About a third of the way across my back yard, clearly visible through the sliding glass door, is what many years ago was a compost heap. Now itís just a mound, a hill that breaks up the landscape by making the weeds and wild grasses that grow on top of it even higher than the ones that grow throughout the rest of the yard.
This is the biggest challenge I have in trying for the first time in my five years here to take care of the yard myself. I have the tools, the trimmer and mower I got for my birthday last month. What I havenít had is the time, mostly because itís rained every weekend lately. And the energy, I donít have enough of that to go around.
I proved that today when I pulled the mower out of the garage and started in on the patch outside the back door. This was the easiest bit I could have worked on, because itís the area I last mowed. Unfortunately, that last mowing was so long ago that the grasses have grown back — not to their previous level, but to a height I could have easily managed, if the whole yard had been the same.
Unfortunately, once I got past this previously mowed patch, I had to tackle the hill. I read somewhere once that you shouldnít mow straight up and down a hill, but rather back and forth across it. Thatís all well and good, but itís awfully hard to cut down weeds that are over your head when youíre trying to push a mower tilted up sideways at a sharp angle.
It was hard on my back and it was hard on my legs, but mostly it was hard on my heart and lungs. I was gasping and panting and wobbly by the time Iíd gotten halfway over the hill. So I stopped. Half a hill is better than none, and it wouldnít have done anyone any good if Iíd kept going long enough to pass out. As it was, I nearly had to crawl back into the house, and I wasnít worth much for the rest of the day.
And all in twenty minutes. I thought I was tired last night, and Iíd been out of the house most of the day. Today I was out for less than half an hour and I couldnít move for the longest time. And now, tonight, the rain is coming in again and I donít know how long it will be before I can get out with the mower. But itís pretty obvious that I canít do it during the week, if it takes me all day to recover.