Friday, May 22, 2015

Pruning the Pecan Trees

I took the day off for Memorial Day weekend to get a head start on housework, knowing that Liz would be coming over for the evening. I cleaned up the kitchen, which was piled with dirty dishes, and cleaned out the upper kitchen cabinets to remove the digesting roach goo in prep for painting. I also primed some of the pine boards and cleaned out all the weeds growing through the cracks on the backyard terrace. At some point I saw my neighbor, Aurelia, a garden-loving, older Hispanic woman sitting out in her front yard garden enjoying the outdoors and decided to stop by with my 17-foot pole pruner to offer to trim the trees.

My next door neighbor is a character. She speaks little English and my Spanish is rudimentary at best. Still, we are able to communicate enough to get by and have found it helpful to resort to motions and sounds in order to communicate that which we are otherwise challenged to relay in words. Google Translate has been a big help too.

Ever since the first day we met, Aurelia has been pestering me to trim some downward hanging branches that were lingering threateningly over the roof of her garage. While I wanted to have the trees pruned and the large branch removed, it was not my top priority. Budgeting for a whole house restoration and renovation is a strain on the pocket-book (to say the least) and has required an attention to the most urgent projects (e.g., fixing hazardous electrical wiring, leaking gas lines, and other perils). 

Since her back was turned to me, I said “Hola, como estas? Corto los arboles?”

She smiled back, “Si, si” and some other stuff in Spanish that I did not understand. 

I pointed at the pruner, “diecisiete,” motioning my finger back and forth to let her know it was 17 feet long. 

“Aiy bien. Tengas escalera?” she asked.


“Si”, I responded, and headed into the house to grab my handy Werner extension ladder. 

(to be continued)