Late spring rains and strong winds have kept many procrastinating yard work, but let that first warm, sunny Saturday morning dawn and it sounds the community alarm! Yards! Yards! Yards need attention.

A pile of packets stacked on the coffee table reminds you that those seeds won’t grow unless they’re in the ground. Shrubs and trees need pruning. Raking leaves and filling bags with lawn debris and taking it to the landfill site, are all part of the spring scenario - that and being outdoors without a jacket.

The annual, albeit informal contest to see who has the best yard on the block, has begun. Rakes stand at the ready on the porch. Shovels, hoes, watering cans, and other accouterments are gathered in a garden cart.

The morning is marked by the first buzz of a mower. Then a second and a third. The big rider mowers buzz across the yards in the hopes that they will still finish first.

The squirrels in the park are made even edgier than usual with all the power equipment buzzing. They dash from tree to tree and leap from branches in daring death-defying feats. The rabbits have just plain disappeared.

You ought to hear the city’s park mower. It is a huge thing, I’d say it is as big as a lawn shed.

How about that big leaf blower? Some neighbors climb ladders to blow the leaves out of the gutters. The whine of a leaf blower stands second only to a dental drill.

Without even thinking competitively, the neighbors stand on the porch and look up and down the street to see who has a good start.

I need to sneak out soon or I will be doing my lawn care under the cover of darkness. It hasn’t been an easy spring, but I will buck up and move forward.

My grandson, Hunter, is coming up from Stoughton to spend a few days with his Granny. He has promised to get my balky mower started and to mulch all the leaves. He is a hard worker and he has had a little lawn care business all throughout high school. He saved some college money and it was quite amazing what he accomplished. Push mower, trimmer, and a long list of neighbors who liked their lawns to look just so.

Now, he’s off to college in Mankato but has been mowing for friends during the pandemic. But, he is kind of in a break. Finished his online exams and is officially on summer vacation.

He loves a project and my yard is a project. It will be great to get the mower tuned up and it will be so nice to have a “professional” to get me started.

He is also going to help me pick up and move a new/old dining set into my vacant dining room and hopefully rehang all the kitchen cabinet doors.

There will be a small salary for his efforts, but mostly he said he just wants to spend time with his Granny.

I can’t wait for him to get here Thursday and then we will start working at warp speed - which Hunter loves. Everyone should have a grandchild like him. He gets great grades and is studying aviation - hoping to be a pilot.

He is polite, sweet, and well … I might be a bit biased. All of my grandchildren are perfect and so well - there you are.

By the end of next week, my tatty yard will be a sight to behold. I too, even though I am so slow to bend, I will be in good shape in the 2020 tidy lawn competition.

I literally haven't seen any of my family since March and I am ready to talk Hunter’s ears right off.

I must mention that besides Hunter, I have his twin sister Gigi and the youngest daughter Micah and then twins, Claudia and Audra in Georgia. This has to be the summer when we get together more often … the quarantine has taught us that! I hope all my gentle readers are ready to come out of lockdown from their own cell blocks and get back to the business of living! Keep your masks handy and continue lots of handwashing and we will get through this bizarre experience. We must come out with an abundance of caution to avoid a repeat.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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