Maybe I’m not a blogger after all. I think I get distracted too easily. In the length of time it has taken me to write those first two sentences, I have jumped out of my seat twice and run to the windows because for several days I have been hearing a noise that sounds like it could be a cat. Or maybe a bird. The trees are so thick with leaves, that’s all I can see no matter where I look. The sound happens periodically, day and night, and moves from the front of the house to the back and then disappears.
I’m not being lazy, mind you. I have started several blog posts over the last few weeks and sometimes even work pretty diligently on one or another of them. At least when it’s raining. When it’s nice outside, that’s where you will find me.
Spring is my favorite season and it has been years since we have had a really good one. Usually, by this late in May we have had several weeks of miserably hot and humid weather. I would ordinarily welcome an excuse to sit in an air-conditioned house (or coffee shop) with a keyboard on my lap.
This year is different. I am sitting in my house, just after lunch and there’s a lovely cool breeze coming in through the screen door. Birds are singing and that cat-like creature is sort-of screaming at them off and on.
Instead of blogging, I have been passing my time out in the yard. All sorts of lovely things come up in my yard in the spring. From the road, I’m sure it looks like weeds and neglect but up close it’s beautiful. I spend lots of time outside like a little child “discovering” each beautiful new blossom.
Then there are the trees! Every day, something new bursts into colorful bloom! My favorites are the redbuds and the little self-planted peach tree that popped up in the back. The color only lasts for a few days and then it’s gone so I have to be out there among the trees as much as possible before the leaves take over.
Nearby, are apple orchards and a grove of peach trees. (Is that right? A grove?) I can see one of the orchards from the front corner of my yard so I like to linger there and appreciate the cows and the apple blossoms.
So, that’s how I spent a couple of my “silent” weeks when I “should have been” blogging. Then the grass started to grow in between the wildflowers so I had to start mowing, which means I had to spend several hours outside picking up sticks and branches from a recent storm.
It takes me four hours to mow with my electric push mower. I’m trying to be kind to my body, so I break that into two or three sessions. Once I’m immersed in the outdoors, I find it difficult to come inside so I often pitch a tent and stay out there. It’s a good life. Except for when it’s not.
I had a couple of not-so-good days last week when it rained. It’s not the rain that I mind but the terrible things that rain does to my house and property. I’m thankful that we live on top of a hill because it could be so much worse. Being on top of a hill means that water runs down away from the house which is good but it creates ruts in the driveway on the way down which is not so great. That’s the least of my problems.
It’s what the rain does to my house that really gets to me. The big, beautiful trees that tower over the house were one of the most intriguing things that made this the house that we wanted. If only I knew then what I know now.
Trees have roots that grow under the ground where you cannot see what they are doing until something terrible happens like the retaining wall starts to cave in.
Trees drop all sorts of things onto the deck and the cars and the drain outside the basement door. They fill the gutters or clog the gutter guards.
It only takes a handful of tree droppings to clog the drain and when the drain is clogged, water seeps under the door into the finished basement. Ugh!
It gets worse every year.
Last year, I created a system that seemingly solved the problem. Unless there’s a good bit of wind or I neglect to keep it clean, my screen system usually keeps the debris from clogging the drain.
Just to be on the safe side, I had four flood bags just inside the door. They usually work pretty well but evidently I had allowed these to absorb just enough moisture that the inner working clumped up and couldn’t do their job when the time came.
My method failed!
Water, water, everywhere!
The water didn’t only come in under the door this time. It also came in along the front edge of the house which meant that there were puddles across the floor in my office, chill zone, and laundry room. My area rugs were soaked and it was raining too hard to hang them out to dry.
As the floor began to dry, I took a closer look and suspect that the ewwwy black stuff coming up through the cracks is mold from previous flooding.
Is it my imagination or am I starting to have allergy symptoms inside my house?
So, when I’m not puttering around the yard admiring my “weedy” wildflowers, mowing the grass to keep the neighbors happy, or trying to stay ahead of the water damage, I spend a lot of time daydreaming about a smaller house and a simpler life.
I’ll share those thoughts with you on another day but right now it looks something like this: