Monday, August 4, 2014

Leif Clearing Out Fallen Coconut Palm Fronds in Puerto Rico

Here are two photos I had never seen before that I found among my mother's slides. I know why I never saw them. They are not in good focus, probably because she took them through the dining room window.

However, they are a treasure to me because I can see my "Tarzan son" the way he looked in high school in Puerto Rico when he was out in our large "rainforest" back yard helping to clear out coconut palm fronds, coconuts that fell (dangerous!), and mow the spongy lawn.

He was so slender in those days, with a terrific figure and long hair.

He used a machete out in the yard to cut things, and one time I looked out and he had used the machete to whack off the end of a coconut, had the big heavy coconut stuck on the tip of the machete, and was pouring the coconut water into his mouth that way. I wish I had a video of it.

Leif didn't like yard work and would have preferred never to do any, but he helped out in our postage stamp sized yard at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, whether mowing or shoveling snow, and then in our yard in Puerto Rico, where it was incredibly hot and humid, and then again in Kansas, at our old stone house and the one we purchased for Peter's mother, and finally our yard in Florida. I can't say he ever did it willingly (at least not getting started) but once he got started, he worked and got the job done.

When I think of him doing yard work, these pictures are what comes to my mind, that tall, slender young man who was strong as an ox and worked to help us in so many places.

These photos were taken by my mother in April 1991. Leif was 16 years old.

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