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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Elder Yard

We’re those annoying old folks in the neighborhood who don’t (and post-retirement no-longer-can afford even if they wanted to) yuppie “Arcadia” style* lawn care. (What else would you expect from a blogger who possum- identifies?)

Jes' passin' thru...

Husband and I bought this house 30+ years ago when we were in our late thirties and strong enough to do all the required maintenance. We cared for three long privet hedges, we mowed, and had the old, beat up silver maples—the reason we purchased the property in the first place—regularly thinned. We both worked, so paying for large tree maintenance was not a problem. We conscientiously fed the trees and hired trained arborists, not the butchers who engage in “topping” a.k.a. a really fast way to make a tree diseased, rotten, and highly likely to fall down in a wind storm.

Summer, 1985, one kid, and husband

2011, same tree, another angle, wider now
Over the years, I’ve planted 30 more trees on the property, which, considering that it’s barely an acre, was Arboreal Over-kill. The star of these early additions was an apple tree. The blooms delight us every spring. On a warm April evening it is possible to stand beneath it and hear the music of bees in the blossoms. For many autumns, this tree literally rained apples upon us. It  still delights the eye and will always be honored for the mountains of sauce and pies it has provided.

Husband loathes yard work and curses every minute he spends doing it, so much fell on me and my bad back—although I’d expected all that and had still opted for this house. Our silver maples are “trash trees” which shed sticks and branches like crazy. I am forever picking up after them. Husband was forever driving to the recycle center with loads of dead wood and hedge clippings.

Years passed. Our health declined. There were trips to the hospital for big-deal surgeries. Much privet was removed. Yard maintenance has suffered.


 We and the silver maples are all now in some disrepair, but we're still here, breathing for one another (carbon dioxide/oxygen cycle) and hoping for spring. They're sending up trial balloons as they shuck off those red bud casings.

Never mind that they cover my patio with their litter or that the pollen from their buoyant flowering makes all the mammals sneeze. We’re all quite pleased to witness another Vernal Equinox, another Purim, another Easter, another Hola Mahalla, another Holi, and any other spring celebration extant on our little blue planet. Welcome to the Growing Season!


* "Arcadia"
X-Files, Sixth year, Fifteenth episode
(Scary meets Hilarious)