So. Much. Dog Poop!!!! This is embarrassing to confess, but nobody in my house has picked up dog poop in a very, very long time.
Our backyard has been under siege this summer. Our sprinkler system broke, so the lawn, or what was left of it, all died because I went out of town and left it in charge of the house sitter.
Weeds took over, because apparently the brilliance of weeds is they do not require as much water. Opportunistic bastards. Adding full-on bloody violent insult to injury, the city decided to replace our sewer line and dug up the half of our yard that actually had some grass! Right before Christmas.
Nothing can grow there until spring. I wasn’t worried at the time they did the work because it was going to snow, the snow would stay, and everything could wait until spring.
But nature has not cooperated with my procrastination plans. We have had more moisture this year than I can remember, only it’s not in the form of snow. The only snow we had melted because it rained. In January. In Colorado. It has been fucking raining!
Usually the dog poop lies under a nice blanket of snow for months until the snow melts because it is spring and I feel so happy it’s spring that picking up dog poop is a nice excuse to spend time outside. I’m optimistic in the spring. I make amazing plans for a beautiful back yard in the spring while cleaning up a winter’s worth of dog poop. Somehow all that crazy (if unbefitting) optimism makes the chore do-able.
Our back yard hasn’t been a place to hang out, it’s been a place to avoid because it’s screaming out loud about all the help it needs. It’s a needy back yard. The dogs get into the trash and strew it all over. The elm trees keep coming back relentlessly. (Don’t get me started on the elms. That’s a whole rant unto itself, complete with a picture of Bill Murray in Caddy Shack.)
The ground cover I put down to keep moisture in and weeds out was way harder to clean out than I expected and is still found around the edges where the weeds (the ones I was battling to begin with) grew through it and are holding on tight.
When I bought this house, a few months after my divorce, when I was still single, my mom came over and said, in her mom way – you know, the way she doesn’t want to tell you something, but feels like advice needs to be given, but she doesn’t want to make you mad or hurt your feelings, or get involved– “That is a lot of yard to take care of.”
My words keep coming back to me from that day ten years ago, words that dismissed an experienced home owner, a woman who always had a husband to take care of yard chores. My forty year old self from this perspective sounds like a petulant don’t-tell-me-what -to-do child when I hear my reply. “Just water and lawn mowing, Mom. No big deal.”
Oh, that maniacal joker lady is laughing it up in heaven as I write this. She’s had the last evil laugh. YOU WERE RIGHT, MOM!!!
But I digress. The fucking yard is literally (and I am not one to misuse that word) —literally!—a mud pit. A pit of mud. Just mud. And where they dug it up, it’s deep, squishy mud. It gets in between my dogs’ toes so when they come in I have to wash their paws in a bucket. Which they don’t like. My back does not like it, either. I spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning mud out of my house.
So it’s not really like I’m lazy, although I’d probably cop to that accusation. I’m overwhelmed.
When I get overwhelmed, I’m like Pee Wee Herman when the pet shop is on fire and he tries to avoid the snakes. (If you don’t get that reference, then you have a homework assignment. Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Watch it.)
I am a masterful avoider. I take avoiding to an entirely different level. And I have avoided my overwhelmingly needy back yard. For months. Even to the extent that I put my trash in my car and drive it to the alley to throw it out because the muddiest part is by our back gate.
Today, another gloomy, dreary day with no sunshine, I decided to be productive and tackle some dog poop. Get some exercise, get outside… It was like that scene out of Gone with the Wind when, after the Battle of Atlanta, the camera pans out to show a seemingly unending mass of dead and wounded soldiers, with poor Scarlett trying to avoid the bodies as she makes her way through.
That’s me exactly, except I wasn’t wearing a hoop dress and bonnet. The poop kept trying to grab me and get my attention and when my gaze wandered dramatically over the yard in the hopes of finding an end to the scourge, there was just more and more poop!
Most of the poop is still out there. I am too embarrassed to hire someone to clean it up. I’ll just spend a half hour a day and starve the poop machines (Don’t call PETA, I’m kidding.) until it’s cleaned up. In the meantime, let it snow!!!
I mentioned a few movies in this post. Have you seen them? Did you love them? Want to have a conversation about how there really needs to be a re-make of GWTW with a better Rhett? Or, do you know somebody who just loves to pick up dog poop and lives nearby? Write me a note! We’ll talk…