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Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Nice Spring Day

It is that time of year again.  Its early Spring. The temperatures in Salt Lake City have been well above normal and this week I have been spending after-work time raking in the back yard and picking up limbs and sticks blown out of, and off of, the trees over the winter.  The Lovely Sharon and I have a park-like backyard with a creek and many trees. Although it is a substantial amount of work, I love our back yard.  It gives you space from neighbors.  It gives you a chance to see all types of birds and crazy squirrels running up and down trees and jumping from tree to tree. I will venture to say that our backyard is fairly unique compared to the normal subdivision back yard. As I get older it is more work, hard work, but I seem to appreciate it more all of the time.  I often find myself with a camera in hand taking pictures of the lawn, covered in snow, or covered in leaves or adorned in summer green.

Although I picked up the fallen leaves off the lawn last autumn before winter, after a mild but windy winter, there are so many fallen limbs and sticks on the lawn, piles of pine needles under the Austrian pines and plenty of leaves in the non-lawn portion of the backyard (the wild portion) that I have plenty of work to do before the Lovely Sharon gets back to Utah and starts planting flowers. 

Yesterday I worked at my law firm from about 6:30 am until 1:00 p.m.  Then I came home, changed clothes, put on my Ipod and headed down into the back yard. I worked with a rake for a couple of hours bagging leaves and piling up limbs and sticks to be dealt with later.  I was bent over for a good part of that time using my gloved hands to fill one plastic bag after another.   Although I was far from done, after getting up early, working in my downtown office for more than half a day then working in the yard, by 4:30 I was tired and decided to call it a day.  We have a couple of benches in the back yard so I used my gloved hand to brush the leaves and dirt of winter off one of the benches and sat down.  I sat there for maybe 20 minutes, looking at the creek that had only a sparing amount of water in it, not enough water to flow.  As I sat on my bench I looked across the creek to an area of live trees and fallen trees.  I can only describe this area as wild.  Long before the Lovely Sharon and I married, she owned all of what I could now see, but over the years she sold most of it to the neighbors.  I sat on the bench tired, but a good kind of tire, listened to a smooth saxophone on my Ipod and watched two dark squirrels chase each other throughout this Eden I was looking at.  I wished I had my camera but I was too tired to walk to the house, take off my muddy shoes, get my camera, but my muddy shoes back on and return to the bench.  It is unlikely that a good photo of the squirrels could have been taken as they were some 40 yards from me, they were moving fast and the light was dim.   I then thought that some of the bare fallen trees looked picturesque but I concluded that I was too tired to create art and was better served to just observe the nature around me. So I sat and watched.

(From November 2008)

I finally stood up. gathered my rake and my gloves and the rest of the yard tools I had brought down from the shed and made my back to the tool shed and the house.  I replaced the tools in the shed, in a not too orderly way, knowing that I intended to use them again soon.  I took off my muddy shoes and headed into the house.

The house was dimly lit since it was a cloudy afternoon and the lights were off, and very quiet since I was the only one there.  I sat down in my leather chair in the Bud Cave and turned on the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament.  I soon fell asleep, but only for 15 minutes or so, a catnap I suppose it was. I thought I might just sit in my leather chair for the evening and watch basketball but it felt lonely in the house and I was hungry so I decided to take a quick shower and head over to the club for dinner thinking I might see someone I know.  I ended up having dinner with dear friends Norm and Terry.  The conversation was about politics and current events undoubtedly my favorite topics.  By 8:00 I was tired.  We said good night and I headed home. Once home, I turned on the basketball tournament; more for the companionable noise rather than to actually watch a game.  I finished reading the most recent issues of both the Atlantic Monthly magazine and Harper’s magazine. Then lights were turned off and I went to sleep.

A pretty good day; law practice work, yard work, observing nature and dinner with friends.

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