(One of my past columns in Two Lane Livin'.)
Larry has already been at it: picking up debris that comes from nowhere and scatters itself around our place, bones that the dogs find who knows where and use to decorate the lawn, and downed branches gifted to us by winter’s storms. Late winter/early spring is the perfect time for taking care of this chore because everything is painfully visible. The dogs’ contributions can be downright embarrassing.
Take the other day when the substitute mail carrier brought our packages to the door. With all the eBay selling I do, the mailman is a regular visitor and it’s a service that just astounds me. Home delivery, this far out in the country, and down my rugged driveway. So I go out to meet the mail person when I can, to shorten their walk and to thank them. On this particular day, the substitute carrier was running the route. As I walked back up the walk with her (there were a lot of packages that day), I noticed that we passed a deer skull, a jawbone complete with teeth, and a few assorted unidentifiable bone parts.
“I’m so sorry,” I mumbled, my face red. “My dogs…”
“Don’t you worry,” she laughed. “Mine do the same thing.”
As soon as I returned to the house I called my husband. “Larry!”
“I know,” he said. “I’ll get a bag.” And he went out immediately to remove the offending calcium deposits.
What a good man.
The next day, however, the yard apparently grew more bones. As long as our dogs can find the bones discarded autumn’s hunters, we’ll be picking up bones. I suppose I should be grateful for the free chew toys for the dog,s and probably the grass benefits from the added calcium. Maybe one day I will learn to appreciate the dogs’ efforts but that day has not yet arrived.
Larry’s been cutting filth too, using the brush blade on the weedeater to trim around the fences and places that he just can’t get to in the warmer months because he has so much on his plate. The place is looking clean and spiffy, at least on the outside. The outbuildings? Well, that’s another story.
And it’s time to clean them out too. I swear the stuff grows all by itself—but then I remember how many times I’ve said, “Oh, we’ll just store it in the shed/garage/cellar,” and I know where the blame should be placed. Squarely at the door of this woman who cannot pass a yard sale or thrift shop without having a look. And the look turns into something being carried to the car. And to the shed/garage/cellar. Time to clean it out and get rid of some of those "good deals".
All this cleaning up makes me feel more prepared for the onslaught of spring and summer work. We won’t be dragging last year’s remainders into the new season if we can help it. We can sit out on the porch when the weather allows and look at the tidy yard and know that the mower won’t be slinging debris when we bring it out for the inaugural cut. That is, unless the dogs find a few more bones to hide in the mower’s path.