It isn’t ever delicate to live. ~Kay Ryan
Two weekends ago, well actually that entire week, I was working in my yard. Yes, the very same yard work I should have done in the spring, or even the summer and yet here I am, trying to get it done before winter sets in and hunting season starts. Luckily, we’ve had a pretty mild fall. We’ve even been blessed with nice temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s and overcast with some sun. Perfect for outside work.
I’m glad I got my work done because as of today, the snow rolled in. Only a few inches but still a pleasant sight. I love snow!
You see spring always seems to sneak up on me and then I miss the boat with respect to tending to the lawn. Then summer rolls around and I don’t handle the heat and the sun too well. Literally! Being outside in the sun makes me sick to my stomach. I get really bad headaches and let’s not forget about my sun sensitive skin. I have to be pretty well covered and protected from the harmful rays at all hours of the day, especially in the summer. And those summer months, I am usually busy with Thrill of the Hunt events. So there you have it, back to fall work in the yard.
What needed done? The usual, mowing and weeding and trimming, which I have elected to do about once a month now-a-days. I’m sure my neighbors love that sight. Actually, they should be thankful, for I make their lawns look perfect!
Last Thursday night, early Friday morning we had one heck of a windstorm roll through. It resulted in a tree branch taking down a power-line, right down the road from my parents. Guess what? I couldn’t work on my company stuff nor my freelancing work, since my “office” is in the corner of their kitchen with my desktop and my external drives. Don’t worry, I always have something to do. No free day for me!
On a side note, I purposely set up my “office” in my parents house, as opposed to my house, to get me out, dressed and moving. I want to make sure I never get lazy, especially with The Piper Corporation. So I force myself to travel to my work station. It’s perfect actually, I have a great view of my Uncle’s farm and a view of Saint Vincent College out looking through the picture window in the kitchen. The best office space ever! Plus my office companions aren’t too bad either, Scooby, Seven and Storm.
I recruited Kyle to assist me on Saturday at my house, since my parents were still without electricity. I took this as a sign from God, telling me to get in the yard and finish it up. After all I couldn’t work on the computer.
Starting my day as soon as the sun rises, around 6:00 am, Kyle and I went to work. Yes it was not light duty chores. It was hauling mulch and river rock, pulling weeds and walking up and down my back steps around my landscaping. Truly hard work even for a professional landscaper. So how did Kyle fare?
Well, at first it was a big argument. He didn’t want to do the mulch and was seriously exaggerating his motions in such a way, I made him carry the river rocks while I took over the mulch job. I knew I could get it done faster, making better progress than Kyle. Then, I caught him trying to do the job half way, cutting corners that sort of thing. I was livid! There are few things I really truly can’t stand and detest, beside smoking, and that’s laziness. I just can’t understand making that choice to wimp out, especially on something that is benefiting oneself such as my house.
After about an hour of me loosing my patience, yelling and Kyle dropping his attitude and getting acclimated to the job of the day, he really began to work. And I mean he worked! That kid was on fire! Really after, we got moving and he started to get into a rhythm and saw progress, he was such a hard little worker. He was even proud of himself saying, “Wow Aunt Heather I think I’m getting stronger with each rock! Soon I’ll be even better in the weight room!” What a cutie! I had to concur with his reasoning, because he was right. The more work he did, the stronger he was getting.
You see, for the next few weeks Kyle is in the weight room at school for gym class. They are teaching him how to lift and such. He seems to really like it. Kyle even asked me, “Hey Aunt Heather, how much can you do on the leg press?” Truly not remembering I said, “Probably around 100 pounds or so. Why how much can you do?” With a victorious and ornery grin, Kyle responded proudly with “I can leg press 240 pounds!” Wow! Holy smokes buddy! That’s great! I really was proud of him. He is a strong little compact bugger! He said only one other kid did more than him and he did 260 pounds. Still all very impressive.
With the weight room talk, it gave Kyle another incentive to keep on truck’in. He was great! All the way up until it started to rain on us. I was almost done with the mulch, when I turned around to see my little man with his hoodie up, soaking wet carrying buckets of river rock and looking defeated. We had to leave soon anyway. Kyle was serving mass at 6:00 pm that night. After seeing the look on his face, I said, “Go jump in the shower, we’re done for today.” Shear joy fell over him. Not to mention a sense of accomplishment. Kyle did remark, “Wow Aunt Heather it’s actually looking nice. We got a lot done!” Yes we did buddy, especially with all his hard work.
As it turns out Kyle wasn’t done working, not by a long shot. You see he had off of school on Monday for an in-service day. So I took advantage of that fact and asked him to assist me again to try and finish the work once and for all. Surprisingly, he was enthused to help me wrap up the yard. That morning, we first helped my dad by stacking some wood before making our way to my dreaded lawn.
On another side note, sometime on Saturday I must have weeded out poison ivy and proceeded to scratch my face and my eye. Yes my eye! By Sunday, my face was all swollen, itchy and my eye looked like a big marshmallow. Not believing in doing actual work on Sundays, I try to honor the Sabbath Day as much as possible, I took a few Benadryl pills and fell into a sleep coma. By Monday, my eye was even worse and we had to make a pit stop at Med Express to get me on steroids again. I really hate those things!
Yes, I worked like that with basically one eye since I could only see out of it with a sliver. I figured, I would rather get in contact with the poison ivy again, now that I was on medication, rather than later when I was healed and had to go through this again. Plus, I wanted to stay away from people with all my ugliness. I even avoided the gym in the mornings. But lucky for Kyle, I had no qualms about hanging around him. I would even tease my little man by leaning in with my bulging eye and saying, “Go ahead and touch it. Feel how squishy it is!” He was grossed out and would squirm around me. Eventually, we made a joke out of it saying “Don’t make me give you the stink eye.” And then I would point my eye in his direction. That cracked us both up! If you can’t laugh at yourself, then what’s the point in living.
While we were talking and working Kyle mentioned again about getting an apartment and buying land to build his house and huge fish tank on. I said, “O buddy between me and your Aunt Nikki, we will probably have enough rental properties for you to live in so you don’t have to worry about it.” Kyle took that as a sign that he will take my house. It’s yours buddy, you earned it through sweat equity!
While wrapping up some of the work on Monday afternoon, Kyle started to comment about hard work and how hard our activity was. Then, he started to get a bit sarcastic and threw out the attitude again. He said, “This is suppose to be my day off from school and I’m not suppose to be doing work.” Really? Says who. I retorted with, “What do you think most people do Kyle? They work all week and do yard work in the evenings and weekends. Welcome to reality.” He had nothing to say on that note.
I get it, he was tired and not used to working that hard for that many days in a row. I completely understood. But I still won’t tolerate an attitude.
After that came the fury of Aunt Heather. I asked Kyle to dump a couple of buckets of dirt up by my back fence in a mulch pile of leaves and branches. Not wanting to walk up the hill, we both kind of laughed at the thought of making another trip there. Finally, Kyle did what I asked and made the first trip, promising I’ll make the second.
When I made my trip, to help him out and show he is not doing all the hard work, I noticed he dumped the dirt right in the yard, not even coming close to the pile! Fiery anger shot out of me and resulted in a lecture on laziness. I wanted him to understand that he has to train himself now, NOT to be lazy and to NOT take shortcuts, for it will always bite him in the butt in the long run, especially in a professional environment. I went off explaining how I trusted him to do a job and I expected it to be done right and not to have to redo it. Then, I went into a tangent about how he doesn’t want the reputation of being a lazy kid. And so on and so forth.
When teaching a child to NOT be lazy, you’re actually teaching them more than hard work, you’re teaching a sense of worth and self-accomplishment, good foundation structures that I fully believe in to create a solid character.
Okay, granted I was tired too and it was a long few days, plus with all the poison ivy irritating my skin, I’m sure my nerves where just a little bit sensitive. He felt horrible and kicked it up a notch until he was out of steam. Seriously, I haven’t seen a kid his age work that hard in forever! I was really proud of him, and maybe I was a little too hard on my man. But I wanted to make a point, that it’s not just about my yard. I am training his character, the man he will hopefully grow to be. The one I hope him to be, minus any laziness. And you know what? I believe he will get there. It was only at that moment, he was being a kid and a tired human.
Thanks buddy for all your hard work! You earned every muscle you worked out and you earned both movies and popcorn.
This past weekend I took Kyle to see Thor 2: The Dark World and I believe the second movie of his choice is The Hunger Games – Catching Fire. I even told him he earned popcorn, which he gave me a victorious smile. I love paying this kid in movies. It makes for a well deserved date night.
I never thought to get finished pictures of the yard, so once the snow disappears I will take pictures and do a comparison.