I remember the first time I cut the grass last spring. I felt great; strong and empowered, doing this task, usually done by Horatio, physical in nature, with clear, immediately visible results. Horatio had been gone for about four months. I remember the positive feelings lasted a couple of months into the spring, and then they came to a screeching halt.
By May, cutting the grass was just one more thing on my to-do list. May is a busy time in the school year and a time when the grass grows quickly, so I had to struggle to stay on top of it while keeping up with the performances, projects and meetings at the preschool, elementary school and middle school.
Yesterday, I cut the grass for the first time this year. The empowerment, sense of accomplishment, etc., did not return. It was there, in the back of my head. I made a valiant effort to push the positive feelings to the forefront of my thoughts. Alas, again, it’s just another thing on the long list of things I need to do as the single adult in the household.
I can see that the early need for the mower is partly my fault. I planted some grass seed in some sparse areas of the lawn last year and it is those spots that most needed cutting. I guess I chose the wrong type of seed since it is growing at a faster rate than the rest of the yard. Part of the yard needed cutting, while the rest would have been fine for at least another week.
One positive thing that I can focus on is that I can count the yard work as my workout of the day. So, it’s a bit of a “two birds with one stone” situation, which is a huge plus these days.
I also cut down the daffodils which already fully bloomed and wilted. I probably jumped the gun on that one, but I wanted to just get it done, not have the image of the dying flowers hanging over my shoulder, and the garden guy on the Early Show or Today Show told me it’s ok to trim everything at this time of year. I shaped our rose bushes and azalea bushes as well. A job worth doing is worth doing fully.
The one thing I didn’t do is clean the leaves out of our garden beds. I can’t find the rake. I know it’s in the garage somewhere, so I guess tidying the garage is another thing to add to my list. We have a blower that is also a weed whacker, trimmer, etc., but it is gas operated and I never learned how to use it before Horatio deployed. It’s driving me crazy because I need to get the leaves out of there so I can put some mulch down and get the yard looking nice again. My great Navy wife friend in the neighborhood thinks she has an electric one, so I am hoping to borrow hers. Her husband is also deployed and we help each other out in every way: from lending an ear (i.e. sharing a bottle of wine), to babysitting (not at the same time), to borrowing gardening tools. I don’t know what I’d have done without having her to count on over the past 471 days.
SO, spring is upon us. I’ll be out there, every week, cutting the grass and maintaining the yard. Horatio will be home at the end of July and can then resume his role as caretaker of the yard. He’ll be happy to take it over and I’ll be beyond happy to give up the responsibility.
In the meantime, I will be more proactive about getting my able-bodied 13 and 11-year-old boys involved in the process. I know they are willing (sometimes) and able and I just need to time the work more carefully, so that they are home for it.