I admit, I was once a fan of yard work, but it’s fallen by the wayside. With so many other interesting distractions — you know, things like being with family and friends, or tackling the zillion other household chores that claw at one’s leisure time — work around the outside of the house has been low on the priority list.
Once upon a time, I derived a strong sense of satisfaction in getting out and mowing the lawn. In fact, I used to quietly mock the neighbors who paid for a lawn service, and missed out on the joy of knowing that hey, those trimmed hedges and that carefully spread mulch was your accomplishment. I think growing up in Indiana, going to U-Pick blueberry farms and helping my dad around the yard, inspired a certain love of working with the land.
But as my body aged, suddenly outsourcing it all felt wiser. Not to mention that the math favored it, too. (“I’m paying hundreds of dollars to have mechanics fix my mowers each year? And I could just pony up $40 every two weeks, AND get a few hours of my weekend back? Shut up and take my money!”)
This weekend, however, was a little different. Saturday, with the help of my father-in-law, we rebuilt the warping wooden steps on the side of the house and remounted the ceiling hooks for the front porch swing. Sunday, my wife and I spent hours pole-sawing our way around the perimeter of our shed, cutting down and dragging away wayward branches that were scraping holes into its roof. There were other minor tasks too, and a bazillion other things that we “probably should do.” But it doesn’t matter. The sense of accomplishment was there.
Mind you, I’m not about to come over to YOUR house and volunteer to rake YOUR leaves for a few hours this fall. But I liked the reminder of how satisfying it is to take care of your house and your land, when they involve small tasks that you can get done in a morning.