Snapshots by Gloria Freeland - Oct. 9, 2003

One thing always leads to another

I didn't really have a lot planned Saturday. I always have plenty of things on my to-do list, but nothing was really pressing. It was a beautiful warm autumn day so I decided to get outdoors to plant the yellow, purple and white chrysanthemums I bought a week ago.

Art thought the weather provided a good opportunity to show Mariya how to change the oil in her car. I know when the oil in my vehicle needs changing, but that's as far as my auto mechanics skills go. I figure anything Mariya learns about the operation of her vehicle will serve her well. Art sweetened the pot by telling her he would pay her what he'd normally pay a mechanic to change the oil in his car, too. The two of them went to town to buy oil, oil filters and an oil pan. They started on the project immediately upon their return. Art stood by while he explained how to drain the oil, take out the filter, put the plug back in and re-fill the crankcase.

As she worked, he stayed close enough to answer her occasional questions. But never one to just stand around, he put the extension ladder against the house and climbed up with a power drill to remove the weather-beaten shutters from the front windows. Now we need to buy new shutters.

While Art was on the ladder, he decided to cut branches from the pin oak tree since they were rubbing against the house. He also noticed that the tree by our front door hadn't survived the dry weather we had the past two summers. Out came the chain saw and soon the tree was reduced to a pile of branches. A bush at the corner of the house suffered a similar fate.

I was pressed into service to haul the branches away. As I pulled them around the back side of the house, I noticed other bushes and trees that needed trimming. I grabbed the clippers and soon had more piles to dispose of.

I returned to the front to rake up the leaves and smaller branches that were left over from Art's trimming jobs. As I worked, I glanced at the windows and frames. They were draped with cobwebs that had gone undisturbed as long as the tree and bush were hiding them. I swept them away and made a mental note to wash the windows another day.

In between the trimming, raking and hauling, I pulled weeds in the various flower beds. I finally got the mums planted after supper.

By the time we were finished with all the odd jobs, it was dark. It all started with one little project, but soon the day was gone. Funny how one thing always leads to another.

Art explains to Mariya how to change the oil in her Topaz.

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