Is it just me, or did we skip an entire season? Seems we went straight from winter to summer, and now the blossoming trees and shrubs are scrambling into overdrive, trying to catch up with the calendar. Please don’t hear this as complaining; I’m thrilled the weather finally warmed after most of us had lost hope. But it’s easier on the constitution when we’re phased in with a few gentle spring breezes instead of jumping from zero to thirty in sixty seconds.
Too bad the mosquitoes didn’t miss any clues.
Doing everything the hard way
If there’s a stupider way to do a yard project, I tend to find it. I wanted to turn a 55-foot strip of crushed rock along our side fence into a lovely row of something—something with a little more life than all that stone and the weeds that manage to poke through it. Since my sister had hosta plants to share, I figured they’d do nicely. This meant raking as much of the crushed rock onto the driveway as I could manage, then jumping on a shovel like a jackhammer to dig holes through the remaining six inches of gravel. Rattled a few teeth loose, I think.
When I had all 14 holes dug and was ready to haul soil from our city’s composting yard, hubby was gone with both his truck and his muscles. So I made three trips to the composting yard in my car, using several two-gallon buckets because that’s all the weight my wimpiness could manage.
The next afternoon, I set out to lay landscaping fabric along this 55-foot strip. On the windiest day of the year. But if I waited for calmer weather the poor little hostas, already uprooted from their former bed, would surely die. Now I understand the pressure heart transplant surgeons are under.
Working with landscaping fabric in the wind reminded me of trying to change a diaper on a toddler fresh from his nap and raring to go. Every time I’d place part of it down, another part would billow up like it was ready to set sail. At one point, holding on tight, I went parasailing down the street and ended up two blocks over.
By the time my hostas were planted and the fabric covered with cedar mulch, I was too cranky to speak nicely to them. Folks tell me all I have to do now is water them. We’ll see.
In praise of clotheslines
Now that summer’s here, I’m enjoying the benefits of a clothesline after eleven years without one. While the kids were growing, two clotheslines graced our country yard—an umbrella type and a pulley type. We faithfully filled them both three times a week. It saved money on power and everything smelled wonderful.
But our next move landed us in a trailer park where they forbade clotheslines (which I never could figure out) and the next move was into a rented house without one. So when we purchased our home last summer, I was delighted to discover an umbrella clothesline in the backyard. Using it makes me feel all pioneersy and wholesome. Mind you, I still run most of the clothes through a cold fluff cycle with a fabric softener sheet afterwards. Can’t have hubby walking around stiff-legged and chafing.
John Steinbeck wrote, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?”
I suppose he had a point. But I could handle summer weather all year ‘round and still find it pretty dang sweet. Couldn’t you?