Yard Wars: Spring fever strikes back

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 31, 2007

A year ago I wrote a column about my family's obsession with the rite of spring yard work. Now, the saga continues.

This past Saturday we spent the day planting rose bushes, cutting grass, pulling weeds, stacking rocks, laying top soil, hauling trash, moving stone slabs, clearing an old brick barbecue pit and generally wiping ourselves out before the noon meal. And again we had every conceivable yard tool imaginable strewn about the lawn. It was like Home Depot had exploded.

As mentioned we had several projects on-going at once. Interestingly, cutting the grass - which used to be the hardest job on the outside (lots of yard, big heavy push mowers) - has now become one of the easiest. We finally had the riding mower fixed. So while Dad cut a turn or two in the back with it, I polished off the front yard in a snap.

Then my mother came home, with sister, and initiated several other projects. At once.

(On an aside: For some reason I'm never allowed to initiate a project. I'm only allowed to help finish. Dad refers to me as the ‘low man on the totem pole,' which age wise, I am. Therefore, I am the official gopher and heavy lifter of the household. Or it could be I just don't have any initiative when it comes to yard work and it's up to management - i.e., mother and father - to see that I produce. Anyway.)

My sister has much initiative. She took to digging out the old ash, sand, bricks and glass that was inhabiting our old barbecue pit, which we can't use now anymore because it's too close to our home and smoke might stain the new vinyl siding. I snuck up on her and made rattlesnake sounds. She screamed.

Dad launched an assault on the same deep undergrowth we cleared last year in this column. He filed up the slingblade and warned me for the 755,000th time that it was capable of slicing my foot off and I should watch it.

In the front yard we laid bits of concrete in a fashionable circle around the flower garden and planted three rose bushes. We started watering and fertilizing the new bushes, but Dad was ticked because the connection on the water hose didn't tighten well enough so we had to stop and try again. He was, however, happy to let our outside cat fertilize the roses in her own way, until my mother screamed to &#8220get her out of there!”

The good thing about yard work though is everything that follows in the day is better. The food you eat tastes better. The hot shower feels better. The bed sleeps better.

And my sister and I had Push-Ups, the same little tubes of orange sherbet ice cream we enjoyed during the summers of our childhood.

I just didn't have to work so hard for them back then.

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.