Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Yard Work!

One of my favorite activities is yard work.  I find working in the quiet and peace of my back yard not only good physical exercise for my body but good mental exercise. 

It's interesting but both of my brothers hate yard work.  My brother Isaac, the brother who inherited the family home, has been busy cutting down as many trees and shrubs that my father planted over the fifty some years he lived there.  

My brother John, who lives in South Carolina, has just about finished taking out anything that grows on his ranch house property and paved over his back yard.  He now has the biggest parking lot in his neighborhood.  But both of my brothers can build.  They are both good carpenters.  I am not.  I am not mechanically declined at all (and "declined" is not a typo).  

I like my backyard.  Next to walking, working in my back yard, especially raking cut grass, is one of my personal, guilty pleasures. 

One of my big frustrations with my leg injury is that it prevented me from working in my backyard.  When I got the news from my doctor after my leg surgery that my recovery would be "eight to twelve weeks", I immediately thought "there goes the spring."

Well, I'm glad to say that yesterday, after my physical therapy session, I felt confident enough to do a little bit of yard work.  

Raking grass is one of my favorite activities. I like the feel of the gentle wind on my face. Listening to the birds' chirping, getting things sorted out in their little world. The quiet, peace and tranquility of being by myself in my own backyard.

I think a lot of my pleasure of working in my own backyard comes from my youth of growing up in a second floor apartment.  Our family didn't have a "backyard" until 1958, when my parents built a small 1,100 square foot, one bathroom (five in our family) ranch house in East Brandywine Township, Downingtown, Pennsylvania.  I was 16 years old at the time and only had a year to "enjoy" my own land.  But it wasn't actually "my" land, it was my father's and he was very possessive.

120 Washington Avenue, Downingtown, PA - 2nd floor apartment front - where I spent the formative years of my youth and missed having a backyard unlike most of my classmates whom I envied who lived in "normal" homes with backyards

After graduating from high school, joining the Army, getting out of the Army, I was back to apartment living again.  

Our family's Boot Road, Downingtown PA second floor apartment - house not there now - no back yard (of course) again - 1954

I lived in three different apartments until Bill and I bought a small townhouse in center city Philadelphia with a very small back yard.  Actually not a "backyard" like I wanted, it was a paved (flagstone) backyard with small raised beds.  To satisfy my green thumb Bill built a roof deck with flower boxes.

Our Philly townhouse back yard (still no grass) - 1969

A view of our roughneck at our Philadelphia townhouse which I expanded my "backyard" with flower boxes - my green thumb needed this

The view from our roughneck of our Philadelphia backyard - 1969

It wasn't until 1980, when we moved to our 6.875 acres in East Brandywine Township, that I finally had my own backyard.  Of course I had to share it with the deer (oh did I ever) but at least I had one.  But I still didn't have what I really wanted.  What I really wanted was a neighborhood back yard.
When we moved to Delaware I finally had my neighborhood backyard.  The year was 2006, a long wait for a back yard.

Our East Brandywine Township home - my first "backyard"- 1980

This is a long post but I had to tell you this aspect of my personality.  After all, that's what this blog is all about . . . . me.

My backyard now - finally - my dream come true - where I go for peace and tranquility - 2015


Travel said...

I grew up on 80 acres with two houses (tiny houses) and a pond. We mowed over 5 acres with a cub-cadet. I took over the family garden in my teens and helped my grandmother with her garden the last couple of summers I was on the farm as my grandfather's health failed. I HATE yard work. There is a lawn mower in the corner of the garage in the house in Lexington and I refuse to touch it. It sells with the house when we sell, I won't even move it out for the moving sale.

Ron said...

Very interesting your experience with yard work. When I was growing up I had a paper route. One of my customers, an old lady, paid me 50 cents to mow her small back yard. I loved it. My great aunt, I tended her small back yard. I loved it. And yet, I always yearned for my very own piece of earth. Like my brothers, you hate yard work as they do. But on the other side, both of them can build additions to their houses as well as Bill. They have. I couldn't and wouldn't. I would hate it. Bill hates yard work too. It has always been a source of interest to me why some people find yard work peaceful and relaxing and others do not. I don't have the answer.

Unknown said...

When you finish yours, and want to listen to more birds, and feel more wind on your face, c'mon down! HAHAHAHAHA I HATE YARD WORK!

Peace <3

Ron said...

I'm on my way Jay as soon as my leg heals!


pat888 said...

Ron - I wouldn't say I hate yard work. But i did plan the little bit of yard front and back where I live to be near maintenance free. But I also like that gravel look with a few plants and a tree. Good for you getting out and raking. There's lots of year left to do much more out there too.