Our Next House Will Have a Small Yard

And very few trees.

One of the biggest selling points, to me, of this house was the large yard and the fact that it backed up to the woods. All I pictured were our future children running around in the backyard, playing on swings, jumping in leaf piles, and generally having fun. I grew up with a large yard like that in Canada, and then we moved to NJ and traded in our expansive lawn for a tiny patch of grass just large enough for a swing set.

I didn’t listen to my husband, who continuously told me that this house would be a lot of work and we should look for something with less grass. This has resulted in endless hours spent mowing, raking, shoveling, pruning, weeding, spraying, and lots of other “-ing”s. When he suggests to me now that maybe we should just pave the whole thing, I half-consider it.

We raked all the leaves two weeks ago, and then he did it again on Wednesday afternoon. By yesterday, the lawn was covered again, so I decided to use it as my workout for the day. It was sunny and not too chilly, and I am willing to do just about anything to avoid having to use the elliptical. I grabbed my phone, plugged in my headphones, and raked my little heart out while prancing around the yard to the latest Backstreet Boys album.

This is what I started with:

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After less than an hour, I had several neat little piles of leaves full of all kinds of creepy crawlies. How I ever played in these things as a child and didn’t notice all the spiders and other unidentifiable critters is beyond me.

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I was feeling overly confident and decided to take a quick break to clean out the dryer vent and in the process managed to slice up most of my hand. Even with that little detour, and having to go inside and administer first-aid to myself, I still finished the backyard in an hour.

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I started the music back at Track 1 and headed to the front yard. I was on a roll. I was unstoppable. Until the wind started howling and blowing so hard that the leaf bag wouldn’t stand upright and all of my piles started getting tossed back around the yard. I gave up after about 10 minutes and went inside. I figured there was no point raking while Mother Nature was busy blowing down more leaves while I worked. Still, I felt like it looked better than it did before I started. Then I woke up this morning and walked outside to go to church.

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All my hard work, completely undone. Perhaps this is why all of our neighbors have left their lawns leaf-covered.

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