There are things that, left undone, drive Cliff nuts: The yard that needs mowing, the brush in the pasture taking over, the hay being ready to cut when weather won't cooperate, the dry lot growing up in weeds, a huge wash in the driveway. This is where friends and neighbors save his sanity. Tyler and Travis, the fifteen-year-old home-schooled twins next door, do any lifting, tugging, mowing, or hauling-things-off that needs done. Any friend or relative who drops by can also be enlisted for help. Last weekend my son-in-law, Kevin, and my grandson Brett and his friend, moved a stretch of electric fence over, preparing for mowing of our alfalfa.
Cliff still isn't supposed to lift over five pounds. He can ride on the riding mower, but not the tractor. Why? Because he'd have to pull himself up onto the tractor, which could rip the wires that are holding his chest together right now. We are blessed with a couple of neighbor boys whose grandfather in the city practically let them cut their teeth on lawn mowers and garden tractors. When they met Cliff, he honed and improved the skills they already possessed. It would appear that God sent the boys into our lives for such a time as this. Oh, they benefit from the association: Any time they have a project that needs some welding, or a tire to be aired up... whenever they're doing something that is better done in a well-equipped shop... they have Cliff's equipment and tools to work with, as well as his guidance and advice. Other neighbor boys can be enlisted for help too, when needed.
On another subject: I took a long, long ride along the river bottom on Blue yesterday, and realized the terrible truth: My horse is too fat, to the point where he could founder if I don't do something about it. So he is now on dry lot, and will be turned out for only an hour or two, twice a day. I feel sorry for him, but it's for his own good. He certainly didn't act like he was out of shape, though. He had all kinds of energy for the 1 1/2 hours I rode him.