Saturday, May 17, 2008

adventures in the backyard

backyard 4

It's Saturday, and we meant to go camping this weekend, we really did, but there was just so much happening in our own backyard, we got waylaid.

First of all, I had to mow. It was looking like a pasture out there, and I do like pastures, but in our tidy neighbhorhood I am ashamed, and so I mow it. Before mowing, I always grumble to myself about how much I hate to mow (who doesn't?), but really there are some things I like about it.

I like the immediate sense of accomplishment. As you go along, you can see exactly what you've completed (especially when the "before" lawn was 2 feet tall). When you're all done you can look around and see exactly what you did, and whether or not it was good. If it wasn't good, you can always go back and tidy it up with the mower or the string trimmer. And then there's the sort of English estate look that my yard gets and which lasts for about 3 days after I've mowed. It's a low-end English estate, and utterly meaningless, but it's mine and I'm proud of it.

backyard 6
estate-like, no?

This is exactly the opposite of my day-to-day work. I'm very happy to have a job that I feel is meaningful and important and accomplishing something useful in the world (unlike the lawn), but on the other hand, it's very hard to quantify. After two hours of very hard work, there is usually nothing that I can turn and point to and say "look what got done." In fact, after two weeks or two months or maybe even two years of hard work... the change is not very tangible, even if it is useful and meaningful and all that. So I think this explains my secret desire to mow the lawn once in a while.

Knitting is kind of like the lawn-mowing, when I can actually finish a project, which seems to happen less and less all the time. But even when you can't actually finish the project, you can always knit a few lovely rows and point to them and say "look, I'm not a screw-up after all, I can knit in lace rib," or whatever it is you happen to be doing. I like that very much about knitting. You don't even have to finish, and still it's kind of impressive. Unless you've totally screwed it up, but let's not talk about that.

So after the lawn got mowed, there was a bed I really needed to finish digging, and compost to be turned in, and some little plants that needed planting here and there, and a lot of that sort of thing. And then it all looked so beautiful, it seemed a shame not to enjoy it, so there followed several hours of sitting in the shade while knitting and regularly surveying my low-end yet tidy estate.

Several hours of knitting, even when punctuated with regular garden-gazing, can get you pretty far. So far, in fact, that I have an almost-finished project on hand. Just a little button-sewing and blocking and I'll have a fancy new F.O. to show you. In fact, there are a couple like that, and I think the rest of the weekend's craft time will be spent in finishing so that next week I can post some lovely pictures of finished things, which always feels so good (just like a freshly-mowed lawn, only better). In fact, there may even be a Free Pattern Friday or two coming out of all this finishing. It's been a while, I know.

Anyhow, this has been a great Saturday so far. It's time to go pick something from the garden and fix it for dinner. I hope you all are having wonderful weekends!

backyard 1


  1. I am in denial about the state of my garden. I am glad that you are enjoying yours, but the less we talk about mine, the better!

  2. Thanks for sharing the lovely summer garden pictures.We've still got ice on the lake here and the grass is brown and hasn't started to grow yet.Any pictures of summer chear me to no end.

  3. makes me want
    a lawn
    to mow.


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