Sometimes I wonder if Boston exists to break my spirit. I’ve been back in town for just short of two weeks, and all the hopes of trying to embrace my hometown had a high tendency of kicking back in my face. After three-plus months of beautiful California sun, when it maybe rained twice during that run, it rained the first eight days after I came back. Just before the sun started to break, I did something to my knee that made it so sore and swollen I had to stay off of it for four days.
The challenge with all this rain is that it’s kept me from getting work done on my yard, and in fact just made the whole thing worse. I live in a three story old Victorian condo where each floor is a different condo. Because I have the bottom floor, my lien also includes the backyard. For the most part, I took that because it gives Auggie a place to do his business. The yard isn’t completely fenced in, and he’s proven that he can’t be trusted in a yard without a fence. Truthfully, its a pretty small yard. Each building on our street is not even separated enough to fit a driveway for the most part – though our building on one side can fit a couple. There is maybe 10 feet from the back porch to the back of the property. Being back there, you feel you are practically moved in with all the neighbors and their back porches. So to say there is a yard is not saying much.
Though really, if you are going to call my yard anything, you would call it a jungle recently. With all that time I spent away from the place last summer, most of it was overgrown. Then with an early spring all the weeds and brush that can overrun the area did just that. The rains of the last couple of weeks only seemed to made some heavy rooted weeds to blow up and reach two or three feet high.
Today, with the sun out and the knee in better shape, I went to work to reclaim that yard. Let’s just say, it’s got a long way to go.
I don’t have a lawn mower. There’s one under the porch, but I don’t trust it. Though in all honesty, this wasn’t the work of a lawn mower. I bought a trimmer, and just weed wacked the hell out of that yard. After just short of an hour, the yard went from a jungle to something that better looks like a bad haircut. Half the yard that sees most of the sun was just a mass of poorly cut grass, the rest of it that doesn’t see the sun is now down to its rudiment mud. A good portion of the yard is set-up as a garden, and I was able to terrorize that to the point that I can see what is still good tendable perennials and what needs to be tilled to the soil.
I don’t have the brilliant green thumb my mom has, but there is something that comes with working in a yard like this. It feeds my OCD tendancies, showing off to me all those little things that I am never short of to dig and clean-up. The fresh smell of cut vegetation, the wet ground, the earth rising up triggers that inherent farmer in my soul. There isn’t a satisfaction that comes with working a yard because it never seems to be done, but there is a satisfaction that you did it.
The good news is that there is a lot of work left to do. I can see now the garden, but it still has to be reclaimed, and still needs to be edged. Even with the discovery of a lot of good hostas and other flowering plants. They need to others to slip in next to them, then maybe build up the greenery with ferns and taller plants. Then maybe that garden will be mine again, and the yard.
The bad news is there is a lot of work left to do.
Oh … and I looked at my schedule away from the condo this summer, and it’s not pretty (and not getting prettier).