yard work

I wrote last October about how I had terminated the services of our gardener. In short, he didn’t understand that the yard waste toter was booth food waste and yard waste, and he would throw food waste, which we put in paper bags, into the recycle toter. There are certain things for which I have zero tolerance, and one of those is polluting the recycling stream. The decision saved us $60 a month, which is a particularly good thing in these days of Terry’s anemic commission checks, but still I wondered whether I was cutting off my nose to spite my face. After four months I can say unequivocally that I was not.

The exercise has definitely been good for me. My former primary care physician was fond of reminding me that in addition to aerobic exercise, about which I am quite diligent, I should be doing strength training and stretching. Yard work offers both.

In the first several weeks after that decision, I was kept busy each weekend taking care of the falling leaves. Once the trees were bare, there was less to do, and I could get by with mowing the lawns every two or three weeks. Then there’s those extraordinary projects, in the sense of extra-ordinary.

The second year we were here we had a contractor landscape our back yard. Part of the flora included in the project was crepe myrtle tree, which is directly in view outside my loft office window. The first few years we loved it, though as it matured the annoyance with the shedding flowers nearly outweighed our enjoyment of them earlier in the season.

treeWorking from home I see the crepe myrtle all day long. This year the dry seed pods stayed on the tree all winter, and I didn’t know how the new growth would arrive in spring. Assuming, of course, that the tree is still alive. The citrus in the neighborhood is not doing terribly well in this disturbingly dry winter.

I decided that this task needed to be tackled, which I did last Saturday. I pulled out the ladder and the long-handled pruning shears. I wasn’t sure I would be able to get the highest branches in the back, but by the time I was finished I managed to get them all. I now have a much improved view outside my loft window, and the crepe myrtle, has, I hope, a chance at coming back.

Not to mention the fact that I got my stretching and strength training in. In addition to the actual lopping of the branches, there was, of course, the gathering of the branches from the ground and cutting them to fit the yard waste toter. Plus I mowed both lawns and swept up a few stray leaves. I took an ibuprofen Sunday morning, but it was, without doubt, a worthwhile effort.

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