When we bought our first home there was no landscaping in place except for a small patch of grass in the front yard with a lone star-pine tree planted there.  I loved the star pine, Hubby did not.  It did not last long in the front yard and eventually the landscaping never truly took hold.  It was a thorn in my side the entire time we lived there.

When we were looking for our new home, landscaping was a must for me.  I wanted landscaping in place and that was one of my must have’s.

We found our home and yes, it was landscaped.  We found our home almost three years ago next month.  The front yard was covered in leaves, but, underneath you could see spring appearing in the form of daffodils, irises, crocuses, and hyacinths.  I was thrilled!  In the back yard in back of the pool was a large area garden.  It was overgrown, but, I was certain it would be an easy fix.  Ahhh… the dreams of a potential homeowner!

That garden has been the bane of my existence since we moved in.  The first summer I did nothing to it.  It was fascinating to see what bloomed and where.  During the winter I cut back some things and discovered things that had been hidden.  A rose-bush, some ground cover, a few trees.    But, I never quite got complete control of the area.

This month I went into the yard.  Garden gloves on my hands.  Loppers and clippers were my weapons of choice.  I made the decision, anything higher than 18 inches was gone.  I know.  I know I have just made gardeners cringe.  I have just made gardeners gasp in horror.  I attacked this area.  No more ‘Mr. Nice Guy’.  I started at the edge and worked my way into it, tackling sections at a time.  I am still not done.  There are still some things that are as tall as me standing.  But, not for long.

I pulled things up from their roots.  I have tossed them into a big pile of debris.  I have cut back trees, hoping some will return stronger and not caring if others ever show themselves again.  I am determined to see what exactly is in that garden.  To start at the bottom and see what survives and what can be transplanted.

It has been therapeutic for me.  I am seeing something accomplished.  I am seeing what lays beyond the glancing eye.    I am digging down and pulling out the dead stuff, the weeds that have taken hold and died and covered the fragile green things underneath.

Yes, I have found a spiritual lesson in this all.  How often have I allowed dead things to cover me up?  How many times have I left things blocking my new growth?  How many times have I allowed things in my life to be smothered by things that are decaying?

Yes, I do know that this is still January and some of what I am uncovering is going to be exposed to the cold of the rest of winter, but some of this needs to be exposed, to get the light, to get the air and get the chance to breathe.   Myself included.

I am always amazed by this time of year.  It is still winter, but there are signs of spring.  Tiny green shoots.  Soft green leaves.   An image of hope that contrasts the bare trees and the dormant grass of the yards.

Being outside, working, pulling things both in the garden and in my body, I am filled (not only with aching muscles) with hope.  For each year spring comes.  It comes for me also.  New growth.  New hope.  New adventures.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Hope your day is filled with a hint of spring.   Cathi (DAF)





A Job well Done…

We live in an area surrounded by oak trees and pine trees.  The ice storm a couple of weeks ago brought down several pine branches which were hauled away last week.

This week hubby and I started yard work.  He went and mowed the first of the weeds  at the beginning of the week.  I said weeds, as the grass is still dormant, but the weeds are tenacious and they pop up quickly.  We raked some leftover pine needles and boughs and swept the front of the house gutters and the driveway.  We were pleased at our work.

By Thursday, however, we looked outside once more and realized there was still much to do.  Yesterday we dodged cold rain spurts and started raking the leaves in the back and side yards.  We finished raking late yesterday afternoon.  The yard looked better with several piles of leaves resting along the yard.  We bagged some of the piles and the rest we left for today.

This morning I started raking the piles together while hubby started to burn them.  I know this is controversial, but it is a something that is done here in our area.  The southern California part of me was hesitant at first.  But, soon, our roots started to show.  After all, we are from hearty stock of Pennsylvania and there we burn debris.

So, with hose on the ready we had a small bonfire in our backyard.  The fire mound was never higher than two feet in height and the flames were never high at all.  After three hours we are back inside.  The ash is in the ash can cooling.  The site of the fire is standing in water and mud.  The backyard looks wonderful.  And, hubby and I?  We are a bit tired.  But waiting for part two today when a neighbor is coming over to help remove a fallen tree that has been there since we moved.

Hubby still cannot do much with his shoulder and so it has been an adventure of care and caution for us.  We are a good team in yard work though, and I know that this evening we will crawl into our seats and sit not wanting to move a muscle!

The weather is beautiful today and it feels like spring here.  We are ready for the next season, the yard is clear and we can see the grass waking up and turning green.  Hope you have a touch of spring where you are today.  DAF

Weeds from Childhood

As my Dear Anonymous Hubby was pitching a tent in Gettysburg this past July, I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures.  (He didn’t need my help at that time and I wasn’t offering…).  He smiled as he watched me taking pictures of him and the view behind where our tent would sit and the road in front of where our tent would sit.  However, when I took the next picture, he asked me what I was doing. 

I told him I was taking pictures of the weeds from childhood so that I would have a reminder of them.  I went on to tell him how, when I was told to ‘weed’ the grass I would pull the tops off of these weeds and walk away, thus leaving the root system in place.  As a grown up, I now realize this meant that the weeds could spread out with their roots making more of them the following year or even later in the season.

As a child I would also grab these long stems and pull off the little beads, never realizing they were seeds and I was effectively sowing seeds of weeds.  So, after taking the picture I reached down, grabbed the long stem and began, once more to remove the seeds and let them blow in the wind.

Later, after actually helping pitch the tent, I sat in our little outdoor chairs and looked at the pictures.  The term, weeds from childhood rang in my mind.  Great post title!  Great post, hopefully.  Anyhow, I have thought of this post since the second week of July.  It has echoed in my thoughts and lurked behind other posts, waiting to be written.

We all carry our own personal weeds from childhood.  They lie there dormant most of the times, but always peeking around at us, waiting to pop up and remind us that they are there.

I thought back to my nephew’s wedding reception.  At one point my older sister grabbed my younger sister (mother of the groom) and stood up on a chair to dance.  I was standing nearby taking pictures of them.  I overheard my younger sister ask if I was going to be asked to join them.  My older sister replied, “no, she’s too good.  she would never come up here.”  Weeds popped up within me.  I also thought back to my childhood attempts at weeding the yard, where I pulled off the top of the weed making it look like it was gone.

I married very young and since I married into the military, I left home very young.  I was the middle child, the quintessential middle child.  If I was told to be home at midnight, I came in at 11:30, I tried to please everyone everywhere.  Thus, since this is the impression I left on my sister, this is what she thinks.  She loped the top off a weed, thinking that she knew it and that was that.  She has failed to realize that my root system was in tact and with my travels and experiences there are many areas of my life she isn’t aware of.  Those seeds on the weed have spread and with their spreading new aspects of my life are a part of me that aren’t known.   She doesn’t know that no, I would not have danced on the chair, I would have jumped onto the table and danced.  Did I?  No, it was just too hot and I didn’t have the energy for it.

All of this got me thinking though.  We have weeds from our childhood.  Some beneficial, some not.  The beneficial ones we grow from, we respond, we flourish.  The weeds that take root when we are children that are not good also affect us.  They rear their ugly heads up within us at times that are unexplainable.

I read a post today about a man who was injured and overcame the injury with zest and zeal for life.  He had weeds that could have overtaken him and grown so thick that life was sucked away from him.  He didn’t allow it, as he knew if he allowed those weeds to overtake him, it would keep him from living his life.

How do we respond to weeds from our childhood?  Do we allow them to bring us down?  Do we give them undue recognition?  Do we refer to our childhood as a time that shaped bad habits in us?  Do we cling to them, thinking they have to be in control of us?  Do we allow them to overrun our lives like vines over growing an abandoned home?

I, for one, have done a lot of thinking on childhood weeds lately.  Yes, they may pop up occasionally, they may sting for a moment, but I weedwhack them back.  I have chosen to live my life now.  I should say, NOW.   There are too many precious moments and times to laugh and have joy to be held captive by an antiquated root system.  I am looking forward with anticipation, with excitement, with hope.  I serve a living God and I am not a victim of my past.  Does that mean I don’t feel a tug at my heart at certain time and circumstances?  No, I am human and things bother me.  I just daily make the decision to weedwhack my life and enjoy the manicured lawn of my life.  Yes, it may just be crabgrass, but it’s my crabgrass.

Thanks for stopping by!  As always, DAF