No, not the fun game where you try to pick up a stick without touching the other sticks in the bunch. Pick up sticks, literally. That was today’s chore. The snow is gone, the ground isn’t muddy, and this looks to be the last week of below freezing temps – so everything points toward TIME TO SEED! Can you tell I’m excited? I really want to get the seed down because something really odd happens where we go from freezing temps to really warm temps pretty quickly, and no matter how much planning I do, it seems like I just miss that narrow opening when it is best to seed. This year, I will be ready. Our grass is doing okay, but not great. There are still many, many bare patches and areas of sparse growth. Plus don’t forget the places where the fill dirt settled down and made puddles that stay wet most of the time and so the grass can’t grow. (Although, we do get some pretty interesting green mold or algae growing in those.)
Let me tell you something I learned about working your land, you have to be willing to put in long, hard hours. And not everyone is cut out for that kind of work. Today, I tried to get the whole family to help me pick up sticks and stones from the pastures. I had already put in many hours of work and filled the 8 cu.ft. wheelbarrow up to a HEAPING full load three times. (Side note: definitely buy a two-wheeled wheelbarrow. Much easier to maneuver.)
But there are many more hours to be done so I thought it would be easier if I could recruit some willing hands. My husband lasted about 30 minutes. My youngest daughter, well she took almost 30 minutes to “get ready” and come outside to meet us, but then of course, she forgot her gloves and had to go ALL the way back home over the mountains and through the woods uphill both ways… but eventually she was back. With help coming and going throughout the two hours that I was out there, we managed to dump three more wheelbarrows full. But bending over and picking up rocks and sticks and getting up to throw them in and bending down again, over and over and over — it is tiring. Not to mention boring, and it gives you a bit of a neck ache too! I was glad for the company, though, even when my daughter took breaks to play with the dog or to hit a rock with a stick like you would a baseball, the company made it more enjoyable work.
About an hour in, I stood up and looked at the land ahead of us and saw how much more needed to be done and a sigh and ‘oh wow’ escaped my lips. As my daughter looked to see what I was talking about, I realized that I better not complain. It wasn’t going to help anyone stay motivated. You do what you need to do, BUT, you can also take breaks and do a little bit each day so it doesn’t get overwhelming. So, in that moment, when she asked ‘What?’ I said, ‘Wow, look at that area that we finished, you can see how much of a difference we are making. That part looks great.’ And I smiled to myself, because that slight shift in perspective – appreciating the positive, instead of dwelling on the negative, made me feel better too. And we worked together and sometimes played around, by trying to throw the sticks and rocks into the wheelbarrow from a distance. When my body started complaining and the sun set in the sky, we called it a day. A little bit of work each day this week, and by this weekend I’ll be ready to fertilize and seed!