I want to set the record straight: I hate (yes, hate!) doing yard work. Always have. My earliest memories of yard work go back to my childhood home. We lived in the kind of neighborhood where people would be awarded Yard Of The Month and given huge sign to display in front of their house. We never won it, but I think my parents’ goal was to just keep our nice house looking nice in our nice neighborhood. Every so often, my dad would draft my brothers and I into mandatory lawn care service. It was usually easy stuff, like putting leaves in bags, but I remember it as being torturous. I’m not sure if it was just because I was angsty and everything at that time in my life felt like torture or if there was something particularly repellent about the yard work. I just know I didn’t like it, and that feeling has never left me.
As an adult, I’ve mostly lived in apartments. That’s a plus because apartment = no yard to do any work in! When Stephen and I lived in Germany, we had the yard to end all yards. It was huge, and grassy, and hilly, and I loved it. (See Exhibit A below.)
Fortunately, Stephen volunteered (!!!) to be in charge of all things yard-related. I got to enjoy the benefits of having a backyard while wiping my hands of any responsibility. Pretty much the perfect scenario. My only yard involvement was picking up dog poo and being in charge of the cord on the occasion that Stephen mowed the lawn with a rented electric mower. (And because I’m me, I totally complained about having to be the cord girl.)
El Paso yards aren’t really what one would call a yard. They are usually either dirt or rocks. We rock our rocks in the front and love our dirt in the back. Only our backyard isn’t exactly dirt. It’s more like a half dirt/half grass combo. It’s essentially the centaur of yards. With my yard expert gone, it’s up to me to maintain it.
Don’t get me wrong, we are working with the lowest of low maintenance yards here. That’s still more work than I’d prefer to put in. Every three weeks, I have to do some weed pulling out front. As for the back, well, I’ve gone the entire 200+ days that Stephen’s been gone without doing a single thing back there. It seemed like the backyard was taking care of itself (that’s what I told myself anyway), until I realized it’s on its way to becoming a mini-jungle.
I honestly would have put off doing any work back there if it hadn’t been for the appearance of a few too many black widow spiders. One is really too many, but I’ve spotted (and annihilated) four in the backyard. I’m not sure if they live in tall grasses, but I don’t like the idea of Geronimo walking around where things might be lurking.
All this to say: I had to mow the lawn.
I’ve never mowed a lawn before in my life. I’ve never anything-ed a lawn before. I don’t even have mowing capabilities! After consulting my yard aficionado (Stephen) and visiting Home Depot, I’m now the proud owner (and assembler!) of a weed whacker. We decided that for our grassy patches, though they be long, a full on mower wasn’t really necessary. I really had to buck up to make all this happen. Not only am I inexperienced and inept in this arena, I was also about as unexcited as one can be for this sort of thing. It had to be done, though, so I did it!
I bought the weed whacker. I assembled the weed whacker. I whacked weeds.
It was messy and tiring but also strangely satisfying. And I have no plans to ever repeat the experience.
The yard now looks akin to when I attempt to cut Stephen’s hair on R&R back in 2011: not very good but better than it looked before. I’m pretty sure this means that Stephen now has to buy me jewelry.