Thursday, June 09, 2022

The Ides of Mulch

I've been feeling a lot of social pressure to mulch the front garden beds. Everyone here mulches. I live in a mulching society. 

I'm stuck in the middle with mulchers.

I was walking to lunch today, which is 1.25 miles away away, and I passed a gas station attached to the grocery store close to the place where I eat. "Mulch 3/$9.99," the sign said. 

The lunch place was way too crowded, so I just walked back, and I passed the mulch again.


I could turn this into a workout, I thought, so I paid for the mulch and told the clerk I'd take two bags now, then come back for the third. 

That's right. Carry the mulch home. 

The bags looked like they weighed about 20 pounds. One on each shoulder, I thought. Tough, but it looked doable. It's almost exactly 1 mile from the gas station to the house. 

I made it 500 yards. 

The mulch shifted constantly, which meant I could never really stabilize the bags on my shoulders. It felt like I'd carried them for 500 miles, not 500 yards. 

I left both of the bags by tennis courts at a middle school and started walking home. I could come back in the car. 

A 2-0 loss. 

I'd walked for a few minutes when I had a thought: I couldn't carry two bags to the house, but what if I could carry one? A hard-fought 1-1 draw, in my book, was an honorable result. 

I walked back. I picked up one of the bags and put it on my shoulders. It didn't feel good, but I just wanted my draw. 

There's an uphill close to the house that felt like I was walking up Kilimanjaro, but I made it. Man, that felt good. I tore open the mulch and started spreading it right there. 

Then I had another thought: I carried one bag home. I could do it again.

I got a drink of water and walked back to the school. I knew as soon as I picked up the mulch that I'd made a bad decision, but the way to make it a good decision was to start walking, so I did. 

The little uphill felt like Everest this time, but I summited. And I weighed the bag this time. 25 pounds. Not that heavy, but heavy to me. 

Final score: 2-1.

Eli 20.10 would have done the same thing, except he would have walked back to the gas station and carried the third bag home, too. 

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