Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Journal Jar

Years ago at a RS meeting we were handed a Mason jar and a journal. Inside the jar are little strips of paper with ideas or suggestions on what to write about in your journal. I have decided to adapt my journal jar to this blog. I will pull a question out every now and then and address the subject here on my blog. This way I can write down what I want my children to know in the future, give my reading audience a further glimpse into my life and I get to feel good about keeping a "journal."

Today's question: Describe your yard as a child. Did you help with yard work?

When I was about 7 years old my family moved to Hathaway Court in San Jose, CA. The subdivision was new and our lot was located at the end of the court, creating a bit of an odd shaped, small front yard. Our backyard was a nice size and at the age of 7 I was pretty sure we owned half of Africa. I have no idea how long it took my parents to get the back yard "done." But in those early years the weeds grew up to my waist and I would go out in the back yard and play explorer. I don't remember who I played this with, probably other siblings, but I can't remember. I would hack my way through the bush and find amongst other things a metal swing set. I don't know if we got that set new or used, but I know we brought it over from my parents first house on Sandpoint Drive in SJ, CA. The slide was tilted, the swings were a bit wonky and there was a little carriage where you and a friend could sit and face each other and rock back and forth. When I was a kid I didn't care that the swing set was metal or wonky. I just loved that thing.

My brothers got the brunt, if not all, of the yard work, I'm not sure why the girls weren't required to help out there, because the boys were required to do housework as well. Well, I'm not complaining. Two out of three of my brothers are pretty allergic to grass, so you can imagine what they must have looked like while they were mowing. In a word: Miserable.

Every spring my parents would have a yard work day, or weekend, depending. The kids would have a day or two off school and my parents would promise a fun family adventure if we spent the first half day or first day of the two-day break cleaning up the yard. I always escaped this, too. They started this when I was in my mid teens and by then I had a job. Oops, sorry, gotta work!

Our front yard was really a postage stamp. For years we had an olive tree out front. I liked that tree, but my mother hated it. Olives, olives everywhere. Purple juice squirting underneath the shoe of a hulking teenager, being tracked into the house. Not good. Eventually my parents cut that down. I missed that tree.

My parents were pretty meticulous about their yard. It was always in good repair and well manicured. In the later years of owning that house, after Matt moved out, my parents hired a gardener. For a while there was a masculine woman named Tiger, I think, working on the yard. That provided some fun discussions! (And no, my cat is NOT named after the gardener!)

Now Harold is my gardener. He loves to work out in our yard. We have spent very little money on our landscaping, but Harold has done his very best and sometimes our yard looks fantastic, other times he has to dump the oil from the lawnmower somewhere! and we end up with a patch of dead grass here or there.

I am so allergic to grass that it is hard for me to enjoy the outdoors. In my own personal heaven I'll get a nice swing and Harold and I will enjoy many a sunset allergy-free.


hyker said...

Good idea. My "real journal" has kind of fallen by the wayside. I love yard work and I still take care of the same yard I did as a kid. I can't wait to have my own yard....I have it all mapped out in my head.

Julie J. said...

Haha! I remember Tiger. Her license plate frame said, "Alpha Female".
When Matt and I were dating I would sit outside and watch him edge the lawn with scissors and I would kind of laugh at him as he crawled along and "cut" the grass. Is it any surprise we live in a townhome where the yard is cared for by the HOA?

Becky said...

That's a good idea..the journal/blog jar. Nice memories.

Holley, Dane Brien & Wesley Berry said...

I remember your yard well and many a bush whacking adventure to get to the swing set. I miss those days!

Sandy said...

We used to have those family work days once a year. When we were small and lived on Tilden Drive in Cambrian Park over by Leigh and Branham Lane my dad would pay us a penny for every 5 dandilions we picked and brought them to him. It was his best attempt at weed abatement.

mom/Janet said...

I have absolutely no memories of doing yard work as a young person. I know dad always had a garden but I have no memories of wedding or anything. Now, since I've been married, I could go on and on about yard work. Ask my kids - - I'm sure they have tons of memories of yard work. I love a nice yard, though, so I don't mind doing it. BTW I'll be in Provo Nov 10 - 13 watching Ella while Abbie defends her thesis. We'll have to get together. Maybe you would like to go watch Abbie defend her thesis. We'll stay in touch

Kim said...

That's funny. I had the same idea about using the "journal jar" on my blog but never got around to it. I still probably won't, but you have at least inspired me to think about it again.

mooney said...

We got those same jars and questions in our ward too. We used them at is a great way to get to know others. It is so much fun looking back on life.