Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pulling Up Happiness, One Weed at a Time

I tried to come up with a "general conference-y" title for this post.
Cheesy but at the same time you know just what's coming, No?
Year one in this house, holy moly the yard went untouched.
We moved in so late into the season, lawn mowing was just about over anyway, plus the fact we didn't own a mower, or a shovel, or a single yard tool for that matter.
Then soon that same year quickly came the older-neighborhood-leaf-clean-up.
Do you live in an old neighborhood filled with approximately 1 million old trees surrounding your home? Well then you know all about leaf clean up. It's a doozie.

That first year we were here, Jeff raked our leaves just after the first winter snow melted (ha!)
We didn't want to be completely shamed out of the neighborhood come spring. That stands as one of my favorite memories of our early home owning days- Jeff with a hat and gloves and winter coat zipped tight -rake in hand sweating away looking very much out of his element. (a lot of my best memories come from Jeff dressed up with some kind of tool in hand, I will link back every chance I get).
Spring came, and we just plain mowed all summer, taking no action against weeds.

Year two we mulched, did a little landscaping courtesy of BabaJuje and myself and started our vegetable garden.

Year three brought another baby and another year of semi neglect. Babies will do that. But we did paint the house and added a fence in the back. So...not bad.

But this year, this year I have become your run of the mill OCD yard neighbor. Rogue trees have nothing on me. It's like our yard has finally arrived and we can actually show our faces on the street with pride-the front yard at least...
I can be found saying grown-up yard things like,

"Oh my, Mr. Flemmings, you're wife's tulips are coming in beautifully this year, what's her secret" and, "Brillant sedum, I'm thinking of adding some to the front garden".

I have spent many hours in my cut offs and worn garden gloves, tools in hand, sweat on brow. It is such therapy!
I really do love to garden. Who knew?
Now, don't go signing us up to win any blue ribbons at the county fair (for one- they don't give out blue ribbons for pretty yards at the county fair)
But, I have really understood those people who take pride in their yard because I think I am one of them.
It's my job to clean up inside, I'm just expanding my business. Anything to avoid basement laundry.
And since my husband would only really start to show yard concern if our grass was 3 feet tall, I took it upon myself and I'm sure glad I did.
Anyway, the point is I have found in my adult life so many instances of "happy work". Work the children can do along side me (I am big on children working along side, if there was a "walk for children working along side their parents" I would surely join the cause), and no one is complaining of the work because it's enjoyable. Did you know children like to water things and pull weeds? They do.

And isn't life partly about learning to enjoy the things you have to do anyway? I explain each year of yard transformation as an example because I believe learning to love work is a progression. Now, I'm no general authority but I believe life is much better when you actually enjoy what you're doing. In fact, I'm pretty sure happiness depends on it.

A life of work that blends with happiness. What could be better?
Nothing. That's what.


Donsher said...

Beautiful yard!

Marci said...

I love this post...really, I love all of your posts. Hi. You don't know me but I stumbled onto your blog via my old college roommate and dear friend Robin a.k.a. "Ladle of Love" (she's pretty great). Anyway, it is a treat to visit your blog and I think your children are darling as darling can be. Oh, and your home decor is pretty great too!!

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