Spring Yard Work

I’m like a dog pasted to the front window waiting for spring to happen. Winter is my least favorite time of the year. The older I get, the less I tolerate the cold. The thought of a warm retirement location is welcoming.

I guess I just look forward to chasing kids off my lawn. Actually, there are no kids living close by. The only kid I’ve had in the yard was someone wanting to mow my lawn. Where is he when I now need him?

I looked out on the lawn the other day and noticed how green it turned. February/March was warm at times so the grass had a leg up on spring. Rain and a few warm days turned it all green overnight, or so it seemed.

Last weekend I knew I would need to mow, the first time of the season. There wasn’t any gas left in the mower, just a little bit in the container, so I went to the gas station and filled it up. I had replaced the spark plug last year, so I hoped with fresh gas the mower would start right up. To my surprise, it did.

There is something exciting about the first mowing of the season. When you are my age, take excitement wherever you can find it. Mowing means you kicked winter’s ass for another year. It’s time to breakout the short pants and show off those white, winter legs. It also means that grilling cannot be far behind. So far, it’s all good.

About halfway through the effort, you start to remember why you don’t really like mowing a yard with inclines. It’s hard work. Three of your neighbors use a mowing service, the lady across the circle uses a tractor, and younger people mow the other three yards. The old codger in back only mows 2 or 3 times during the year, so don’t use him for comparison.

So you might get the idea that lawns are an important thing in my neighborhood. Actually, they aren’t. The one guy who really gave a darn moved to a ritzy community where he could fill his retirement with yard work. Mostly, my neighbors want a well-kept lawn, but no one is crazy-obsessive about it. Thank god!

Last summer, I got stupidly motivated about some home improvement work. I ordered a truckload of dirt and hauled about 50 bags of rock home and stacked it in the backyard. When the dirt arrived I hauled it in a wheelbarrow to the back, I don’t know how many loads I shoveled and hauled, but it quickly turned from a home project to a life sentence  on a prison chain gang. No one warned me.  Eventually, I got the dirt spread; although most of the rock is still stacked by the deck. In my day and a half of work, I discovered how much I’d underestimated the job. My shoulder hurt for six months from hauling dirt and rock. It felt similar to the rotator cuff injury of a few years ago and I’m not keen on repeating that experience. Smaller projects spread over time is the way to go. Either that or get into a time machine and go back 20 years to a younger age. Sherman and Mr. Peabody are nowhere to be found.  Another idea would be to hire some young men to do it, but I’ve scared them off.  They avoid my yard.

In a day or so, it will be time to mow again; after the rain and after the fertilizer works their magic. I can hardly wait.  There is satisfaction in a nice looking yard, especially after the years of hard work to get it looking that way.  There is a lushness to the sheen of grass at this time of the year as it soaks up the moisture and the warmth. Actually, there is a sense of accomplishment and in the spring, the lawn looks better than it will the rest of the year.  The grass is full and green; the empty spots and emerging weeds are well-hidden.

9x3v390h727zWhen you write a blog you get to complain a lot. I do, just about every opportunity I get. Too much rain.  Then too dry.  Too hot.  Too many weeds.  Insects.  Diseases on the grass.  More opportunities for blogs!


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