Bookends of Summer


We are entering summer–bookended by the Memorial Day and Labor Day holiday weekends.  In my family, holiday weekends were more likely to be spent doing home projects than hitting the road and enduring the traffic of all the other families going on vacation.

I’m continuing that tradition without even really thinking about it–mostly because the friend I hired to paint my house said he’d be coming on Monday (that’s tomorrow).  I don’t know if he realized that Monday is a holiday, but he seems like the kind of person (like myself), who doesn’t necessarily care about the official designation of a day–he said he’s coming, so I’m preparing.

I started by mowing the front lawn, bringing a few tools down to the basement, and hauling my boat up to the truck–I’ll bring that out to the farm a little later this afternoon.  While I’m there, I’ll cut a piece of landscape fabric to underlie the various piles of materials I’m going to have to get in the backyard, away from the house.

Collecting landscaping materials is a weakness, so the piles of rocks, logs, cinder blocks, pavers, and bricks seem to multiply without my trying to make them. These are all distributed in more-or-less neat piles based on where I thought I was going to use them or how quickly I needed to get them out of the back of the truck.

In order to move them into more-or-less neat piles in the backyard, I need to clear a spot with the weed-whacker, then lay down fabric, so I don’t end up with a weed problem in and around the piles.

I started clearing the spot and realized that the leaves of the hackberry I’ve alternately softened and hardened my heart to over the last several seasons were covered with orange galls.  Without further ado, and to improve the airflow to my woodland meadow of a backyard, I cut it down.

Actually taking that big tree apart will be another project for another day, but the difference in breeze with it out of the lower canopy is pretty remarkable.  I might have to thin the clump of mulberries, too, but they are farther down the hill, so that project has to wait.

My son is playing at the neighbor’s for about another hour–so I’ll get the weed-whacker out and get that spot for landscape materials prepped.  Might as well do a spot-trim-up around the rest of the house, too while I’m at it.  M’s not really excited about being involved (funny, he always helps his dad!), but I won’t work him that hard–he can carry the bricks from the sideyard to the back.

This seems to be how it goes with any home or farm project I embark upon–I find myself doing one or two or five or ten different side projects first in order to be able to begin the task I set out to accomplish.

But I figure if I’m going to be cleaning and clearing around the house, there’s no reason to simply re-create the messes I have in a different spot in the yard.  Might as well make the yard a tidier place to serve as a showcase for my soon-to-be newly-painted house!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

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