We’re pretty much the neighbors you don’t want to have. In addition to the children wailing at all hours of the day. And the tacky paper garlands affixed to the windows, we have an uber-trashy front yard.
The yard has an apple tree. That, in early summer, is full of inedible apples. The inedible apples turn brown after an unexpected early frost. And fall to the ground in late fall, following a particularly gusty-windy-night. And remain on the ground for five or six months, covered by various editions of frost and snow and snow and snow. Until their brown color turns into an ochre-ish moldy color, and the apples are covered with dark pock marks and other signs of decay.
In addition to the rotten apples on the ground, the yard is filled with things like buckets. And toys. And a plastic purple sled. And a shovel. And a double stroller. And, occasionally, one or two ‘single’ strollers.
I’m surprised our mailman hasn’t left us a few outdoor maintenance brochures in our mailbox.
But we’ve finally run out of excuses for our slovenly behavior. And yesterday, thanks to the ridiculously nice weather, the professor ventured outside with the older two. To address the matter that is the front yard. (While I had the distinct privilege of making the Costco, Farmer’s Market and Superstore run with my non-napping, hair-like-an-80’s-rogaine-‘before’-shot, sidekick in tow.)
It was an unexpected glimpse into the boys’ ages and understanding of the way the world works. The Hen, who is two and a half, was delighted to help. He picked up the rotten apples with his bare hands and eagerly dumped them into the designated bucket. He even helped his dad drag the trash bags filled with decomposing yard matter to the alley.
The Gort who is now six, was eager to help until he realized the apples were rotten. And that he’d have to touch them. He decided to try using one of my oven mitts as a glove, but concluded it wouldn’t work. His incredibly brief stint as a yard-work-volunteer ended in tears about not wanting to touch the slimy apples. Or something like that.
And so it was father and second son who rid our front yard of its atrocities.