can pay to dig holes, and am happy to do it, but…I want the holes NOW, not whenever he can get here to do it!  It feels like I am that Southern Woman who calls herself a gardener because she knows where to point. Gardeners are supposed to have dirt under their nails and thorn scratches and sweat. I want to be able to say I DID THIS. Granted with the garden pictured below, someone was paid to build those beds, but by golly I put the plants in the ground, spread the mulch, watered, fertilized, picked off bugs, and all that. But with digging holes? I want to dig  the hole. and I can’t, anymore.

The good news is, the garden is finished. The picket fence is up. The hole is meant for a rose (wrong time to transplant, but I have done it in the Summer before and while it means a bit of extra work, isn’t impossible) on the fence, along with a whole bunch of other lovely flowers, to fulfill that White Picket Fence With Flowers dream.





Wouldn’t it be great, though, to have the energy of the 20 year old with the wisdom of now? I was a fool back then, a time-wasting not-very-bright-about-life fool.  But y’know, if someone my age tried to tell me when I was 20 ANYTHING at all, I would not have listened. Just about the only thing I did right at 20 was meet Himself.


About rootietoot

I do what I can.
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9 Responses to Youth is wasted on the young.

  1. Ruthie says:

    Looks great, and although the patio furniture seemed odd in a veggie garden at first, I’ll bet it’s enjoyable to sit and contemplate the growing produce.

  2. Charlotte says:

    I enjoyed this so much since I frequently find myself in the same situation, If I ask someone, the Farmer, to do something for me, I may have to wait 10 years. 🙂

  3. Bella Rum says:

    I love the fence. I’d expect Mrs. Cleaver or Harriet Nelson to step through the gate any minute. I hope you will take photos as your garden matures.

    Sorry you’re feeling the pain of your labors. I, too, receive “gentle recriminations” when I bite off more than I can chew. It’s very hard to give up on what we are sure we can do ourselves.

  4. Judy says:

    It was very cool to read MY life story here on YOUR blog, LOL. No–I will not ask for help, as I grew up in the same kind of family I can still get that hole dug–it will just take days instead of hours! Yes–my hip replacements helped my hips, but did the same to my pelvis, that was used to being crooked. It is very difficult to re-train a spine!!!!!!

  5. joannajenkins50 says:

    I can relate so much, Rootie and know your frustration at not being able to do the things we could when we were young. But look at all the work you’ve accomplished!!! Your garden is glorious! Beautiful job and much to be proud of.

    Rest your back and sit under that nice umbrella with a cold drink!

    Enjoy, xo jj

  6. Jean says:

    Oh, my gosh! What a lot of work you’ve put into your great looking back yard. Love the fence.

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