Anyway, as a child I remember my mom always pushing us to go outside. "Turn off the TV, we're going on a nature hike," she'd say.
"Ugh, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, you're the meanest mom in the world! Please let me finish this level of Super Mario!!" we'd whine.
Incidentally my video game prowess ended with that purple and gray console as did me following my mother's wishes. (Surely I'll have the brattiest kids based on karma.)
|You have to be a real asshole not to appreciate this backyard.|
|Which I obviously am.|
|Turtles, however, have always been okay in my book.|
It wasn't until I moved to New York where I was surrounded by 99.9% concrete that I started to finally appreciate what I was missing. The grass is always greener! (Literally.)
That being said, it wasn't until recently that I actually wanted to get my hands dirty. Much like how years of Food Network educational osmosis taught me to be proficient in the kitchen, hours and hours spent watching HGTV and DIY Network in Denver left me with plenty of inspiration for projects when I got back to Austin.
First, I needed to get the go-ahead from the parental unit. (I mean, it is their house after all.) And standing in my way was "the list." There are quite a few things that have needed to be done around the house for years. Most are unsexy but incredibly important tasks that fall on my dad's shoulders (the man can fix anything; this week it was the AC), and then there are the things my mom and I want to do.
There is definitely a disconnect between the two of us and my father when it comes to projects. We readily admit we can both be impulsive, which is not helped by our incredibly short attention spans. As you can imagine, this drives my engineering "let's draw out some plans and think it through logically" dad crazy. Luckily he's been around us long enough (36 years, 26 years respectively) to know that we do what we want.
The end result? I've spent this week getting on my outdoors. I'm talking landscaping, gardening, rock placing, and weed pulling. I went to a Home Depot AND a Lowes in one day?! Is that a record? (For me, yes.) I have to say, our hard work has paid off. Sure it's not perfect, but what in life is?
|My mom and I dominated laying that flagstone rock way.|
|After I was done, I made these plants swear that they were going to live forever!|
|Me: "Uh, hey, these rocks might look better as a border, than you know, in that giant pile..."|
So here I was, smug in all of our accomplishments, proud of myself - not just for the end results - but for getting outside of my comfort zone. Not only that, I was enjoying myself, even though the end result required three consecutive days of showering (unheard of!). "I can handle anything!" I told myself.
And do you know what happened next?
I sat in a f*cking pile of worms.
My mom had stumbled on some as we planted. "We should keep these in case Emily [my sister-in-law]'s nephews come over to fish," she mused. So she set some on the driveway as she continued digging a hole for our next sprig of monkey grass.
No less than five minutes later, I plopped down to top off the top soil for said plant. No less than five seconds after that, the wildest scream that has escaped my body in years filled the air.
"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! The worms!!!! F*ck!!!!"
My relationship with Mother Nature: One step forward, two steps back.
Side note: I don't want to say the day I learned I could drop the F-bomb in front of my parents without getting executed on the spot was the best day of my life, but it was a good day.
Side note II: My new goal in life is to be on a home-makeover reality show. YOU GOTTA DREAM BIG, KIDS!