My stepdad loves gardening. He even carefully sprouts and plants avocado pits, though they'll never yield avocados and resemble large plain potted weeds. His backyard is a jungle of camellias, roses, a banana tree (with larval green bananas which never grow more than two inches long), and dozens of other bushes and trees, including a high (approx. 14') leafy hedge around the perimeter. As a general rule, he resists evening mild pruning, but the other day, he decided that the hedge needed serious trimming (the hope is that it will thicken if trimmed--at thrice the height of the average person, it's become "leggy"). Not a small task, and one one person could only carry out on a limited basis. After lofting an extension pole-clipper ten feet and sawing at the hedgetops for hours, he ran out of energy, and his neck was stiff. This morning, we found out that (unbeknownst to him) several branches had fallen onto the neighbor's pool cabana, which didn't thrill her, so while John was at work, Mums and I went into the thicket to start clearing out the debris (and get that which we could out of the neighbor's way).
The neighbor recently had a new 5' wood privacy fence constructed along her property line, paralleling John's 3.5' chain link fence, which sits eight inches inside. Since the bushes were so thick, there was no way to get a ladder among them, and so I climbed up and stood balanced on the top of John's fence, resting my bum against the wood beyond it and staying remarkably stable for all the yanking of vines and untangling of detached branches I was doing. I got the greenery down from the heights and Mums hauled it out into piles in the yard. We worked fast for three hours without pausing, and there was only one mishap, when my foot slipped on the wet metal and I landed hard astride the bar above the chainlink. All I could think when I found myself sitting after the fall was, "Well, thank God, I'm not a guy." If I had been, I'd have been in agony for hours--if not days--from the impact. As it was, I laughed, swung back up on the bar and started yanking down overgrown wisteria again.
Since it would probably be a bit tacky to list "lack of testicles" as my thanksgiving today, I'll go with blessings on the inventors of cut-resistant gloves and safety goggles. Other than a few scratches around my wrists and a scattering of tiny bruises over my arms, I'm unscathed. I probably will find leaf and twig bits in my hair when I take my shower tonight, however.