June 24, 2006

Thanks, Hardeep.

While Fawn went to spend a day with "the girls" at a friends cabin, I spent the day landscaping.

As I think I mentioned before, the front lawn looked like a piece of modern art - green with vibrant patches of yellow. I decided to do something about it. I also decided to do something about the unattractive, boxy, grass-infested front flower bed. Like so many projects, the end result is easy to visualize. Turning that vision into reality is another thing.

I started a few weeks ago by ripping out the pressure treated wood that contained the flower bed. I think the previous owners had a thing for pressure treated wood. It's everywhere. Then, I collected a whole bunch of big rocks to use as a retaining wall for the new flower bed. This was followed by cutting a new, improved, less boxy pattern for the flower bed in the grass. Then, I pulled-up and rolled the sod. Taking the good, healthy sod, I replaced some of the yellow patches. Now the front yard looks like a piece of post-modern art - patches of multi-hued greens. As I mentioned, this has taken several weeks.

The neighbours have been very supportive as I worked on this project, understanding that I can't do it full-time. There are other things to do, after all, but I wanted to make more progress. So I spent almost all of today working on the new flower bed.

I'm proud of my accomplishments today. Stacking rocks and turning soil, I've got almost all of the front retaining wall in and, if I do say so myself, it looks pretty darned good.

Just as I was was about to wrap-up, a young man from down the street came to introduce himself. The conversation is significant in my mind since it's pretty much the only one I had all day, next to the pizza delivery guy. I will call the young man Hardeep, since this is what he calls himself. Here is an abriged version of our conversation:

"My cousin and I were wondering if you knew what you were doing. We were trying to figure it out. This has taken you, like a month."

I explained my plans to him and he seemed satisfied.

"You should build out this wall some more so it doesn't collapse. It looks kind of weak."

"It's actually quite strong," I replied, kicking one of the most solid stones I could find, praying that the wall didn't collapse on my feet.

"Wasn't your house on fire last week?" he asked.

"No," I replied.

"Oh. Then maybe it was your neighbour's house?"

I can tell that I'm going to enjoy chatting with Hardeep in the future. He seems like a bright young man.

So, even with a productive day, the landscaping project is not yet complete. I'll need a lot of topsoil to fill the bed and I'll need to collect a lot more stones for the back wall. I'm confident that it will all be done in time. I figure I should be done sometime this decade, anyways.

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