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COLUMN: Ridiculous isn’t so bad

COLUMN: Ridiculous isn’t so bad

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It’s ridiculous. I run through a garden with the wheel hoe, it looks great, and then the next day all of the weeds are standing up again.

Not only that, but the little weeds are two times as large, and carpeting the areas I cultivated, because the wheel hoe has spread them around. Even if I leave them upside down, they manage to get on their roots and carry on.

The humid and wet weather has been perfect for transplanting and growing garden plants, and weeds. A well-regulated greenhouse could do no better.

I even think the iron posts I use to tether the goats have started to grow roots.

I think the clutch plates on my old Ford tractor also have sprouted roots. They are stuck together.

I hate to think about the time this problem might take to solve.

The first thing I’ll do is take off the starter and spray brake cleaner on to the clutch. If that tricky trick doesn’t work, it will probably be split the tractor time.

That tractor has always been a good old standby. It’s perfect for cultivating and plowing. With a back blade attached, it clears a few inches of snow fairly well.

Just before this episode of humid Northeast came on the radar, I went out and bought a three-point hitch trailer mover for the Ford.

I had this thought …

You know how sometimes you wish you wouldn’t have those thoughts. Like the time I was traveling from Albuquerque with all my linguistics textbooks. I said to myself, on a 107-degree day in the desert, “I should put these books in thick plastic waterproof bags.”

Then I remember thinking to my sweating self, “You are an idiot.”

But sure enough, somewhere in Ohio, my Greyhound bus driver decided we would brave the water coming across the interstate and plow on through.

My first thought, “I didn’t know the baggage compartments were watertight.”

Guess what? They aren’t. And guess what? Fast-moving water over 3 feet high can easily tip over a bus.

After that, all the nuts fell out of the trees, and the inside of that bus resembled bedlam.

I was too young to know I should have hired a lawyer. I was given $200 for what was a collection that was irreplaceable. I had spent many years mowing lawns, waiting tables and going to school to amass it.

Anyway, I got this thought coming home with the trailer mover: “The Ford is going to break down before you have a chance to use this.”

“Oh, come on!” was my next thought. But still, I felt this would be exactly how it would go down.

Why, I don’t know. Except that I’m having a run of bad luck and I know, from experience, that sometimes you just have to ride it out and keep your head above water until it goes away.

Who knows? Maybe subconsciously I knew there was a problem with the clutch, or that I had left part of the goat yard fence unfastened so the goats could get out, or that neuropathy could be so painful, or that the serpentine belt on my truck was going to break again — after it had been replaced the week before because of a recently replaced faulty alternator — or I would have an accident because I suddenly could not stop or steer, or that the dog would go out in the road for no reason and cause a traffic jam and act sorry and homeless even though I was standing right there.

At least she didn’t get killed by a car going 60.

And yes, that dog is in the doghouse.

Yeah, that kind of luck.

So, a wholly predictable stretch of humid, wet Northeastern weather doesn’t seem that bad. It just seems ridiculous.

Forrest Hartley lives in Hadley, N.Y. Leave a message at


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