OK. Now I know why condos and coops are preferable to home ownership. I can hear the lawn mowers and hedge clippers from afar. Drifting in my windows generally interrupting my thoughts. Swarms of men armed with rakes and hoes and clippers and their ride-ons parked neatly on their open-back pickups.
These men migrate up from agrarian Latin America following the crops and the season. New England in the summers. The truck pulls up and like Barnum & Bailey Keystone Cops zillions emerge undaunted on the steamiest afternoon broiling in the hot sun. Straw hats and mesh tank tops. Or, in the pouring rain just to stay on schedule. Same outfit.
Condo dwellers don't need to make frequent shopping sprees to Home Depot or Lowes. No need to own yard tools. Or mulch. Or topsoil. Or seed. Absolutely no clutter. No need for a garage. A tool shed. Nada. Easy living. Just park my Volvo in the lot, smile and saunter up to the front door ... weather be damned.
But noooooooo. Not now. Coffers dwindling precipitously. My curb appeal needing to stay tidy. After all my antique village home is on walking tours and in plain view. Impecunious me. Where are the Honduran yard guys who came weekly in Connecticut? My yard never looked so good. Yes, Miss Alice, I add mulch here? Where you want the flowers, Miss Alice? I really should have appreciated them more. 'Cause this year and for the foreseeable future I am virtually on my own. And I haven't a clue. Not a master gardener like Bonnie on Storer Street. Not particularily fond of playing in the dirt to tidy the grounds. All one third of an acre. The Biddeford boys will still arrive weekly and back their John Deere off the ramp into my lawn but that is it. What's this arthritic, non-gardener to do?
But whoa nellie. Something happened. The sun is out. The temperatures in the high 60s. I grabbed my trusty outdoor implements. The few I have in the garage ... a snow shovel, a broom, a rake, a recycling bin and gloves with holes at the tips of a few fingers. Pointed myself reluctantly to the closest winter abused bed to dethatch, pull stray two foot high blades of grass with even longer root systems, rake last November's dried up oak leaves that fell after the others were whisked away. My thick chestnut hair tied in a scrunchy saved for cleaning tasks. Black sweats and last millennium's bright lime zipper front sweatshirt from the sale table at the GAP.
The strategist in me created a plan. Implementation my forté. Front yard Friday until 3 then a bath and my reward ... a movie at a real theatre! Back of the house today. Today was going to be a doozy. No movie. No nothing. Except I did stop a few times to play with Bailey who was so delighted to have her momma OUTSIDE. And to chat with neighbors with wheelbarrows, spades and hoes. I admit I was a bit jealous. My knee throbbed. Bailey loved it. I was in her turf for the better part of two days. TREATS in my pocket. And its done. Saved myself scads of $$$$ ... spent the better part of two days in the warm almost spring air ... and not near my 'fridge! The trifecta.
Amazing. I enjoyed the rhythm of making these beds sparkle. The hum of finishing an area and hobbling to the next. I actually accomplished a lot.
Am off to pour a large glass of Bordeaux. Boston Brigham and Women's Hospital noted in a medical journal this week that women who drink from time to time do not have a propensity to become obese. That and dark chocolate? I may even tackle the triangle behind the Chinese Chippendale teak bench tomorrow. It would be a lovely spot for forsythia.