June brings many outdoor chores

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20190919tp FHI creason mug Scott Slade | The Times-Post

The garden is under control, with only gourds and pumpkins still to plant.

Susie doesn’t like me to heat up the house with the oven going for hours at a time when the temperature outside is too hot to open the windows. So, I have to find something else to do.

My first problem is a gutter on the back of our house that is starting to sag. All of the gutters need cleaned, and the wet leaves are putting too much weight up there. Since I don’t do ladders anymore, that meant I had to find someone to clean them for me.

I asked my neighbor (also named Rich) if he wanted some cake, pie or bread.

His answer was, “What do you need done now?”

He knows me well.

When I told him, he said he didn’t have much time that day, but he would get the weight off the section that was ready to fall.

He did that, and while on the roof, he cleaned out all the downspouts, which released a lot of water from other sections.

I now have a text to my contractor to refasten the gutter where it had come loose.

My next job was getting our motor home ready for a late- summer trip.

It didn’t go anywhere last year because of all the COVID problems, so I wanted to get it checked out.

I had to charge the engine battery to start it. Both coach batteries were dead (and out of water) and wouldn’t charge. They were getting old anyway. I drove it to my car repair guy and told him to check out all the normal stuff he checks every couple years. Start the generator, check the tires and lights, put in two new batteries, and anything else he thought it needed.

Do you see a theme here?

I pick a job that needs doing and find someone else to do it.

When I drove the motor home out and came home, I saw a big mess under where it had sat for two years.

Leaves, twigs, assorted trash that had blown in, and other debris had to be cleaned up.

Unfortunately, I knew this was one job I would have to do myself.

Susie came out to help me, and I worked really slow.

I park the wheels on thick boards to keep them off the pavement. I noticed several of the boards were starting to rot. I will get the other Rich to cut me some replacements before the RV comes home.

I have another guy who fixes my small engines coming over this week to get my rototillers going. One is not getting gas (carburetor, I think), and the other one isn’t firing (no idea why). While I’m not in a big hurry to get this done because it’s too muddy to get in the garden now, I will soon need to run the tiller between rows to get the weeds down.

I have two small, portable greenhouses I use in the spring to start my plants. The peppers, tomatoes, etc., are now in the garden, so I need to take the greenhouses down and store them in the shed until next spring.

The gate on my chain link fence was starting to drag the ground when I opened it. I got the proper wrench out of my toolbox, loosed the hinges, raised the gate, and then retightened the hinges. Perfect. I can still do a few things myself.

My next project is the small wooden fence between my house and the shed. The slats are starting to get soft and pull off the 2-by-4 runners. I hate to buy any lumber at the price of wood today, but I think I can do some scrounging (or trading food) to acquire the needed items.

Woodworking is something I still enjoy doing myself.

When I build the new fence, it will need to be painted, something I don’t do. I will have to work on finding someone else to handle that job. Yes, I work hard getting out of work.

For those of you who showed an interest in my kidney surgery 18 months ago, I recently had a chest X-ray, and kidney and other scans to check for related problems. I just had a telehealth call with my surgeon and he informed me all of my tests were great. More tests every six months for the next 18 months before I am cleared.

Rich Creason is an award-winning outdoors and travel writer whose work has appeared in local, regional, national and international publications for 40 years. Born in Anderson, he is a graduate of Markleville High School. He lives in South Madison County with his wife, Susie. He may be contacted at [email protected].