Monday, April 21, 2008

Lawn Work and Other Signs of a New Outlook on Outdoor Life . . .

Joy and I spent the better part of Saturday and a good chunk of Sunday working in the lawn. With Ava off to the circus with Grandma and Grandpa, it was the perfect time for us to just get some stuff done and the weather here was glorious all weekend.

We raked, mowed, towed and hoed. We drug the picnic table from the storage shed and we dusted off the grill and lawn furniture. We even trimmed back our pussy willow bush that was eight feet tall and very, very overgrown before getting the "high and tight" treatment from the electric clippers. Not once did I complain. Not once did I try to get out of the lawn. Not once did I question God why (s/t)he(y) had foresaken me to such a punishment. I just enjoyed time out on the lawn.

Not long ago (a year ago) - you could not have convinced me to spend the entire day out in the lawn working. I had just had surgery. I was down a good amount of weight but I didn't feel "good." Heat was the sworn enemy. WORK (as in manual labor) was the sworn enemy. It had been for a very, very long time.

I lived in an apartment in DC. I vowed I would always be an apartment dweller. No driveway or lawn for me (in other words - no shoveling, mowing, raking, etc.). I would assume that having a big lawn and driveway growing up (with lots of mowing, shoveling, raking, etc.) helped fuel my resistance to these perks of "adulthood" in my early adulthood but - before long - my weight held me back. The fact that mowing the lawn for an hour in the Baltimore suburbs, in July, in 95 degree heat and 95% humidity actually left me cranky, dizzy, winded, drenched in sweat and fearing what another 30 minutes might mean for my very mortality quickly became the reason that I hated lawn work and lawns accordingly.

But this year it just "feels different" to be out there. Joy and I bought a fern for the front porch. We sat and chatted Saturday evening while Joy sipped a nice, cold Corona with lime and I drank a Minute Maid Light Lemonade (the official drink of Sean's Summer 2008, by the way (memorabilia to come (smile)). We talked about planning some barbecues with family and friends. We talked about how excited we are to reseed part of the lawn that currently reminds me of Sudan (without the refugees or genocide) and we talked about how great life can be when you have a nice little lawn and a desire to sear some meat and hang out with people you love.

Most springs, we would make these plans early on but - by the time the 60s and low-70s gave way to highs in the 80s (90s and 100s) we were inside as much as possible. Complaining about our lack of central air conditioning (we have that here in Wichita, for the record) and anxiously awaiting the fall season. This year though . . . I belive it will be different.

I'm looking forward to summer. My bike will be getting lots of mileage put on it, the playground in the park will be seeing the Amore family regularly (swings, slides, walking paths and the lawn), the pool in the park will get lots of glimpses of my white, doughy-but-hopefully-tanning-over-time body, the lawn will be kept in tip-top shape and I might even get to a point where I feel comfortable wearing shorts in public (for the first time in over a decade).

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