Working in the Yard

By Brent A. Sanders

My hubby and I are very fond of toiling in our back yard, but for me it's more than that. I simply love it, work or no work, I don't mind it at all.We have a big yard with lots of the most beautiful oak and pine trees, and there is always work to do cleaning up.In the last few years we have had a lot of storms that have resulted in debris all over the yard so clean up has been somewhat of a challenge. Lucky for us, we had tools to help us in the cleaning - all the raking, cutting, pulling, sweeping and clearing or else doing it all by hand would have left our fingers numb and broken our aging backs! Most of the time, my husband and I use the weed eater, leaf blower and chain saw. The recent storms brought down lots of our trees. It only left us the trunk, the body of the trees broke in two. With his chain saw, my husband recycles what was left of the trees. The trunks were made into totem poles with his wood carvings.

Many years back when my mom and dad moved into this house, my mom placed a Wisteria vine in our backyard. When my parents left this world, the new owner of the house was me including the huge yard. Everything here is special. For me, the house and the yard have a sentimental value.But I also inherited the problems of an older house and a yard overgrown with over 40 years worth of leaves, pine straw and wisteria that has literally taken over everything.The leaf blower works great for the leaves, and the weed eater takes care of everything else.However, the wisteria is another story and will have to be dealt with by pulling it up from the root - which is another problem since it is almost impossible to pull it up by its roots! I am a purist and by that I do not use something that is unnatural such as poison. Our yard is habitually visited by birds and animals, in search for their consumption and nutrition. They need to be nourished also.

Because we are in the midst of summer here, and because we have to address the condition of the yard now, we do whatever we can to protect ourselves from the heat. The sweltering heat and moist atmosphere in our area which can be unbearable at times is very common during the summers. Therefore, staying indoors is more comforting. I'm beginning to hate August, because its during this summer month that I have to deal with the agonizing heat that goes with it which can rise to such intolerable levels.

Every year, almost 400 lives are taken because of heat stroke. Staying outdoors during summer can dry you up, one thing you can do is make sure to bring something to rehydrate yourself. To counter the scorching heat of the sun, keep yourself hydrated always by drinking plenty of water. Do not exhaust yourself with work and take some time to rest in between. Avoid wearing dark clothes, as this absorbs heat, and do not wear heavy clothes also as this adds to the discomfort. Wear something to cover your head that allows air to pass through to keep your mind cool. You cannot separate from me my bottle of water, my hat, my sunglasses and my diluted peppermint spray whenever I am out in the yard working. They always stick with me. When I work in my yard, I usually do it very early in the morning or in the late evenings. I know I'm not young anymore so I know when to stop and not to overwork myself.

After we finish weed eating, leaf blowing and trimming the broken tree limbs, it will be time to start all over again in the Autumn, which is just around the corner.But that's okay because that is absolutely my favorite time of the year and I will look for any excuse I can to be in the yard!

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