Ah, it's springtime, the time when a young man's thoughts turn to the fact that he'd better get out and do all that yardwork that's out there, because if he doesn't keep ahead of it, it'll only get worse.
I've adopted a goal - a yearly milestone, of sorts. I would like to get the first mow of the season in before St. Patrick's day.
I missed it this year by a day, which is not so bad, really. I decided to turn the key in the lawnmower today and see if it would start - having been trained by lawnmowers past and present that after a winter of neglect, mowers tend to be finicky and uncooperative.
To my amazement, the mower started, and I managed to mow perhaps 2/3 of my yard today. The grass was a little damp, so it wasn't a particularly good cut, but it's like the dog who plays chess - it's not about how WELL he plays, it's that he plays at all.
In addition to driving around flattening molehills and reminding myself how many opportunities there are on my lawn for the mower to get stuck, I also went about pruning a few trees and cutting back some of the blackberries that have infested my fruit trees. I think I may have gone a little topiary-crazy on one of my shrubs, but I'm optimistic that it'll grow back in spite of my abuse.
As I went about turning a tree in my front yard into the arboreal equivalent of a toy poodle, I stopped and chatted with not one but TWO neighbors. It's not an unusual day when I don't even talk to two people, and it's rare that I chat with the folks in the neighborhood. The guy immediately across the street from me is an exception, I guess - he's on IM, so I do get some neighborhood gossip from him. I'm just going to take a moment to contemplate this - in this era of iPods and assorted technology that isolates the individual, it's technology that's facilitating a friendship with the people that are nearby. There's your irony, Alanis.
I really want to remove a couple of my fruit trees and replace them with something that's easier to care for and is more likely to grow vertically. Enough of your crazy banzai antics, apple trees! And don't think I haven't noticed how close you're getting to those power cables, cherry trees - somebody's getting a haircut. Someday.
In the near term, though, I'm optimistic that I'll get the blackberries cleared away from the fruit trees before they leaf out and get more unmanageable.