Friday, June 17, 2011

Working in the Yard

Lyndsay and Dylan are both in Flagstaff at EFY this week. Then, they spend some time with their dad before coming home. I had most of this week with just Aiden and Conor, and I realized, "This is what life is going to be like in a year." It's kind of weird. I feel so un-busy with the mom-type stuff I'm usually busy with when all of my kids are home. Then, yesterday, Aiden left on an overnight field trip with his 5th grade class, and when he gets back from that, he leaves again on a fishing trip for scouts, so it's just Conor and me. Even weirder. I hardly feel like a mom, and I need to figure out a way to refigure my motherhood life when I have fewer children in my nest. Cleaning is different. Cooking is way different. The house is so quiet. I have a lot of mental rearranging to do, as I transition into this new phase. At least it's happening gradually. One less kid this year, another the next. I'm hoping Aiden is content to stay with me for a good long while.

I've found that one of the best things to keep my mood up is to do work. The kind of work I'm always keeping a mental list of, but never get to. Like cleaning projects and yard work. Sometimes I get depressed because there are so many things I want to do around the house, the yard, and the garden, but everything seems to cost money. Even if it's just $10 or $20, it means I have to wait, and it's hard for me to wait. But, I've gleaned so much from The Prudent Homemaker, who has tried to create beauty wherever she can and with whatever she can, so I decided to just get up and do something, whatever it is. Work makes me happy, even if only after it's done, and progress makes me really happy.

This week, I finally decided to just go out and clean the back patio. I don't know what it is about the positioning of our house, but everything---trash, dirt, weed seed, dead leaves--everything blows into our yards. I moved everything off the patio, swept it, hosed it down, and then finally got to rinsing out and filling the four new water drums I'd purchased months ago. It took so long because after I got them, I needed to get the wood to set them on, and the aerobic stabilized oxygen to treat the water with, both of which required small sums of money. But I had all the pieces now, and figured that I better get it done. It took a long time, but it feels so good! Adam also ratcheted the water barrels together, an idea that came to him in a dream, to keep them from tipping over and rolling in the event of an earthquake.

I really like things clean and tidy around our home, but most of those jobs fall to me and my time is so short. The kids help, but they're so busy too, and yardwork isn't really Adam's thing. Fortunately and unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, he doesn't really care how things look. When I'm outside, I usually spend time in my garden, but I hate that what people see when they come to our home is a weed infested yard. I decided to just spend an hour each morning weeding, and eventually it will be done. So far, I've filled our yard waste trash can half full and I don't think anyone will even notice I've done a thing! But I keep telling myself, "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass," and I'll just keep on weeding. I was able to get this really nifty weeding tool that makes the job easier, and I need the exercise and fresh air anyway. Conor works by my side and we talk about how it pleases Heavenly Father when we take good care of whatever He's given us.

Today, after my hour of weeding, I got the lawn mower out and acted the part of the incompetent, weak woman as I struggled to get it started. But I did it! And I mowed the back yard, which makes me so happy every time I look out the back windows. It's the little things that make me happy, keep me busy and distracted, and make me feel like all is right in my little world. And all the while, I'm making bigger plans in my mind to beautify and make my yard more useful. I'm thinking this fall to put in some blackberries on the south side of my yard that I recently paid Aiden to clear for me. Maybe some grape vines on the fence in the spring? Another raised garden bed? More flowers?

Definitely more flowers. That's what Conor says for sure.


Sarah said...

I typically do our yard work too. Josiah doesn't care to do it but will if I ask...but then we're quickly reminded that he's allergic to something out there. I usually will just do it myself because I do have the time. I wish I would make better use of it more often though! I take my free time for granted, sadly.

Luisa Perkins said...

You're amazing.