i move pianos

With most of my piano obligations over for the time being and summer nigh upon us, I've been working outside in my yard and community garden plot. At times, the work ahead seems so daunting I don't know where to start. I've added a lot of garden space in the front yard (where the sun is), I've got a big perennial bed that I'm always re-working, and there are still large areas of neglect that I know I won't even get to at all this year.

There's also the community plot. We had a workday there yesterday, so I helped out with the common spaces but didn't get anything done in our personal plot; that needs to happen this week so I can plant those lovely tomato starters I bought at the farmers' market yesterday.

At the workday, I was tasked with digging up some perennial flowers and moving them to a different spot. It wasn't easy. These were large-ish clumps of flowers with big root systems and heavy soil stuck to them. Once I dug them up, I placed them into a rusty old wheelbarrow and headed to the place where they were to be transplanted. One guy saw me muscling the 'barrow over the uneven ground and offered to help, "You want me to push that for you?"

See, I get this all. the. time. Physically, I'm not a large person. That, plus the fact that I'm a woman means that people are always assuming that I am weak, as in "Don't lift that up! What the hell are you doing??!! I better help you with that!" It gets old, because the fact is after running regularly for 15 years, biking regularly for more than a decade, swimming every summer for the last 5 years, and lifting my children since they were born, I may not be a model body builder, but I have a pretty good idea of what I can handle and what I can't. I'm stronger than I look. To be fair, I don't look very strong.Still, I'm sick to death of people treating me like I'm a complete wuss when I'm not.

So yesterday, when H__ - who actually has a plot next to mine and is one of the nicest, friendliest people I've had the pleasure to meet, so I harbor nothing against him personally - offered to push the wheelbarrow for me, I replied, "No thanks. I can handle it. I move pianos."

It was brilliant. Genius. I wish I would have thought of that line ages ago. Because you know what? No one treated me like a wimp the rest of the morning. Several minutes later, I even overheard one lady tell someone, "No, don't worry about her. She moves pianos!"

It's true, too. It just comes with the profession. 6-, 7-, 9-foot grand pianos are usually in need of re-positioning on stage and I can shove one of those suckers into place as well as anyone. (They also come with wheels and strategically placed handles, which I didn't mention at the garden workday, but I didn't feel it was necessary. I can't move a concert grand with the brakes engaged, either. Ask me how I know.)

All that said, alas, I've developed some cramps in my right hand and arm. It's in an area I've not felt pain before, so I'm sure it's due to overuse in the garden, so I'll have to be careful this week, despite all the work needing to be done. Just so you know I'm not actually invincible.


Jessi said…
I'm always amazed when people offer to help women with smallish kids. I carry my kids in the house when they fall asleep in the car, I can darn well move something that isn't 70 lbs. of slightly uncooperative dead weight. Thankyouverymuch.

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