I spent a good portion of this past weekend doing one of my least favorite chores: yard work.
As many of you may not know, my dad was diagnosed with cancer a few months back. He had some major surgery to remove it, and is now in chemotherapy.
He’s doing pretty well, all things considered, but the chemo is sort of knocking him on his ass a bit. And he has that big ol’ house with a landscaped yard.
So I’ve been heading home more frequently to visit him and help with some chores, etc.
This weekend was yard work.
From reading by blog, you probably know I bought a condo for one main reason– no goddamn yard work. Well, that and it’s just a fuckin’ cool space.
I learned my lesson when I lived in a house in North Carolina that I really have no love whatsoever for doing landscaping. Taking care of 1/2 acre by myself taught me to hate mowing, pruning, weeding, raking, etc.
To me it’s a huge waste of time– nature always moves toward disorder and chaos, so your work to control it is never ending.
To me, continually waging a losing battle qualifies as insane.
But dad needs the help and his yard wasn’t going to landscape itself. And there is quite a bit of landscaped beds around!
This was the best weekend to do the work, timing-wise. It wasn’t a chemo weekend, the weather was decent, and I didn’t have drum corps commitments.
To be perfectly honest, I really don’t mind the physical labor aspect and being outside in decent weather parts. It’s a change of pace, fresh air, good exercise and all that rot.
I just don’t want to have to do it every weekend.
On the plus side, the weather back home was nicer than anything we’ve had to date in Minnesota. Mid-50’s and mostly sunny.
The grass was green, daffodils were up and blooming, other flowers were up and growing, so it really wasn’t all that bad. And dad was getting around pretty well.
Here’s our list of chores though:
– prune back some trees/bushes
– cut back all ornamental grasses
– clean out dead matter from all perennials/grasses
– rake leaves out planting beds
– bag all trimmed/pulled/raked crap
– repair loose stone siding on house
– move fountain outside/hook up
– move chopped wood from garage to fire pit
– cut up brush pile limbs into kindling and organize/stack by fire pit
– pick up miscellaneous debris and cart to burn pile in woods
– clean out koi pond filter
– fill bird feeders
– refill portable air tank
– return cans/bottles to recycling center
The majority of the list was completed before the rain moved in late Saturday afternoon. There was only one “oopsie” moment when I cut through a power line to an outdoor solar light.
What? It was buried in all the damn ornamental grass that I had to trim!
Truly, the only bad part of the work was the fact that dad didn’t have an extra pair of work gloves for me, so my hands got a bit chewed up.
Other than that, it sure was nice to get outdoors and experience some Spring weather!
When I left Iowa on Sunday, it was 62 and rainy. When I pulled into Minneapolis, it was 32 and freezing rain. With snow on the ground.