Opinion: Summer chores a wash

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Commentary by Ward Degler

What should I tackle first? April’s tasks? Oh, yes, those involved opening the gardens, pulling about an acre-and-a-half of weeds and preparing the lawn for summer mowing.

What about May? That was when I was going to prune all the trees and shrubs on the property and maybe pull out some azaleas that had given up the ghost.

June, then? Four productive weeks set aside for repairing and repainting the house trim. It would involve a lot of sanding and scraping old paint, particularly on the fascia and garage door. Then, I was going to finish the brick patio. It’s been waiting for two years.

July was always the time I planned to replace landscaping timbers and apply a fresh coat of stain on the whole shebang. By this time my home should be fit for a double-truck spread in Better Homes & Gardens.

Instead, it rained. And it rained. And then, it rained some more. I sat for three months watching the tide ebb and crest across my back yard.

Last week, we finally admitted defeat and brought in a team of professionals to salvage the yard and gardens in the front of the house. The whine of chainsaws and weed whips resonated through the neighborhood. There may have been earth-moving equipment and possibly a couple of dump trucks involved.

And today, the weeds are gone, the gardens are cleaned and the trees are neatly pruned. A heavy coat of mulch sets off the garden areas. That takes care of April and May. But June lingers while the paint is still peeling on the garage door, and the landscape lumber looks wan and neglected.

I’m not going to say this out loud, but I plan to hit Lowes next week and load up on lumber, paint and stain. Then, I’ll set up the sawhorses and ladder, slip into my grubs and wade full-bore into June and July.

And when I’m feeling comfortable with these tasks, I may even hook up my sad little sailboat and head for Eagle Creek. I haven’t done that in recent memory, either.

But the reason I don’t want to talk about any of this is – well, you know, the weather. And, wouldn’t you know it, I just looked outside. The sky has turned dark and it looks like rain.

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