Sounds Like Summer

Whoever said, “summertime and the living is easy” probably wasn’t a homeowner.

All winter you look forward to the warm weather of summer. Trudging through late winter’s grainy slush you begin to anticipate the smell of freshly-mown grass, the crisp taste of icy beers on the deck, a refreshing dip in the pool.

You wait and wait and then?BAM?It’s here. The lawn begins to green up, and the air is filled with glorious birdsong.

Two weeks later, the honeymoon is over. The green grass keeps growing and is speckled with yellow. Time to get the mower out. But first you need to do the mower maintenance you forgot to do last fall after the final cut of the season. And you need to fill the gas cans?which you’ve been meaning to do all winter?and sharpen the blade.

Finally, You’re tootling around the yard with your mower. As you wheel around the garden beds, you notice the weeds are growing faster than the flowers. And that retaining wall is collapsing?again. At the other end of the yard, the empty veggie garden beckons. A season full of fresh produce is coming up?but only if you get the earth turned and get some seeds in the ground.

After your mowing is done, you decide to enjoy a beer on the deck while you contemplate all the spring jobs that suddenly need to be done at once. Beer in hand, you realize that the deck furniture needs to be hauled out of the shed. But you don’t want to do that until you put another coat of stain on the fading deck. Which means digging the pressure-washer out of the garage so you can prep the deck. It’s probably a good time to organize the garage, while You’re at it.

Your mental to-do list?and you don’t dare write it down?grows by the minute. How can you get all this work done and still have time for summer fun? Summer is supposed to be time for picnics and long walks, for barbecues and lounging by the pool, for outings with the family and easy evenings with friends.

“Right,” you think. “Technically It’s not summer yet.” You convince yourself that you can get all the seasonal chores done in the next four weeks. And then you can enjoy the easy living summer is supposed to bring.

Weeks later, you’ve done it! The grass is clipped and green. The gardens are growing weed-free. The deck is stained, the retaining wall is…retaining. The barbecue?propane tank full?beckons. Even the garage is organized.

It’s reward time. You settle into a shady deck chair, cold beverage in hand. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Sultry summer heat, barbecue aroma, gleaming deck.

And the insistent drone of mosquitoes, welcoming you to summer.

Barbara Lehtiniemi is a writer, photographer, and AU student. She lives on a windswept rural road in Eastern Ontario. Follow Barbara on twitter @ThereGoesBarb.

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