As with the house itself, we have a beautiful yard that was sorely neglected when we moved in. Last year during our April break, the hubs and I made a point of having coffee every morning and then again after lunch to give us enough energy to do yardwork all day long for the week. That was enough time to clear out the accumulation of dead leaves, branches and overgrown weeds, but we didn't have time to do much else. Then when summer came we had a baby who wasn't walking yet, a groundhog large enough to eat the baby (or so I feared), and a number of colonies of bees we discovered living on the property. It was also a very rainy summer, so we didn't spend a lot of time outdoors and our yard was clean, but otherwise ignored.
When we moved in, we brought with us a wooden bench I inherited from my great aunts, a stack of white plastic lawn chairs, and a couple camping chairs. We also had a hammock we received as a wedding gift, but with the yard in such rough shape, we packed it away somewhere and then couldn't remember where it was. As much as I love being outdoors, I must admit we hadn't exactly made the most of our surroundings. And the one area where I am very sensory is with decor. I love decorating; I love making my home warm, welcoming and beautiful. It's important to me that I can feel at peace when I'm at home, and I really enjoy the process of creating that peaceful space, especially in a new place, which this house very much still is, despite that we've been here over a year.
So the first thing we did this week was buy a new patio set. I drove all over town to compare prices and options, and ended up finding a terrific deal at the Christmas Tree Shop, a discount store that I absolutely love. I'm not much of a shopper, but when I shop, I love to dig for discounts! If I won the lottery, I'd still shop at thrift stores. It's the thrill of the dig, and the triumph of the deal! I got a table with four chairs, and a glider for the back porch, and brought a plastic tool bench that my son received as a hand-me-down outside to round out the space and give him a new place to play.
The wooden bench was moved down into a small, square depression in the landscape, where we also put the sandbox we filled this week with new sand, our camping chairs, including a brand new, teeny tiny one for the toddler, a big umbrella in it's base to block the afternoon sun from our eyes, and our hammock, discovered in a box in the basement, now hanging in the corner of the yard, from two fence posts. Sitting on the deck I can look down at the brick red bench and matching red umbrella in it's pale brown base, the bright green turtle sandbox, sand spilling over it's edge, the camping chairs of sun-bleached orange, army green and royal blue, and the hammock woven of deep green and yellow, hanging over clusters of purple forget-me-nots. All the bright colors paint a scene of summer and family, of such life in our yard, and it makes me so happy to see!
My hubby got a wheelbarrow full of curvy landscaping bricks from Freecycle a number of months ago, with no particular project in mind, so I used them to circle the cedar tree next to the deck, and we'll cover the ground inside with mulch, rather than the patchy moss that was the only thing that would grow in it's shade. Trees and bushes are beginning to flower and bud all around the perimeter of the yard, and the hostas that sprout along the front fence line started poking through the soil this week. I've been digging in the dirt, and dragging bricks and rocks through stubborn tree roots, trying to form circles and ovals to best surround the trunk, and stopping to wonder at wildflowers, and digging my toes deep into sand while my toddler plays in various stages of undress rubbing sand on his belly like it's bubbles in a bath, and I feel like a kid in a magical garden that's mine, all mine, to plan and to plant and to grow.
Each morning I sit on the deck with my big mug of coffee, milk and honey, choosing the seat with the best access to the sun, and I look around and smile, and think: what's next? Every day is a grand adventure. And my paycheck is going to be short again in two weeks. *Sigh* I've long had a feeling that my paycheck is destined to be perpetually short. I can't help it. I do love my job, but I keep getting sidetracked on my way into the office. Can I call in sidetracked by a grand adventure? If I can't get paid sick days, can I at least call in Spring?