Working Hard in the Yard on July 4th by Sheila Pope

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Ms. V, my 70-year-old neighbor.

Thanks to Ms. V, my 70-year-old neighbor, I got my front yard back into shape quickly on Independence Day (July 4th). Yes, I spent my holiday cutting the yard. I love the idea of cutting my own grass and maintaining my yard. Ms. V loves to take care of her yard too. There are three single women on my street; however, only one of us pays to have our yard maintained. Maintaining the lawn and flowerbeds is fun and relaxing.

When I work on my yard, I can really “see” what the bugs are doing around the house. Ants are resilient little monsters that invade my house and build empires around my trees and fences. I can also detect if water is leaking from the A.C. I can spot the weeds taking over my flower beds. I can feel how thick and healthy my grass has grown. I also keep an eye on my neighbors’ yard too. I am competitive; I enjoy watching the men on the street watch me cutting the grass. Sometimes, they make a few comments when they see me outside. Immediately when I finish my yard, one of my male neighbors will start on their yards too.

I really felt honored to have the ability to take care of my yard on the 4th of July. I am an independent woman, and I love my freedom; I am a home owner with a beautiful yard, and it takes a great deal of time to maintain the lawn.

I was happy to receive help from Ms. V. Ms. V is in great shape and she loves to care for her yard. I told her she could start a lawn service on the block. I hate to admit it, but Ms. V looks younger than me! She still wears short shorts. I hope I am as active and sexy as she is at 70!

She brought her wisdom and cutting skills over to trim the hedges. I would have been a fool to not accept her help. After all, she has the best yard on the block. I told her if they started a “Yard of the Month Contest” I would have to work extremely hard to beat her efforts. I was glad to share gardening ideas and lawn care tips with one of the coolest 70 year olds in the neighborhood on my July 4th.

Small Beginnings by Sheila Pope

Tiny Beginnings

Tiny Beginnings

Today, my five-year old daughter pointed out that our grapes were growing. I immediately rushed to see the growth. I was shocked at how much the grapes had grown.  Last year,  I planted the grape plant in a different location. I could tell my plant was not flourishing; so, I moved it to its own corner of the yard. My son found a YouTube video on how to grow grapes. After watching the video, we attached the vines to the fence and waited to see growth. It took an entire year, but I actually have grapes growing in my back yard.

I also have a lemon tree that was transplanted last year. The tree had one lemon on it when I purchased it. Yet, the lemon never grew. It stayed hard and turned a dark green color. Eventually, I moved the lemon tree too; there are two lemons on the tree this year. I am so proud of my small beginnings in learning how to grow produce. Actually, my son is the one with the green thumb. I have a gift of making money, but my 15-year-old son has the talent to grow produce. I love the fact that we can share in the process of watching fruit and vegetables grow in the yard.

It is good to teach my son that he can eat the fruits of his labor. More important, I have the opportunity to share stories of how everything starts out small and grows. I am growing everyday as a mother, business woman, and writer. I am learning to enjoy the small things in life-like watching plants grow. My ambition takes a back seat when I am out in the yard. My focus is only on family when I am digging holes and planning my flower beds for next year. When I touch the plants, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I watch my children faces glow with excitement. I listen to their discussion on how to stop the birds from eating all of our peaches. My children are problem solving. My son talks about his produce business. My children thinking about their finances. I see science at its best when I inspect the plants. I feel God’s touch when my entire family is laughing, sharing and exploring the plants in our small part of the world.

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