Sunday, August 15, 2010


Alright, where are we now?

Refocusing the efforts...

Life is strange sometimes.

I went to the dentist early Saturday morning to get my crown finally put in after not being able to because of that job I had.  I'm still trying to shake off that whole 'working in a warehouse in the desert' experience.  It wasn't the cleanest and it wasn't really my cup of tea.  It really pushed me off the edge.

So after the dentist, since I was so close to Mom and Dad's, I drove over just to check in and give my two-minute courtesy visit so they could see I was in good health, albeit not in the greatest of spirits.  What I found when I got there was my parents out front bundling clippings from the tree they had just pruned.  There was Dad standing on two very straight legs, and Mom wearing a sweatband around her head tying together the bundles.  It was probably one of the cutest things I've ever seen.  Mom and Dad working together outside, even though Dad still has his walker nearby because he can't quite walk under his own power yet, his knee is still not at 100%.

Seeing them out there like that, I offered to help out.  They immediately put me to work helping Mom bundle branches so Dad could rest.  Then, I was put to work raking the front lawn to pick up the smaller twigs, leaves and pieces from the pruning.  But what was the coolest thing still was in front of me.

Let's just set the record straight.  I've been a computer nerd since the very first desktop computers came into being.  My first computer was an Apple IIe.  If you remember that technology, you'll remember that it was no where near as sophisticated as today's desktop computing.  But, on weekends when I was growing up, when Dad was out mowing the lawn and Mom and Nan were cleaning the house, I'd always get shoved out of the way.  It was always, "you could cut yourself", "stop being underfoot" or some other reason to be told to get out of the way.  I was always consigned to my bedroom where I wouldn't get in the way or into trouble.  So, you can imagine, I was never really a part of the "sweat equity" that went into making our house run.  I never really ever got could I?  I was always in my room with my technology and clean as a whistle!  I never did any landscaping or really got the opportunity to enjoy what it meant to be outside making things beautiful.

I know what some of you will say, that I'm spoiled.  I won't lie, I am.  Rotten.  But, I don't think it was really by choice.  I've always been enabled.  Whatever it is I wanted to do, or if there was something to be done, I'd either be able to do it (within reason and with heavy supervision) or someone else would do it for me.  I didn't do my own laundry or iron my own clothes until my late 20's.  If there was a mess, someone else would always clean it up, if it was any type of physical labor, someone else always did it and I was shoved out of the way or told it would be taken care of.  Hell, I volunteered for stuff, but NO, it was always, "get out of the way".  So, I never really got the opportunity to do any of the chores everyone hates so much until quite recently.  Don't roll your eyes or scoff, it's just the way my life has been.  Call me spoiled, pampered or whatever, but let me tell you, it's put me at a severe disadvantage when it comes to living on my own.

However, yesterday, I got a very interesting treat.  I finally pushed a lawnmower and mowed a lawn for the first time in my life!  I got sweaty, but I was out in the sun, feeling my skin tanning under the sun while contributing to the beauty of my parents landscaping!  It was so exciting!  Then, there was DIRT!  I don't mean warehouse grit kind of dirt was real, honest to God, life giving soil!  I can't remember the last time I actually touched and interacted with soil!  I was wearing flip-flops because I wasn't expecting to be doing landscaping with my morning, but this heap of soil spilled on my foot and I saw the big toe on my left foot covered in this rich brown soil.  It was so cool!   I helped my Mom carry a 50 pound bag of soil for her flowerbeds in the backyard and helped her dump it in the flowerbeds!  It smelled so incredible and full of life, just waiting to have beautiful flowers placed in it.  It was the most amazing experience helping out today...dragging the lawnmower over the rock landscaping on the side of their house to get the mower to the backyard, then to look at the grass as it was being cut, the smell of it as the blades of grass were shorn down to a close nap, fighting with my parents very eco-friendly mower which didn't want to start for anyone but my mother, carrying a bag of soil, tying off pruned clippings, bagging up sweet smelling, fresh cut grass was exhilarating!

It was the most perfect thing to happen to me in a while.  Before I went over to my folks yesterday, I really was becoming unhinged.  My countless bottles of painkillers and sedatives were calling to me to just swallow them all and be done with the whole mess that I'm in.  My depression has really been kicking my ass the last several weeks.  But then, after being outside and being productive, it made my fears about what's happening to me go away a bit.  There was soil on my toe!  Yeah, my shoe was covered in soil and grass clippings and all sorts of green matter, but I looked at it with a renewed sense, that it was something that yes, had to be done, but it was something that when you finished, it was beautiful.  It seems to me that spending time landscaping and planting flowers, that while sweaty and hard work, it is so very worth it when you're finished.

I think that's what I've been missing in the whole big picture, the fact that you need to feel that what whatever you do is worthwhile.  Whether it's mowing a lawn, dusting furniture, raking leaves, or all those chores that so many people hate around their homes, at the end of the day, it becomes very worthwhile because your environment becomes even more beautiful.

As Mom and I finished outside, I looked at her huge pots filled with bright magenta-colored bougainvillea, her trees groomed to perfection, and all of the beautiful plants in her landscaping, I realized, it wouldn't look like that if my Mom, in some way, didn't love beautiful things.  Yeah, she grew up outside.  I didn't.  But it was the neatest thing to have my Mom explain to me why it was that she loved working in her yard so much.  She said that pruning trees, mowing the lawn and all of the other chores were great stress relief for her.  I took it as she was implying that nature refreshed her and recharged her in a special way.  I really don't understand it because I'm such a techno-nerd that has made my eyes hurt in the light of the sun, but, I can't dismiss what happened to me yesterday.  Mom's right.  Being outside and making things beautiful is no waste of time.  But, I guess it's just new to me.  Instead of being shoved out of the way, I got to contribute.  To me, that was worth it's weight in gold.

I guess it's something I get to look forward to since I'll be living in the house that I just helped out on its landscaping.

Ok, so one more new experience for me....


It's so neat!

One more thing...with thoughts of my twisted fate's the tune for the day:


  1. Sheri - I rejoice in the joy you got from something as ordinary as dirt. I love gardening, but am limited to little to none anymore due to the RA.

    Just reading about your experience energized me. Thank you, my friend, and I hope you get many more hours of pleasure from helping garden at your folks' place!

  2. My dear friend Sheri,

    Want to know how great you are? You can even make yard work sound glamorous, just by talking about it!