The last couple of weeks my days off have been sunny and beautiful, just the way I like them! I've been able to make some real progress in the yards both front and back.
After the rainy winter we had our fire pit filled with water and a sinkhole opened up beside it. It took a lot of (wo)man power and about fifteen trips to Lowes but finally have it filled in and has been holding like a champ.
This is the before picture.
This is after I finished filling it in.
I put out four bags of grass seed and as you can see, took off like wildfire. There was still a little water left in the fire pit and was hard as heck to cut with the push mower and looks even better now.
The water is all gone now from the fire pit and the grass has grown even more.
I've worked a lot in the front yard too. For the last few years have let it go simply because I didn't have the time, money or energy.
Yesterday I cut the front and pulled a ton of weeds. I put more pinestraw down and going to line the front bed and walkways with more pebbles on my next day off.
It's still a work in progress but progressing I am! Our biggest accomplishment was cutting all the bushes in front of the house. Look how high they used to be:
I weeded the irises below my kitchen window and now they can breathe and grow again too.
There's no better feeling than pulling into my driveway and seeing how all the hard work has made such a significant difference. It makes me feel even better knowing I did it all without sitting on Johnny Dear but instead slowly pushing Mr. Murray each and every step of the way.
Hopefully Johnny will be fixed by the time summer rolls around. My mower surgeon works pro bono so don't complain about how long it takes.
Over the long and wet winter focused more on the inside of my house and have it looking pretty good as well. Every closet has been cleaned out and purged of junk which has been cluttering it for years. I've washed walls and cleaned enough cob webs to decorate for ten Halloweens. I've donated clothes we never wear, coats the kids have outgrown and parted ways with things we haven't used in ten years yet kept moving from place to place. Did I really need that wok we got as a wedding present in 1990 and never used? Did I really need every work shirt from every restaurant I'd worked for the past twenty years? Was Tim ever going to wear that thick beige corduroy jacket with the leather elbow patches? (not if I had anything to do about it)
Why was I keeping tupperware which hasn't seen it's lid in twenty years? Why did I have strands of outdoor Christmas lights so old they didn't even makes fuses for them anymore?
I kinda started worrying about being a hoarder when I threw away the first pair of leather flip flops I bought Tim in 1988. I think one of them broke in 1991. I guess was keeping them in case he lost the other foot in an accident and only needed the one.
I think the biggest purge of all was boxes and boxes and boxes of things TJ brought home on moving in and out three different times before it finally stuck. If he had wanted it surely would have come back or asked for it by now. Random speakers, wires that hooked up something I had no clue for and pants that haven't fit him since he was fourteen. I cleaned out my china cabinet which held more crap than china.
Next was our collection of bills and statements. Most were stuffed in boxes in our garage. Others were crammed into the computer desk.We were audited by the IRS (won the audit) in the early nineties and have saved every receipt and bill since. When I ran across bank statements from Tim's first marriage in 1985, sat for over an hour cutting them all up and putting in separate garbage bags, just in case.
I went through every drawer in every room and took every random photo scattered amongst other things. I bought a big box from Michael's on sale and now have every photo which isn't in an album in one single box.
That's where I draw the line. Photos are priceless and never throw one away. Case in point...came across this photo from a family reunion shortly after my mother died in 1977. How could you not want to keep this photo?
It's me (with some meat on me) and my brother and sister with her two boys who are now in their thirties, their father (who passed a few years back) and my own father. What a classic photo!
It's spring and we're finally springing ahead.
I have twenty three more weeks of working an exhausting but overly well compensated job. I have the house down to the essentials, with only the attic to go. I'm pacing myself.
I feel and look older but know now, are on the very cusp of realizing our dreams. All the hard work, all the bad times and consistently trying to Paying It Forward has come full circle.
I'm excited about our next journey yet grateful for the last.
Life is all about living and learning.
Sometimes you learn things about yourself and along the way may also learn things about others.
What's most important is learning to love yourself and all which your life may incompass.
We've had many bridges to pass. We've found and survived more than a few. We've cheated the toll on some but always tried to pay that toll forward.
Crossing the last bridge in Georgia but looking back with gratitude, a few tears but more smiles.
Looking ahead for whatever life may offer and be grateful for that as well.
Til next time...twenty three weeks left, COTTON