Monday, September 17, 2012

The strongest man in the world

Today I am going to tell you how it is being married to the strongest man in the world. I didn't have any idea when I married him how strong he was, and how much stronger he would become. In every way. 

On Friday we were up at the cabin. Our project for the trip was to build a set of stairs that would go up the middle of a rocky hill. It is just outside of our garage area, so we always cut up that hill to get to our trail, or to cars parked on the hill. The problem is that oftentimes, when one would be coming down the hill, one would slip on the gravelly dirt. I've done it more than once.

We started at the bottom, making steps out of logs held in with stakes. When I say "WE started", I really mean "BOB started". But, he does like me to be there for moral support and to offer the occasional opinion on either world issues, or the project at hand.

As he started digging for the third set of stairs, he hit upon what seemed like a fairly large rock. He started to dig around it, thinking he could pry underneath it and just move it out of the way. As he dug, he realized it really wasn't a rock, but a boulder. He stopped trying to find the underside of it, and decided he would run to Home Depot and get a sledge-hammer and try breaking up the rock so that he could fit the logs across it. I'm pretty sure if it had been my project (without the help of the strongest man in the world), breaking up a boulder would never have crossed my mind. I would have shook my head in disgust, maybe even shook my fist at the rock, and then pulled the steps out and made my stairway in another spot. (We had some couples up for dinner later on that night at the cabin, and one of the guys even offered my way as a suggestion) 

With his new sledge-hammer in hand, he started going at the boulder, and actually beginning to break it up! What?! Pieces were flying everywhere, and I actually had to take cover behind a post. As he was swinging that thing, we heard a "zing" and the sledge-hammer flew apart.

He broke the sledge-hammer as he was breaking the rock. See what I mean? Who can swing a sledge-hammer at a rock hard enough to break the sledge-hammer? The strongest man in the world, that's who.

Off to Home Depot again, to return the sledge-hammer and buy two additional ones (just in case another broke). We came back and he went to town on the boulder and in no time at all, had broken enough of it apart so that he could continue on with the steps.

How amazing is he? Um, pretty amazing.

And here is the finished project. Doesn't it look awesome? My part was to build up the sides with rocks so that we don't have erosion when it rains.

Its going to be so nice to use stairs instead of slipping and sliding down that hill!

After the stairs were all finished, we had our second project to work on: our annual collecting of fall leaves. We went out on the Mule and the leaves were absolutely breathtaking. 

I don't know what it is about the fall colors, but the beauty of it makes me want to weep. I'm not exaggerating, either. I get tears in my eyes, and can't stop saying "Oh my... that is the most gorgeous bold color yet".

One of the most endearing things about being married to the strongest man in the world, is that he "gets" me. Cutting branches of fall leaves may not be his favorite thing in the world to do.

In fact, my assignment is always to watch out for cars, and let him know if I see any coming. I don't know what he would do if I gave him enough warning that a car was coming... maybe jump back into the trees and bushes, which would leave me sitting at the side of the road, in the Mule, by myself in the passenger seat. Might seem a little suspect. The problem is, I don't ever give him enough warning about approaching cars, because I am always too busy taking photos of him and also directing him to the best clump of leaves.

I can't think that we're doing anything wrong, though. We (again, by "we", I mean Bob) get the leaves on the underside or backside of the trees, and all of them are so profusely growing, that you never even see a hole where we've cut a branch away. He only gets one or two branches from a particular spot, and then we move on to another clump of trees. We're probably actually doing the trees a favor with a little pruning.

But back to the strongest man in the world. He "gets" me enough to listen to my "Oh isn't this the most gorgeous clump of trees yet?" and to look at the tears in my eyes when I see incredible beauty, and to smile and jump out of the Mule and clip another branch or two for me. Not only the strongest man in the world, but also the sweetest. Quite the extraordinary combination!

And what do I do with all those fall leaf cuttings? I'll share some photos in a day or two.

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