Betty Duffy

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Riot of Spring

The tips of the bulbs are making their way through the layer of dead leaves in the yard: Hyacinth, Jonquil,and as many damned Silver Maple saplings as dandelions. The smell of wild onions, our most predominate flora, makes the whole outdoors smell like a happy kitchen.

The dogs have been digging, looking for moles, and they come into the house with damp brown paws and dirt on the tips of their noses. Their craters turn the yard into an obstacle course for the mower—which isn’t my problem, I guess, since my husband does the mowing. But they have made casualties of my Forsythia and a small cherry tree. I find mauled branches with their hopeful green buds left in shreds all over the yard.

The children are causing consternation.

The neighbor called this afternoon to let me know that a couple of my kids were on the roof of the garden shed, and did I know or was I busy with the baby? Well, I knew, but it crossed my mind to act surprised—debated for a minute over which would cause greater scandal, not knowing, or knowing that my kids were on the roof? I admitted that it was fine with me for them to climb there, but if it made him nervous, I’d call them down. Growing up, we had a play deck at least as high, or higher, and we would jump off. No one died, though I suppose we could have.

When they’re not on top of the shed, they are in the shed pulling out the rakes, and spades and shovels to wreak their own havoc on the yard. They’ve enlarged one of the holes begun by the dogs, and turned it into an excavation site. So far they’ve exhumed two large stones, paving stones or pieces of foundation from a structure that possibly once stood behind our house.

I’m haunted sometimes by what the former owners of our home said to us when we purchased their house: “We didn’t want to sell it to just anybody. We knew you’d take good care of it.” I wonder how many times they’ve driven by and thought, “Those people have let our house go to pot.” All the bikes in the yard, the doors left agape, the tiny pieces of obliterated toys mixed in with the gravel driveway.

I don’t know what I’d do about any of it. We seem condemned to a life of lovely decrepitude—and I mean lovely, because I wouldn’t change any of it. It’s life, which just can’t shake the whiff of death. I can’t wait for Easter.

Seems to be a late March thought.


Kimberlie said...

Well, I am so glad that I am not the only one who feels like we are the "trailer trash" of the neighborhood because of the destruction my kids have wrecked on our property. The toys left scattered and broken everywhere, the window screen askew thanks to their grubby little hands, the dirt smeared on the door and the house because they were making a mud hole and wanted to see what would happen if they threw it up there. The thing is, I'd rather have my kids doing that and having fun, than sitting around bored and thinking up heaps worse to do. Right?

I am so glad you are real with your posts. It makes me feel more "normal."

Hope said...

I don't have any kids living at home anymore and we moved here when they were just about ready to fly the coop. However, I too, worry that the former owners will groan with dismay at how disheveled our yard looks compared to when they lived here. I am convinced they spent 8 hours a day doing yard work to have it be so weed free and perfect looking.

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Dawn Farias said...

I LOVE this post!