Joel Vernier

I love spring, opening the windows on a 65 degree day feels like 80 degrees with my blood thickened up from the winter. Michiganders in spring often add another 10 to 15 degrees to warmer temperatures in spring. It’s like Michigan snowbirds down in Florida, the temperature hits 62, and we go swimming in the pool; Floridians come out with winter jackets, hats, and gloves. On a recent 62 degree day, I went kayaking; the breeze gets cold when the wind picks up, but that works well for kayaking as you can get pretty warm paddling. Spring is a rebirth of life in the north country. After a long winter, and all of them are long, spring starts the cycle of life over again. It also begins spring clean-up season. 

In Michigan, we have spring clean-up, summer clean-up cutting grass, trimming grass, fertilizer, water the lawn so you can have more grass to cut. Fall besides caring for the lawn; fall clean-up is a lot of work, tons of leaves, pine needles, pinecones, acorns, all types of dead plant material. 

Winter clean-up means snow and ice removal, cold temperatures, short days. The thing about yard work is that it never ends. It just transitions into another type of work.

I did fall clean up last year, and I did a great job, but somehow when spring comes, there are more leaves, branches, twigs, acorns, and other unknown materials. Some people just love yard and garden work. I love looking at a great lawn and beautiful and practical fruit and vegetable garden. I have some friends that get out and start gardening when there is still some snow on the ground. My lawn will not look as good as my neighbors, he uses weed killer, and I don’t use them because of my doggies, so I have some weeds. On the first 60 degree sunny day, I took on the challenge of transitioning from winter tools to spring and summer tools. The snowblower, snow shovels all go in the shed and the rakes, shovels and lawnmower, trimmer and edger come out. Good, I still have a supply of leaf bags from a variety of vendors. I used to put in 10-hour days cleaning up on the weekend, but now that I’m retired, I vary my work hours, tow to three hours here and there. I won’t work if the black flies, gnats or mosquitos are hatching. I go back into the house, relax, have lunch or a cup of tea, take a short nap in my “Comfy Chair” and then I can work again until my next nap calls me.

My wife has an awful back, she cannot do outside work period. She is good at moral support and putting leaf bags on a leaf bag holder. Many of my friends have a lawn service, yes, I would like to have one also. Local lawn service is a great way to shop local and put money in the hands of our community. As soon as the budget allows, I’m going to get one. As for now, I have completed my spring clean-up, leaves, twigs, grass mowed, trimmed, grass seed planted. It was a three day project, and it is such a wonderful feeling as I walk around the house looking at the fruits of my labor. After a long sigh, my tummy reminded me that its snack time and my eyelids reminded me that it is nap time once again.

“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others. – © Joel M. Vernier 05/05/2020 Author of: “The Guinea Pig In The Freezer.” joelmvernier@aol.com.

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