Friday, August 21, 2015

Yard Work

Frank and I have spent most of our day working in the yard.

We've planted two trailing vines, an aloe and a few low shrubs.  (All snagged from the clearance bin in the garden center.)  We re-potted two plants for the entryway, trimmed multiple crepe myrtles and dug up a small tree that has refused to grow for six years now.   I painted a trellis to help waterproof it and Frank mowed the yard.

Doesn't it sound like a lovely, even romantic sort of day?

Don't you envision two people joyfully chatting away while they work together to beautify their home?  The workers - clad in crisp cotton shorts, garden gloves and floppy hats - smile at one another when they pause to sip glasses of water.

Perhaps you can even imagine a mint leaf floating in one of the ice cubes.

Yeah, well!

This is a blog written by a real person; not someone writing an ad for a gardening magazine.

Allow me to begin again -

Frank and I have spent most of our day working in the yard.

Even now, Frank is working feverishly on the final touches; racing a rain cloud that threatens to break open at any moment.  I'm typing with dirt so far under my fingernails it may be next week before they're normal again. 

We haven't been able to get to this job for weeks because of a crazy, busy schedule and because of unseasonable amounts of rain!

We're both displaying a few of the more minor symptoms of heatstroke.  It is August in Florida, you know. 

My feet are stinging from the ant bites I sustained while battling Antman's family for custody of my geranium pots.  And I'm not sure if I'll be able to accurately proof-read this because of the fumes I breathed while weather-proofing the seven foot tall trellis.

Top off all that excitement with the real truth of our oh-so-romantic gardening efforts......  Please remember that Frank and I are both pretty headstrong, leader-type people.  We both have a plan for almost any and all activities we share.

Those plans are seldom ever the same!

We started arguing about ten minutes in to our first task.

"Honey, I thought you went to Lowe's to buy post-hole diggers.  It would have made this so much easier for you,"  said the concerned wife.

"No.  The shovel was cheaper."  Frugal husband's response.  "Where do you want these vines?"

"Well, I thought you'd want to move the trellis from here so we can waterproof it first.  And won't that make it easier to plant the vines?"  Testy wife.

"Fine.  Just tell me what you want them and I'll do it."  Frustrated husband.

"Why are you putting the vine a foot away from the trellis, honey?  We want it to grow on the trellis, right?"  Snippy wife.

"Show me where you think the vine should go!"  Aggravated husband.

Frank and I managed to argue about each of the tasks I listed above.

 "Now, Sheri!  Surely you didn't argue over each and every one of the jobs!"

Yes, I'm here to confess to you, dear reader that we managed to find something we disagreed about with each one of the many yard-esque responsibilities needing completion.

Just how deeply do you place plants being re-potted?

Do you begin painting at the top inside or top outside of a trellis?

Is that plant already dead or simply dormant from lack of attention?

Is it really necessary to trim crepe myrtles completely to the branch?

Should one wash off the driveway or sweep the driveway?

And oh, my word!  The discussion we had about whether or not to give the uncooperative tree another year!  I'll leave that for your imagination.

But when I drug my hot, nasty self inside to get a shower, I remembered another gardening project.  And that memory melted all the frustration.

I remembered how my prized flower garden was lost in a freeze six years ago.  The loss was felt keenly because it happened the month after my mom passed away.

Then two weeks later, I made a trip to Pensacola for the funeral of a beloved friend.  My grief quotient was nearing its limit.

But when I got home, I discovered that the man who always seems to have a plan different from mine, also knows what speaks to my heart.

While I was away, he enlisted the help of a friend at church.  He spent far too much money and time.  But when I stepped out the back door, I discovered a brand new flower garden......complete with a lovely little fountain and garden chimes.

Bright colors and joyful sounds breathed hope back into my weary soul.  And I felt loved.

Isn't it wonderful when joyful memories overtake mundane life?  I think I'll choose to use the paintbrush of grace to cover the bickering of today.  Experience has taught me that marriages grow better that way.

Yep, Frank and I have spent most of our day working in the yard.  And we have good things to show for it.


  1. Now THAT post was a Sheri Hawley Classic. Loved it! I loved your humor, your transparency, and the memories that flowed in and around your day.

    Love you!

  2. Great post. As always!

    Deb Mantik

  3. what a great post - always make me feel good and most of the time cry

    1. My girls say that's when you know it's a great story! Thanks for commenting!

  4. What can I say, this post was for me! Just what I needed after a summer of gardening with the love of my life, we definitely have 2 different ideas of how a garden should be tended and somehow we're both successful. I must STOP and remember all the sweet things he does for me & get over the little things. Thank you!! Karen

    1. Karen, I think I'll adopt your comment: Stop and remember! Thanks!

  5. I do most of the gardening while hubby does the mowing (we have a very large yard!) so we manage to skip the disagreements in that area. However, we do tend to bicker when we do other projects together, so your post made me chuckle and realize that we are not unique in that regard. Thank goodness!!! :)