Dad rented an Outback Billie Goat, which for those of you who don’t know is a walk-behind brush cutter, and we’ve been working all day on clearing the land around our old springhouse. Not too long ago, the land was in pretty good shape, but then Dad started having trouble with his riding mower, and the people who started cutting the grass for him wanted too much to do that section also, so before you knew it, a couple of years had passed and the entire area was overgrown. I feel partially responsible because I should’ve been helping out more along the way, but I’ve been dealing with my own shit. Until recently, the yard just didn’t seem all that important. Now, I understand that I might be in a better place emotionally if I had focused on this work, but that’s a different topic altogether.
To the point, we now have a pretty good mess to clean up.
The Billie Goat is a neat little machine. It cuts pretty well and is fairly easy to navigate. The only difficult thing is that even though it’s self-propelled, on slopes, you have to wrestle it quite a bit to keep it moving in a straight line. If I were in a little better shape, that wouldn’t be a big deal, but as it is, I’m pretty whipped right now. I’m feeling every single one of my 37 years. Still, it feels good to help Dad out like this. He’s gotten to the age where he simply can’t do the things he used to, and it bothers him. I can see that he’s happy watching the land come back into shape.
One bit of excitement, after I cut a path with the Goat, Dad mows behind me on the rider to cut it to a normal length, and at one point, while I was cutting along the creek bank, he waved me to him and showed me that he had just run over a copperhead, slicing it to ribbons. I had just finished walking through that same area a little bit earlier with the Goat, so it gave me quite a chill. For those of you who don’t know, snakes and spiders mess with me. I had a really bad experience with a wolf spider as a boy, and snakes are just fucking sneaky, creepy bastards. I’ve been extra careful since I saw its pieces wriggling on the ground.
So that’s been my day. I lost my membership to the cool kids club years ago, so I’m not worried about what anyone will think of me clearing land, and even though I don’t exactly feel like a literary giant as I wrestle with the Goat, I’m feeling fairly content with who I am and what I’m accomplishing.