Chores and light

Every season there are surprises that I’m not sure should be surprises — things that make me ask, did this happen last year? Or ever before? This spring I am astonished by how many dried catalpa pods littered the yard. Were they ever this plentiful before, requiring five or six large barrels? Perhaps I forget year to year.

And, in other Aprils, I don’t remember the late afternoon sun being so glorious in what we call “the new room” (it remains “the new room” even as it ages through its second decade). Lately, the light has honeyed the walls and furniture in a way that gladdens me so much you’d think I’d remember. But I don’t. It seems novel and remarkable.


I don’t perform an itemized spring cleaning, but I do find myself taking toothbrush and Comet to windowsills and slate on a more regular basis than I might during the winter. Since C is graduating in a few weeks (with a BS in Chem, in case you want to be impressed), I want his room to be nice. Or at least, clean. The old windows in our house collect dirt and insect husks and paint chips in a way that require some real elbow grease. It is kind of gross how much of the filth comes off, but ever so satisfying to watch it go. And yes, the photo is an ‘after’ shot – you should have seen it before.

Now, do you see the black form under the yew bush below? Left side? There’s Finn sniffing along the fence. His insatiable joyful need for ‘fetch’ has a lot to do with the state of our backyard.   We are considering a combination approach: rolls of sod, pea stone, and slate. Using what we had on hand, K and I got a pretty good start on a patio at the garage end. The midsection would get the sod (too much shade to grow grass from seed) and the back third, the pea stone. We’ll see. Right now, half of our dog training goes to getting Finn to sit and then stand while we wipe his paws at the back sliders (he’s pretty good about it). I’m waiting to see if any of the trampled ostrich ferns come back. Fingers crossed.

4 thoughts on “Chores and light

  1. Jenny M

    Beautiful rays of light, in your ‘new’ room. We are enjoying very warm Autumn days filled with sunlight. And I totally understand about your yard, we have 2 big dogs that run along our back fence to ‘greet’ passing walkers & dogs…they certainly wear away the grass down to dirt!

    1. deemallon Post author

      What breed are you dogs? Did you give up on grass? I’m one who thinks lawns are extremely overrated but don’t like all the dirt coming in the house. Doesn’t look great either.

  2. Mo Crow

    the gardens we look after that are shared with dogs suffer a lot from being peed on regularly as well as damage caused by all the mad running about & digging that occupies young dogs til they settle into a semblance of maturity at about 4 years old. The urine can change the ph of the soil so we add lots of organic matter ie compost & well rotted cow manure topped off with a good thick layer of mulch every spring & really vulnerable plants like vegetables and flowering bulbs are fenced off for the first few years til the dogs are old enough to know that they aren’t allowed in those areas.

    1. deemallon Post author

      Oh thank you Mo for sharing your garden wisdom. It hadn’t occurred to me to consider the urine! Now some plant deaths that formerly made no sense do. We will go crazy with compost and mulch this year then. And erect some temporary boundaries for the beds.


Love to hear what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s