Undoubtedly, yard work is hard work

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Oh the family fun of frolicking in a forest. My parents, my sister and I spent a nicely breezy Saturday afternoon this weekend, clearing out a small piece of backyard acreage that had become a bit unruly.

In other words: It was a jungle out there.

Momma sat languidly in her lawn chair sipping on miniature cartons of calcium enriched orange juice, but sprang from her seat every few seconds to attack a root with clippers or Round-Up. Daddy and I hacked away at the underbrush, got tired, hacked away some more, got tired some more, and generally beat the muscles of our arms, shoulders and back to death. Donna, home for vacation, was the unofficial foreman - &#8220got another pile up here.”

Once, I had a vision of Thor, God of Thunder, brilliantly wielding his mighty hammer against some Nordic fiend. But alas, it was only father, whipping the hell out of some bushes.

Yard work is hard work. Our &#8220lower 40”, as Momma refers to it, is small in comparison to some of the backyards around Greenville. Just the right length and breadth for a game of touch football, which we hardly play anymore because everyone's too old. Instead, horseshoe stakes have taken up residence there.

But the trees and bushes around the yard's perimeter have grown unchecked for some time now, slowly inching their way outward. To cut the grass, I have to navigate beneath a canopy of limbs and leaves, expecting a nest of spiders to fall across the top of my head at any moment.

&#8220I remember when I could trim this whole yard at one time,” Daddy said when we were all sufficiently pooped out to go on anymore. Try it now, dear old Dad, and we'd both need an IV to drag along behind us, as well as an ambulance parked out front, waiting for our eventual fall.

And the things we discovered.

Old tires. Paper plates. Paper cups. Tin plates. A trash can. Two bundles of coiled wire, which having entwined itself among the vines and roots had become a load to remove.

By the time we were finished, we had about a dozen yard tools scattered about on the ground which we'd used to clear a piece of land about the length of an SUV. It took us over two hours, several glasses of water, one wheelbarrow, a gallon of weed killer, two pairs of gloves, three sets of clippers, one pitch fork, one sling blade, one axe, one pair of wire cutters, and a bottle of mosquito spray, to accomplish this massive undertaking.

But at least the wind was blowing.

Kevin Pearcey is Group Managing Editor of Greenville Newspapers, LLC. He can be reached by phone at 383-9302, ext. 136 or by email at: editor@greenville.advocate.com.