03 February, 2008

Backyard Makeover Continues




The paver guys come tomorrow. In a matter of days the bulk of the backyard will be finished. It will cost about $2000 a day to have it done. That is an ugly amount of money... I do however think that this money is better spent now on Jake and his happiness than saving it for an unknown college future. Perhaps that is short-sighted of me, but I want my son to have a safe place to play. A place where he is happy so his sister thinks he is cool and fun...and selfishly? I want to look at a nice backyard when I come into my house and when I do the dishes. It is a good thing for the family. It is painful to pay others for something we physically can do, and technically can understand, but we are realizing that we actually don't have as much time to complete projects as we think.

When I was Jake's age I helped my dad build things. I helped garden. I cleaned out the garage with my mom. I sorted laundry. I forget that some of the reason I can't get done what my mother seemed to accomplish easily is because I have this special needs kid. He can't help on those projects, but more than that, I can't actually do them because he can't be trusted to stay safe while I do the task. Gardening in the front yard would be inviting death since we have no fence keeping us from the street..and we are on a hill. The property in the back would seem a place he could play while I plant bulbs or weed, but there is an empty lot with another hill that leads to neighbors who aren't all that nice. Anyway. I fold laundry downstairs while Jake plays close by on the deck. Friday I had the babysitter play with the kids on the deck so I could garden on the hill in the front but still spend time near them. It felt a little bit like when I was a kid. I guess I want my kids to have memories of me like I have of my dad digging and planting.

To me gardening is a physical expression of hope and faith. Planting a bulb and waiting months for the promise of a bloom? You can water and weed the area, mulch and still you might not get a flower later. Most times you do, but if it's anything like the planting at our house--in my harried rush to plant in five minute spurts here and there, I throw all of the bulbs in a box in October. Then in February, March and April... I never even know what kind of flower is going to come up.
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