by Peter Wallace, © 2007

It was a great weekend. Two days in the 70’s, and for a change, time to work in the yard and garden. Every spring we have the best of intentions, and glorious ideas of what our yard and garden will look like, but between weather and a busy schedule, those intentions and ideas end up in the compost pile, so to speak.

I’m happy to report that for the first time in years we actually planted the cool weather vegetables… spinach, peas, etc…. while the calendar still said “April.” And, seeing the local farmers frantically planting field corn, I figured it was worthwhile to invest 99 cents in a packet of early sweet corn. According to the label, in 68 days we’ll be enjoying corn on the cob. That should be in time for the Fourth of July.

Some plants were relocated, rocks moved to make a flowerbed, and the tiller put into service for future planting. Oh, and the lawn was mowed, after having been weeded and fed a few days before. These are all things I’ve struggled to get done in a timely fashion for the past few years… maybe more than a few.

The downside is that a number of major and minor muscle groups, joints, and neurotransmitters are now barely functional. For some reason, sitting for most of the time over seven months isn’t good training for two days of non-stop yard work. Thank goodness I didn’t have to do real work, like roofing, laying a foundation, or the like.

As I sit and groan, I think of the phrase, “spring is sprung,” and it has taken on an entirely new meaning. Many muscles and joints are surely sprung, as in the mainspring of a watch, the supporting spring of an easy chair, or the coil spring on a car.

I’m not complaining, though. A few years ago, before a graduation party, we endured day after day of rain, and never really got into the garden until mid-May. It’s a luxury to be able to spend so many hours outside, even though the fresh air and wind prove to be exhausting.

Saturday night we went out to a movie, and were proud to have stayed awake the whole time. It was a good movie, but we were so tired that it was a good thing there was lots of action.

People who live in temperate climates can’t possibly enjoy the opportunity to get out in the spring and start working the soil… at least not in the same way we do. They take it for granted that it will be nice outside, while we celebrate it… at least until mid-June when it’s hot and humid, and we just want to go somewhere cool.

Spring, and my muscles, has sprung, the yard work season has begun, and the Aleve bottle is on the counter, ready for use. Thank goodness for the occasional rainy day of rest.


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