Green thumbs and tree-huggin’

This is one of those house-related entries you were promised and have been awaiting with bated breath. As common sense and common knowledge suggested, I got the nicest place I could comfortably afford. All things considered it’s a nice place indeed, thanks to a quarter century’s worth of outlandish and unwarranted generosity from my family. In fact, I bought it thinking I would not need to do anything for a few months at the very least. No small feat, given my perfectionism.

Well, since early June I’ve spent over a grand at Lowe’s and nearly as much at Home Depot. The front flowerbed sits higher than the sidewalk, so I put in edging blocks to keep the topsoil from washing away.

The grass directly behind (and south of) the house was dead (as opposed to the rest of the yard, which is only mostly-dead), which seemed a great excuse to turn the space into a flowerbed.

The deck, I realized, looked as if it hadn’t been stained or sealed since the house was built 12 years ago. And I wanted a grill. And some patio furniture.

One evening before I coughed up a wad of cash to have Sullivan Tree & Yard Service (their work is mediocre given the price – take your business elsewhere) trim the tree nearest the house, I was locked in an epic struggle with the garden hose and hose reel. I heard a small but frantic fluttering and could not find the source. Then, I looked up – there in the tree was a small grey bird with orange wing tips, hanging upside down. I worked my way up the (at most 25 foot tall) tree with my trusty side cutters and trimmed away whatever stringy plastic stuff the little guy was tangled in. For the first time ever, a use for my carefully honed tree-climbing skills!

And not the last time my neighbors will look outside and ask “What on earth is that boy doing?”

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