It really IS never too late to have a happy childhood. I am sunburned, bug bit, briar scratched, sore, and happy as a cinchbug in an upscale suburban lawn.
Buck gave me a riding lawn mower for my 53rd birthday Friday and I have been out slaying weeds. Most of Longleaf is forested, wild streamside or wetland pitcher plant prairie, but there is a small area around the house where I want to cultivate some grass down to the (future) pond, plant some fruit trees, and make a cottage garden and other spaces for playing and relaxing. Buck’s old 60 horsepower Case tractor is great for disking fire lines and other large projects. My new “little mo” is perfect for trimming the grass and weeds that grow up in the middle of the dirt roads, the area around the house and the grassy/weedy area by the road just outside our gate. Over the years, that place has been used by kids and others to pull off the road, toss litter and even, as you may recall, a bullet-riddled bobcat. I hope that keeping it picked up and mowed will be a good example to the litter bugs! I may even plant a few flowers out there under the big oak. At least they will know someone lives back in here now.
I have been playing outdoors, not writing indoors. Having so much fun helps assuage the slings and arrows of outrageous aging.