Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Woman of the House - Vol. Four - Labor Day Yardwork

My parents made a stop through town on their way home from Kansas. On these quick trips, they always offer their help on a project. I'm learning to accept their help more gracefully than I have in the past. I used to feel like accepting help was somehow confirming that I couldn't do things myself. I saw it as a weakness.

I'm so glad I'm getting over that because we had so much fun sweating and working side-by-side on Monday.

Here's a list of what we accomplished:

  • Dad repaired my fence. Mom gave him a suggestion that required far less effort and netted the same results.
  • Mom and I weeded the overgrowth that had sprung up around my patio.
  • We removed the crumbling wall around the tree and determined that there was no chance of planting anything around the base of the trunk: the root system had begun growing on itself. Instead, we filled in the gaps with top soil and mulch.
  • Dad dug up scrappy weed-trees that had sprung up near my air condition unit. 
  • We cleaned out my garden shed; found tools with broken handles (Dad's going to repair them at home and bring them back on another visit.) We reconfigured the space in the shed so that I can maneuver the lawn mower with less struggle.
  • Dad gave me a tutorial on using my edger/trimmer. I'm so glad he did! Turns out the handle also has different settings, which explains why I couldn't figure out how to edge near my fence line. MAJOR LIGHT BULB MOMENT!
  • Dad installed the piece of siding that had blown off in a storm.
  • Dad mowed the tallest part of the backyard. He is so patient. (I mowed the front yard.)
  • Mom potted chrysanthemums for my front porch. Instant improved curb appeal.
My parents' help was an elixir for my recent bouts of sagging energy where my yard is concerned. It felt good to work side-by-side and conjured up some of my happiest memories from childhood where I worked beside my dad or played near where he worked on projects.

Mom suggested that perhaps my five-year plan should be to get the house ready to sell. "This is a lot of work for one person who also works full-time." I assured her that I am determined to conquer this solo homeownership thing. I am acutely aware that there is no way I could purchase another home for the dollar amount I currently owe on this house. Since I plan to be here long-term, the to-do/to-dream list seems far more do-able than it did last summer when mowing the lawn every week seemed so daunting.

As I've been writing this post, my daughter has been texting me. She asked me what I was writing about. Then she said: "How does the yard look? How much from a scale 1 to 10 have you accomplished? I replied, "We got a lot of little things done."

The next message I read said: "AWESOME! AM SO PROUD OF YOU."

That one line in all caps makes all of the solo homeowning efforts worth it.

Home Sweet Home


  1. Julie, after my 12 year marriage to husband #1 went bad and my three kids and I moved into a tiny little 3/1 house in town that needed a lot of TLC I was daunted and afraid I wouldn't be able to take care of it - you see H#1 took care of the outside of our homes while I maintained kids and interior! Well, I took baby steps and kept doing "the next thing" and before I knew it our little house, 619, was the sweetest on the block. I learned I could do it on my own and I did. You can too, you are. xoxo

  2. Gorgeous! You guys DID get a lot done and how amazing to have parents who are willing and able to pitch in and work side by side with you! (And getting encouragement from our kids is such an unexpected perk, isn't it?) Loved this!