October 3, 2011
What did you do this weekend?
We made curved planters in our front yard.
It was about as fun as it sounds.
I had big plans to lay into the Neighborhood Improvement Committee Chairperson over what my husband and I perceived to be an unreasonable and ridiculous request for our front yard. These plans evaporated the minute that I met the man and saw that he had a hearing aid and was no less than 75 years old.
That would be like picking a fight with my grandpa.
Needless to say, my conversation with the NIC Chairman ended with me asking what I could do to my yard to make him happy.
Hence, the curved planters.
My husband and I have done enough home improvement projects over the years to know what goes into making a curved planter: namely, a lot of time, elbow grease, a smattering of curse words, and a few hundred dollars worth of plants that will probably die within the month.
We also had the problem of our children with which to contend, and, specifically, their inability to entertain themselves for more than two minutes.
We started out the day by pulling chairs up to the front window and encouraging them to eat popcorn and watch us work through the glass.
Within ten minutes, all four of them were standing next to me.
"You smell," Cortlen observed.
"Don't talk to me right now," I snapped as I attempted to maneuver a 2 million pound sod cutter into position.
"We want to help," Camber announced. She was wearing a church dress and sequined Michael Jackson gloves.
"You can unload plants from the back of the car," I told them, gesturing to the driveway.
No one moved a muscle. That's when I learned that my children were only interested in manual labor if it involved operating an expensive machine with a sharp blade.
Kellen stared longingly at the electric hedge clippers. "Don't even think about it," my husband warned.
"I'm strong enough to do that," my daughter said, pointing to the sod cutter.
"Me," said Cameron, as he picked up the end of a weed wacker.
"This isn't going to work," I told my husband.
He nodded knowingly. Before we officially gave up, we gave each of our children a small hand spade and asked them to help us dig shallow holes for our new plants.
It took them less than five minutes for one of them to hit and crack open an underground sprinkler pipe.
Think Hoover Dam.