the hyphens that define my life

Spring Clean Up March 1, 2015

Filed under: Life — multihyphenatedme @ 9:20 pm
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Technically, it is not yet spring.  We’re in flux between cold winter nights and spring temperature days reaching the high 40’s low 50’s with no snow on the ground.  Perfect weather to clean up after winters’ storms, raking leaves and pine needles and scooping up the mess left behind from Mountain Ash berries dropped and rotting on the ground.  Branches and twigs add to the fun of spring clean up.

Spring clean up is triggered by Yard Waste Pick Up  by the city trash collection that starts this week after being on hiatus since November.  No one in my house is as excited as I am to clean up the yard and garden.  The troops would not rally.  Chief Does-No-Yard-Work led the campaign against my pleas and effort with a ‘why bother’ attitude the rest of the tribe accepted as gospel.

Fine.  I grabbed my rake and yard bags and stomped out to the front parkway to rake leaves.  Didn’t I just rake leaves in the fall?  Why are there more leaves?  The first snow hit before all the leaves fell from the trees, so the leaves just fell at whim creating work for me this spring.

I’m excited to clean up, excited for spring, excited to plant my garden.  Lots of time between now and May when our last frost date is scheduled.  Between now and then, a lot of planning, outside projects and prep will take place.  Until then, clean up.

Raking and bagging, raking and bagging.  Since we’re on a pie shaped lot with the front parkway the largest expanse of the slice of pie, there is a lot of work to be done.  Neighbors and passersby kept me entertained and distracted.  Drivers that ran the stop sign received a yelp and a wave of my rake.  I gladly stopped and chatted, catching up with neighbors I hadn’t seen all winter.

Two people though, really made me question humanity.  A guy walking his dog, stopped to let his dog crap in my yard and continued walking. I was standing maybe twenty feet away.  “Excuse me,” I shouted after him, “do you mind cleaning up after your dog?”  He said, “Sorry, I don’t have a bag”.  I ran up to the house to get him a bag, but he was kind enough to high tail it out of there, leaving the dog doo where it dropped, before I returned.  Charming.

A little while later, a woman came jogging up the parkway, not jogging in the street or on the sidewalk, jogging on the grass of the parkway.  When she ran through our yard, she ran THROUGH the leaf piles I had raked up, dragging her feet as she ran, scattering leaves everywhere.  Again, I was standing less than twenty feet away, watching the desecration of my leaf piles occur.  “Hello!” I shouted, “Run around the leaves, not through.” She looked around as she continued running, “Sorry!”

I was ready to chuck my rake at someone, but continued about my business, grumbling to myself.

Then, just as I was finishing my work, a tan Mercedes rolled up to the curb.  An elderly man got out of the car and approached asking if the original family still owned our home.  I explained that we purchased the home almost two years ago and the original family downsized but lives nearby.  He explained his mother in law lived four doors down yet he always loved our home.  He asked if I was aware of the 1946 issue of American Home featuring our home, which we discussed at length before he continued on his way.

Today’s encounters reminded me that every day, with every action, to make the right choice, to do the right thing. Walking your dog and going for a run are awesome and I applaud their efforts.  I hope tomorrow provides each with the opportunity to focus beyond themselves. And, truth be told, I hope karma catches up with them. I’m thankful for the gentleman who stopped and took the time to share his story and history and, in doing so, restored my faith in humanity.

The leaves are raked and ready to be hauled away. Spring is on its way!