Work and Play: How I Trick My Kids

Note the absence of grass in TX 
Summer’s that time of year when everyone gets all gung-ho about mowing, hedging, mulching, fertilizing, watering and so forth. Well, maybe not everyone. I, for one, loathe yard work—thus debunking the existence of that green-thumb utopia that national home improvement chains portray in TV ads, where happy couples exchange blissful, satisfied smiles after spending the day creating the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in their front yard. Pffft! Whatever.

Granted, I realize that for some people, this is “their thing.” My father, for example, derives an exorbitant amount of joy—sometimes, in my opinion, bordering on psychotic—when it comes to landscaping/gardening related endeavors, which may also be at the root of my personal disdain for such home improvement projects in general.

Many times, I thought my dad to be insane. Some people hoard junk; he amasses small parcels of land for more shrubs and sod. At last count we estimated that, combined, the yard and vegetable garden amounted to nearly three acres of land, the entirety of which my sisters and I were well acquainted with after years of tending to it. Summers in particular were the worst, not because of the heat, but rather from the list of daily tasks our father would leave for us on a folded note that greeted us at the breakfast table.


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