Last week we plodded on in our struggle for some green. And I don’t mean cash flow (though we did plod on in that regard). I’m talking about grass, a lawn, suburban pride.
The seed Dave and my father worked so hard to sow in our backyard a couple months ago just did not take. A few patches here and there, but mostly rocky dirt. So, we threw more dirt at it. Three cubic yards of topsoil, to be exact. Which, in case you don’t know what 3 cubic yards looks like, formed a small mountain covering our driveway.
We could have paid someone a nice sum to do the work for us, but we don’t have that nice sum handy. So we learned why peasants of yesteryear had so many children – more hands to work the earth.
All three kids totally got in on the act – and why not? Boys + Dirt = Ecstasy. We laid down over 2000 square feet of topsoil, scattered seed and raked it through. Even the two-year-old was a big help (when he wasn’t screaming and wielding a trowel at his brothers). And while the economy may not be on our side, Mother Nature sure was. It rained and rained – all through the night, all the next day. Blessed rain.
So now we have 1.5 cubic yards of loam in our driveway. (Oops, over ordered.) We offered it to the neighbors – free dirt! – then took a look at our front yard. Not so pretty. It’s mostly clover, which looks okay for the first hour after you mow it, then gets gnarly.
We had always assumed that we’d live with this until we could afford professionals to remedy it. But here we are, with a driveway full of topsoil (not something you can easily get rid of) and a zeal for doing it ourselves. For $30, we got what we needed – weed killer and grass seed.
Once again, nature was on our side, giving us two sunny days in a row – just what we needed to douse the lawn with chemicals (I know, I know – don’t go there) and have it take effect. Soon we’ll spread the soil, scatter the seed and look forward to the rain that is predicted for later.
All this time we thought a decent looking front lawn would be a huge and expensive undertaking. Funny how much cheaper and simpler it can be when circumstances force you to do it yourself.
Blessing – a stronger sense of self-reliance born of necessity
A friend shared a tidbit she had heard from her friend who was recently laid off. (Doesn’t everyone have a friend of a friend who lost a job?) A yoga instructor, upon hearing this guy’s bad news, replied, “And what are you going to do with this wonderful gift of time?”
I thought this was refreshing, and it validated one of my earlier posts where I wrote about changing your POV. When you look at things a bit differently, opportunities open up.
So with that, here’s what I’ve done so far with my gift of time.
1. Cleaned out the garage (long overdue)
2. De-rocked, top-soiled and reseeded the backyard
3. Built a birdhouse
4. Built a compost bin
5. Planted a garden
6. Chaperoned my 8-year-old’s class trips
7. Attended my 5-year-old’s class parties
8. Cleaned out my parents’ basement
9. Launched a blog
10. Revised my resume
11. Actually read my kids their bedtime stories
12. Had family dinners during the week (what a novel concept!)
13. Helped my third-grader with his homework
14. Pitched a piece of business
15. Swam in the Gulf of Mexico
16. Hiked through the Everglades
17. Helped launch my wife’s website
18. Trained for and ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon and a 10K race
19. Discovered a new playground
20. Watched 3 movies from Netflix (yeah!)
21. Watched NHL playoff hockey (yeah!)
22. Developed a slate of new work projects
23. Reconnected with former colleagues and business associates from all over
24. More importantly, reconnected with my family
So far this blog has all been about us. It’s time to turn the tables. Please share what you’ve done lately (or what you would do) with YOUR wonderful gift of time. Post a comment. We’d love to know.
Blessing – Teaching my 8-year-old the proper way to fold a newspaper for easier reading (This will be a lost art form in a matter of years, if not sooner)