What a Day!

I don’t know where I get the idea that I don’t do much. Perhaps because there are times when I lay about, such as the rainy day a couple of days ago, but today wasn’t such a day. I woke this morning at 5:00 a.m. (Not by choice, you understand. It’s just when my body decided it didn’t want to sleep anymore.)

It is now 5:00 p.m., and this is the first time I’ve managed to sit all day. Well, I did take a break for a quick meal, and I’ll be eating again soon, but for the most part, I’ve been on the go since I awoke.

After I exercised and straightened the house, I did a bit of weeding, then a friend came to pick me up so we could check the roof on our absent friend’s house. It’s still holding up despite the rain we had. We made a couple of quick stops at food stores, then she dropped me off and I put the groceries away.

By that time, the morning dew was long dried, so I hauled out my lawn mower. The mowing is easy. The hard part is emptying the grass catcher. It seems a very long way from the northwest corner of my yard to the southeast corner where I need to dump the clippings, and since the grass got long and thick because of the rain, I had to empty the catcher about ten times. The good part is the mower mulches the clippings, and I need a lot of mulch to try to suffocate the bindweed that proliferates in that far corner.

While I was resting after my hard work, I got a text from my neighbor asking if I wanted to look at her “yard pretties” and see what I wanted since she loved to share. We wandered around her lush yard, and greedy me, I said I wanted a bit of everything except the climbers. Although ivy and Virginia creepers are pretty, I don’t want to deal with keeping them in check. Once I finished admiring everything in her yard, we came over to my place and looked at everything here. I ended up giving her some larkspur and wildflower seeds, and promised to give her some New England aster in the late fall when I divide them.

She was glad to see I still have so much uncultivated yard. She can thin her plants as much as she needs to because she will have an extension garden to fill up. (That’s what I’m calling that unplanted area, her “extension garden.”)

I still had a couple of errands to run, so she promised to send the plants over to me when they were dug up, we said goodbye, and I headed out again.

Despite the offer of plants, as I passed the hardware store with the racks of plants out in front, I stopped and browsed and bought. Just one four-pack of petunias to fill in an area that cried out for a bit of color. I’m not totally obsessed.

What a day!

I must admit, I was so exhausted after all my exertions that I didn’t plant the flowers, even though it wouldn’t have taken long.

While I’m admitting things, I might as well admit I never thought spending so much time (and money) on a yard would be worth it, but I do so love to wander around my paths and see what’s new. There’s always something to look at, and what’s even better, it can’t all be seen at a glance. Knowing so many elderlies who are property-bound (not housebound exactly; they just don’t feel comfortable straying too far from home), I wanted to make sure that if the same thing happened to me, I’d have things to look at as I wandered around my yard. As I’d hoped, with each curve of the pathways, I get a different view. Even better, I don’t have to wait until I’m property-bound to enjoy the scenery.


Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.