Yesterday afternoon I decided to prune the apricot tree. This was after helping Brett stack a cord of wood early that morning and then riding Jackson mid day. The tree had been driving me nuts with its long arms of growth shooting everywhere. It's still young so it is an exuberant grower. But its also large enough to take over its section of the orchard. I started by pruning out the obvious limbs: those that were growing towards the ground or were shooting straight out like Gumby arms. Then I stood back and worked on shortening the one year old growth that will bear fruit next year and then cleaning out the excess interior branches. Decisions, decisions: which to keep, which to prune away. Some of the limbs were thick and high. I had to crawl under the tree, look up and find a spot where I could stand without getting poked in the eye, wiggle to standing and then position the loppers on the selected wayward limb. Over and over and over again. At one point, I was walking backwards while looking at the tree to find my next point of entry when I tripped over one of the many branches on the ground. I started to fall, tried to catch myself, decided that was too difficult and that being on the ground might be nice. So, I sat amongst the leaves and twigs and gave the puppy belly rubs with my aching arms. Just about then the UPS truck pulled in with a delivery of horse vitamins. I called out to him to just leave the box anywhere because I was too tired to get up. He looked a bit alarmed at first but then laughed. He left the box on the driveway and drove off after I called the puppy back to me; she was trying to climb into his truck.
After finishing the pruning and cleaning up all the branches I headed down to the barn to feed. Normally, Brett would pick up the branches for me because he likes them cut to a uniform length so they fit in the dumpster perfectly. But, he was down the mountain and not due back until after dark so I just smashed them in as best I could. Halfway through mucking I started thinking about how good a bath would feel. I'm not a big bath person but the idea of standing in the shower sounded too difficult. I was tired of standing. Every muscle, every bone, every fiber of my body hurt. So, I finished up the barn chores and headed straight for the tub. I ran it hot and dumped in a bag of mineral salts. As I sank into the water I heard moans and realized they were coming from me. In my younger days, the moans would have meant I was in the midst of an amorous tryste with Brett. Now a bath sends me over the edge. I'm definitely getting old.