Day 40: Rote and Rototiller

I spent a good chunk of my day trying to turn the soil in the garden. I decided that this year I would get a rototiller and turn it with fossil fuel, rather than with muscle. For the past several years, since we moved to this house, I have turned it with a fork, pulled the weeds and raked it smooth. This year I wanted to save some time. I called the hardware store and reserved the tiller and picked it up at 10:00. Once I unloaded it I spent a while going back and forth. I don’t have a rectangle, which might have made things easier, but a series of long beds, arranged in a circular pattern. Back and forth, back and forth. Some of the beds were easy, some took a long time.

The blades were dull, so in the spots where the soil was firm (meaning mostly clay) the tines just spun on the surface. They hardly dug in and I had to work the machine to get it to do the work. I had thought it would be a piece of cake–chop things up, turn it under and, voila, readied garden beds. But it didn’t turn out that way. I had to muscle the thing around to get it to do what I wanted, and on the worst beds I just gave up–it just wouldn’t dig enough to make the arm soreness worth it. And my arms got pretty dang sore.

I did get a lot done, and faster than I would have using a fork, but I will end up having to turn some of it with a fork anyway. I got most of the way toward readying the beds, but not all the way. I guess it was worth the 36 bucks. In any case, I ran in the afternoon and I thought about all this as I did.

On this day 40 of consecutive days running I felt tired after the mechanical wrestling, I didn’t really feel like running, but I went anyway. The afternoon was warm but there was a cool breeze, so I felt good. I was plenty tuckered, but I my feet seemed to know what to do. I ran as if by rote, the steps falling one after another without my really thinking about it. I ran a mile, and then another, and then I was on my way back and suddenly I was home. I was feeling so weary I was ready to find a quiet spot and rest along the way. At least, I felt that way before I left. Once I was out there the run just happened.

I will need to get some more dirt to load onto the beds–compost to feed the seeds. I was too late to order today so that will have to wait until tomorrow. I will be able to run a little later in the morning tomorrow as I don’t have to head to work quite so early, so I will get a short rest in there–no rising at 5:00 in the morning, at least this time. I am glad my rototilling job is done, or sort of done. And I am glad my run went well after feeling so wiped. The tines wouldn’t turn as I wanted them to, but my feet did, and I can call that a good day.

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