07 May 2012

Dirt tired

Made good progress this weekend on the beds.  Since I had Friday off, I scheduled Grayson’s annual checkup at the vet early and planned to have the mulch delivered right after the appointment.  Grayson came out with a clean bill of health (Thumbs Up!) and we were back on the road by 0930.  For some reason I cannot fathom, Grayson is not a big fan of going to the vet, but at least this time he didn’t have to stay overnight. 

I had hoped to have the mulch dropped by 1030 to get an early jump on the day before it started getting warm.  Of course, life has a way of changing your plans especially when the truck driver has a crappy GPS on his phone.  This guy was driving all over south Houston looking for my address (actually, my house is 5 miles from the mulch yard), after 5 phone calls, and more than a few cuss words, he finally showed up around 1400.  So, by the time he dropped his load, it was already in the mid-80s. It already has the makings of a warm summer and we are still 6 weeks away.   I was able to knock out about ½ the pile before heat stroke kicked in.  It’s been a while since I have done some serious dirt slinging like that and my back & shoulders reminded me of that fact the following morning.  Both dogs were a great help, serving like a line boss in the shade while I drug the wheelbarrow around the yard (Taking a water break, Boss).  I didn’t even try to run in the morning as I figured this was my exercise for the weekend.

The wife asks me why I don’t hire this job out (You’re too old to be doing that kind of stuff).  Maybe I am a bit stupid, but I sort of like doing this (occasionally).  In my mind, it’s honest work, honest sweat.  To me, something about the sweat equity that you put into a job makes you appreciate it more (and appreciate your indoor job no matter how crappy it may feel at times).  It reminds me of a valuable life lesson/epiphany my son got a few years back.   If you stay long enough in the scouts, you will eventually get tagged to help out on some kid’s Eagle project.  This is supposed to be one of the final tasks a candidate does before they can earn their Eagle.  Typical Eagle Projects are geared to help the community.  Some are with schools, others are with churches, while others will serve the local city park.  We’ve planted trees/bushes, installed a sprinkler system, built benches, rebuilt a baseball field, built a trail, and setup a orienteering course.  Most of these require the Scout to plan, coordinate, and execute the project without any adult help.  Typically, the projects are done when the kids are out of school and available (aka summer break).  Of course, by then, the temps are usually running in the mid-90s and humidity is way off the charts.  One summer, we signed up to help plant bushes bordering a local soccer field (to keep the cars from driving on the field and improve the park).  Since it was mid-July, we expected temperatures in the high 90s.  We had a big crew (25 kids & adults) cutting sod, roto-tilling beds, planning a row of bushes, and laying on mulch.  It was one of those days where everything you wore was either drenched or covered in mulch.  My son and I worked the entire day and towards the end, I made the casual comment that, some people do this every day for a living.  I think at that point he began to realize some of the benefits of getting a college education. 


terri said...

You're right though. There's definitely a sense of pride in having accomplished such a task on your own. But very few would want to do such manual labor on a daily basis.

ShadowRun300 said...

I understand sweat equity completely. I landscaped our yard, planted most of the trees, shoveled most of the rock and still mow most of our 3/4 acre of land with a push mower. I couldn't do it daily, and it wipes me out for the day, but it's such a great feeling that I look forward to more.
Thanks for the tip on how to get my oldest son to continue his college education... He was in scouts but did nothing like your son's Eagle project. That's impressive!

Abby said...

Yes, the sweat equity gives more ownership to those labor intenstive projects - and an appreciation for not having to do them on a regular basis. I used to groom both of our big hairy dogs. Now I take China to the groomer's, and leave a good tip!

meleah rebeccah said...

1. Hooray for Grayson's clean bill of health!

2. Five phone calls? Wow that guy might be worse with directions than I am! And it's been way too hot already. We are going to have a horrible summer if this keeps up.

3. I like a good day of yard work & real sweat too. Occasionally.

4. Oh yes, a day like that, laboring in the heat, will teach ANYONE the value of a college education!