With Spring officially here, it’s time to tidy up the yard after winter. So for the past several weeks, I’ve cut down a cherry tree, trim back my huge rhododendrons, and hacked back my bamboo hedge. Needless to say, I’ve filled my green waster bin, my neighbor’s green waste bin, and about four extra garbage cans full of yard debris.
We still need to do a few more yard tasks. In the next few weeks, we need to clean out the pool, mow my lawn (I’ll ask my son Hayden to do that and it will take probably three weeks of nagging for him to do it), and do some weeding.
As I’m out in my yard working…you can enjoy a mint and my misery.
You know that bad feeling you get when your projects have gone horribly wrong?
That is how my whole backyard feels to me right now. A few weeks back, my stepson became my indentured servant by needing money for rent. He offered to come work for me in my yard doing various grunt work projects. I appreciate him not asking me to loan him the money but instead offered to work for it. Now he is over at my house on various weekends doing year projects to pay off his debt.
This arrangement is excellent for me because it gets me out of a lot of heavy lifting, wet weather, and hard work. On my never ending “To Do List”, I do have yard projects and clean up projects. However, I really didn’t want to have to worry about all this stuff in the middle of the winter season.
Yet, I am dealing with the yard projects to keep my stepson busy. To keep him busy, I’ve had a new sand pad created for the pool to sit on, new gravel paths near the garden shed, transplanted a tree, and made a nice gravel pad for my recycling bin, garbage can, and yard waste bin to sit on. He has moved my compost pile from one side of the house to the other. All of these projects needed to be done and it is nice to have them done before summer. They have been completed without any major hiccups until now.
Now, the bigger problem we have looms like a small mountain in my driveway, mocking me. It keeps telling me that we are nowhere close to getting things done in the backyard and it will be there forever.
My problem:The large pile of gravel in my driveway.
In hindsight, I overestimated how much gravel we’d need for all the projects around the house. Usually, with my superior math skills (to think I made it through calculus), I grossly underestimate my raw material needs. More often than not, we end up making two or three more trips to the Palmer Coking Coal Company to get more gravel.
This is not the case with this huge pile of gravel. We can’t spread this stuff fast enough. I seems like this gravel pile isn’t getting any smaller and I’m afraid I might never get into the driveway again at this rate. My wife has voiced her opinion that our whole backyard will become a giant gravel field.
This thought is somewhat amusing if I didn’t have the same fear myself. Of course, my wife only visits the yard on summer days so we should be good until August (here in the Seattle area) for her to realize if her fear has materialized or not. Kind of sounds like prison, doesn’t it? “Yeah, da wife is only allowed out once in a while….don’t let her see the outdoors much. Gotta keep her indoors cleaning and taking care of mine kin.” (I do hope I sound redneck enough….)
Tomorrow will be the big day to see if my stepson can power through the rest of the gravel pile. Otherwise, I think we’ll just have to live with it until summer. As always your comments are welcome but please remember that you’ll never have as much worthless advice as I do.
When summer rolls around here in the Pacific Northwest, I like to do some landscape projects. With my trusty little Ford Ranger pick up truck (that seems to haul everything I throw into the back of it) and my little old shovel, I’m off.
A few summers back, I managed to build my shed/office. Then the next summer, I built my new deck with huge 8×8 posts (because it looks way more manly than little crappy 4×4 posts). I’ve also removed all of the old railroad ties that the previous owners used for landscaping and replaced them with rock walls and rock borders. A lot of hard work, sweat, and tears have been poured into the various landscaping projects.
And the sick part: I like to do this kind of stuff. It gives me a wonderful piece of mind just working on yard projects. I escape from having to do any photography related projects. I just enjoy the sunshine and the outdoors. I plan for my yard to be low maintenance. I want my son to be able to mow the lawn without using the weedeater to trim back the grass.
I also don’t want to worry about watering any plants. If those plants need my help to survive, they are pretty much doomed. I don’t even water the lawn. What’s the point? It will grow back anyway.