The tutor discusses his commencement of yard work in 2015.
I hear that, on the eastern half of the continent, winter has been tough. People have shown me pictures from the States, I think, of snow drifts as high as the front door. I haven’t verified them; I never watch the news. From what I’ve heard, though, this winter has been possibly even harsher than last year’s – in the East.
Here on the West Coast, we’ve had a different story: this may be the warmest spring in ten years. Back on January 25 (see my post about it here), we had, by my reckoning, our “first day of spring.” This past weekend, we had sun with highs in the double digits both days. The flies were buzzing and the birds were singing. I even got circled by a robust yellow jacket a few times.
True enough: unlike my comrades back East, I haven’t had to shovel the driveway lately. However, with spring weather comes yard work.
My wife and I built a new landscaping wall last November; from that, I had heaps of earth left on the lawn that needed clearing. We have enough bushes and trees so that there is pruning to do December through March. The front chip bed needed raking. The lawn needed liming. The old lawn mower needed starting….
I was out there Saturday and Sunday. Clearing the earth from the lawn, then moving it to other parts of the yard, took about six hours. The pruning didn’t take long, but the fire to burn the prunings took a couple of hours’ tending. The chip raking took around 45 minutes; the liming, around the same.
My lawn mower is an old Lawn-Boy from 1978. (I mention it in my post on horsepower and kilowatts.) At the start of the season it’s always a challenge to start; this year it took around 130 pulls of the cord. I’ve been told part of the problem is that I don’t put stabilizer in the gas in the fall. I don’t know for sure; I’ll have to research that for another post.
Anyhow, the mower always does start; indeed, it finally did in Saturday’s dusk, after 20 minutes of sweat. It hunted around for a couple of minutes to find its right RPM; from then, it ran like a top. I walked it around the back yard, doing a first pass over some strong patches of lawn so they don’t get away from me in the coming weeks.
Through twilight, I could see the kids’ TV on in their downstairs lounge. When I was a kid, the idea would have been that the kids should be mowing the lawn, while the adults relax. Did I feel that way? Not a chance. Part of being older is knowing that, outside on that early spring night, I was getting the better deal. Some day, they’ll be just where I was, and thankful to be there:)
To my cohorts on the West Coast: good luck with your spring cleanup:)
Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.