Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's so easy to get smug, until . . .

Earlier this year I was reading a blog where the writer was lamenting that rural neighbors found her small functioning farm an eyesore in their rural neighborhood. During dinner I talked to Hubby about how easy having a beautiful and productive yard is to us. We, I am sure, went on for some time on how many admiring comments we hear from our neighbors, how many questions on what we are growing and how nice it all looks etc etc.

Then the snow melted.

Still I went along with my rose colored glasses, smiling at the hens scratching in the leaf mulch around the yard clucking happily. I noticed the vinca and green shoots of chives in the landscape and little patches of green grass among the brown in the yard. I heard the spring calls of birds and watch Butters poised on the fence surveying his domain. I hear Hubby in the garage using the newly cleaned space as a mini blacksmith shop. Thinking how well his new interest fits with our urban neo-farm idea of life.

But this morning I couldn't find the sidewalk.

I took off my glasses.

There is detritus everywhere. A plastic bag of aluminum cans leans half open by the fence, forgotten on the last run to the recyclers. Miscellaneous cut and painted wood from the partially finish kitchen remodel last summer is stacked in small piles by the garage, where it was evicted from to make room for the anvil, and along the wood fence to the N and stacked on yet unused containers of soil all over the rest of the yard. Toys, forgotten from the last time the girls played outside, or possibly from the last ice age lay scattered among the leaves. Leaves that in the fall were mulch and now are spread all over hell and breakfast by the hens who are eating EATING! the chives and the freshly dug up flower bulbs.

I set down my coffee and still in my PJ's go out and sweep the walk. Rake all the leaves back into the landscape beds. I bring the hens fresh water and crumbles + throw some scratch into their yard to entice them back into the fenced area. I smile at my accomplishments and go back inside pick up my book, pour a fresh cup of coffee and settle in for another hour until the family wakes up.

A while later Hubby is awake and preparing to start his morning coffee in the garage/shop routine.

"I swept the back sidewalk" I announced proudly.

He doesn't say anything for a minute.

"We need to keep the hens in their yard," he comments finally as he goes outside.

I frown and go to the kitchen window. The sidewalk was again covered.

My yard is an eyesore.

Sighing I go upstairs to wake the girls. It is the Sugarbush Pancake Brunch at the Minnesota Arboretum today and any yard work will have to wait until this afternoon. Between laundry and cleaning inside the house and getting in a bike ride from my health and happiness.

I sigh again, no longer feeling self rightous.

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