So I’ve never been to prison. And I most certainly don’t plan to go. But owning a midcentury house with a half-acre of land requiring continual rehabilitation has given me a new and interesting perspective. I’ve definitely shoveled enough rock in the blazing hot sun to make me feel like I’m in the joint. The clink. The cooler. The crowbar motel. Making license plates upstate.
Alright, so maybe they only say that stuff in old James Cagney movies, which I’ve clearly seen too many of. Either way, some serious drama has popped off in the yard, bro. And I’ve seen it all. So here’s 5 ways landscaping projects can prep you for the slammer:
5. You’ll get chased down.
By everything from giant spiders to swarms of angry hornets to snakes of all sizes. The skunks usually run the other way, but they definitely leave a calling card. And the possum and raccoons usually wait for you to wheel out the over-full lawn debris bins at night before they make their move.
I think it’s because they might be snitches.
4. You’ll get stabbed by the ones you suspect the least.
You always anticipate a bit of bloodshed from the 7 ft. tall rose bush you’re attempting to relocate to the far corner of the yard. They never go quietly. But the real surprise is that even the softest plants are out to get you. Yes, there will be some stabby stabby stabbing by just about everything you are trying to plant, prune, trim, shear, saw, move or completely rip out. So invest in several pair of extra thick gardening gloves and make sure your medical insurance is up to date, because you WILL drop the pruning clippers on your toes. Twice.
Tetanus shots: they’re what’s for dinner.
3. You’ll just never feel clean.
Leftover concrete grit inside your ears, mulch that’s lodged under your tattered fingernails, a few free-range rashes developing around your ankles– yes, all of these joys (and many more!) come with the territory of landscape projects. No matter how much you scrub and pumice and lotion, these are the lasting memories that stay with you well after the project is complete. They are your yard’s special gift to you– a lovely bonus for all of your hard labor.
Yeah, I’d definitely prefer a Jelly of the Month Club membership.
2. You’ll have to talk to weirdos.
They’ll find you right when you are smack-dab in the middle of hauling rocks and sweating profusely, and casually inquire about your home’s previous owners. They’ll wander over and ask about the new trees you’re desperately wrestling with, while their kid yanks all the succulents out of your garden. They’ll tell you all about their new family room addition while you’re shoveling 5 yards of gravel in the hot sun and are too out of breath to get a word (or two words…) in. They’ll even stand next to you in the pouring rain and prattle on about themselves while you attempt to quickly finish digging post-holes before you catch pneumonia.
There. Is. No. Escape.
1. You’ll be someone’s bitch.
And that ‘someone’ is your property. Because even after you’ve pruned and planted and edged and weeded and mowed and made it look amazing, it won’t stay that way. And you and your aching back will return a few days later to do it alllll over again.
And that’s just the way it is in the big house, cuz. So get used to it.