For the past 10 days or so, I've found myself in spring cleaning mode.
Thank goodness this happens just once a year. Usually around spring.
It starts with weeding our vast garden areas, which somehow become more vast with each year that I get older.
The weeding is necessary, however, since what I am really doing is preparing our gardens for the layer of hardwood mulch that I throw on them.
The backyard garden area is unending. It's a scalloped garden that runs on both sides of my yard, which I figure is about 30 yards deep, from my back porch to the alley. It's a lot of garden area. I take my trusty mattock and run through fields of dandelions, wild (Indian) strawberries, poison ivy, ground ivy, crabgrass and other weeds I can't identify, digging up most anything that has no eye appeal. I am a dangerous man with a mattock.
It also means raking up all the leaves that I didn't collect last October.
The garden in front of our house is what I call our "English cottage garden", although I doubt it resembles anything English at all. But Kim has tulips, snapdragons, columbine, black-eyed susans and things that grow tall and green (not weeds) that fill our beds, which are usually lined with impatiens or begonias (when in season). It looks great.
Anyway, after the weeding comes the mulch. We usually order four Bobcat scoops of mulch that gets delivered and dumped in a rather large pile in our garden area next to the alley (the dump truck pile somehow gets larger with each year I get older).
I distribute the mulch by shoveling loads into a wheel barrow, then throwing the mulch out by hand. But I recently learned a valuable lesson. I was told that it was a lot easier to load the wheel barrow by using a pitchfork. Ha, I said. That makes no sense. The tines of the fork are about two inches apart; the mulch will simply slip through the tines, I figure logically.
But, no. The pitchfork was a Godsend. I decided that the pitchfork is not the devil's tool after all – the shovel is (at least for moving mulch). The pitchfork has saved my aching back. It only took me 67 years to learn this.
There's also indoor spring cleaning involved.
We were having friends over to the house, but before Kim would allow anyone through the front door, we had to clean the place up. My job (even though I've been mulching) was to dust and vacuum. I usually do the dusting and vacuuming anyway to keep the house-chore load off Kim, but my idea of dusting and vacuuming is surface centered. I clean what I can see.
Kim's idea is more detailed, requiring me to get down on my hands and knees to clean under sofas and chairs, under end tables and secretaries, and into corners and crevices to get rid of the cobwebs and spider dirt.
Oh. That kind of spring cleaning.
Anyway, we got the place clean. It looks great and will probably look great for another couple of hours before real life and more dust settles in.
Then we can do it all over again.