Rediscovering a yard
Back in April I had the Pine Weapons removed
from my tiny yard, which eliminated a source of windborne fear and also a source of crowding and mess.
Having four constantly shedding trees in a 30 x 50 space made it hard to maintain, and I had acquired a sort of phobia about the yard because it reminded me of near-deadly attempts to fight ice dams on the back roof in -10 weather.
So, a fresh start. No new pine crap falling on ground and roof from now on. But there was a decade-long accumulation of existing pine crap, plus a fresh mess caused by the tree cutters. Their stump-grinding process left four holes and four mounds of wood chips mixed with soil.
I could afford to hire a lawn service to clean it out fast, but decided to do it myself for several reasons: exercise, breaking the phobia, and sense of pride. Something like the old common law / common sense doctrine of adverse possession: you don't own a property fully unless you're defending it from human and natural enemies.
Each week's work was limited by the volume of the city's yard-waste container, which was fine; I wanted the work to be rationed so it would last a while, give me a good chance to get re-acquainted with the space.
Yesterday I finally finished the hard part, and the goals are achieved. The exercise built up my upper body and strengthened my back. At the age of 61, I have perceptible biceps muscles for the first time! (Back in the '70s I did a lot of physical work, but I was eating hippie food which didn't allow muscles to develop.) And the sense of pride did in fact overcome the old phobia. Now I can't wait to get out there and continue planting, watering and trimming.