Thursday, March 15, 2012

It is a Lovely Day for Yard Work...or is it?

The winter has been a mild one here in western New York. All the snow is gone and the temperatures have been more like mid-May rather than mid-March the past few days. This means that soon I will have to start cleaning up winter’s debris from the yard, a job I do not particularly relish.

I decided this past week to do some research on ways to take the drudgery out of doing yard work. Using Google, the third item that popped up on the list was a link to an article about a Utah man who was shot by a neighbor while doing yard work. I immediately searched for good places to buy bulletproof vests. Now I just have to convince Beloved that $400 is not too much money to keep me safe while out in the yard.

Although this winter has been light on snow, it has been filled with wind, and this has helped to heap a multitude of debris in the yard. Across the street, condominiums have been being built all winter. Even on those few days of bitter cold, I have seen cold craftsman out on scaffolding putting up siding. At the end of one gusty day, as they were disposing of their refuse in a large dumpster, the wind conspired to make that endeavor difficult. One poor gentleman chased loose sheets of plastic as they blew across the road. He did not get them all and I have a few to pick out of the yard. I do not mind picking up the debris from across the street. I am actually quite thankful that I did not wake up to a new condo that had blown across the street and come to rest in my yard. That would be troublesome.

A couple of years ago I found the remains of a small, I presume extinct, animal in the back yard. My three daughters and I examined the bones carefully, like paleontologists unearthing a new species. Some thought it was a squirrel, others a chipmunk. I believe it was something much more exotic, and as soon as I find out the Latin translation for “Wee little animal with long tail.” I am going to have my own species of dinosaur.

One of the most exciting parts of spring yard clean up is the traditional uncovering of the strawberries. Littlest and I usually undertake that task together. While we do we always chatter about the wonderful things we could make with strawberries, if we ever harvest enough.  The strawberry bed is young, so we have yet to harvest more than five strawberries any season.

There is a tremendous amount of worry that goes into removing the straw and that worry stems from a subset of Murphy’s law. The same section that states, “As soon as you wash your car, it will rain.” The Strawberry Murphy’s law states, “As soon as you uncover your strawberries, it will snow…bad.” So if you see any snow in the next few days, you can be assured that I uncovered the berries.

I have wasted just about as much time as I can writing this. Now I really need to get out in the yard and work. I don’t think Beloved will let me wait until a bulletproof vest gets delivered, so before I go out, let me make sure none of the neighbors are outside carrying firearms.

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