As most of you (or at least many of you) know, I moved into a house about a month ago after 8 years of apartment dwelling. Having a house has been a huge adjustment -- more space to clean and caare for, a yard to mow, et cetera. The past several weeks since I moved in have been mostly about unpacking and settling in -- a job that's still in progress as evidenced by the boxes still piled up beside me as I type here in my den (yes, I have a den!!). The job is at a point, though, where I could start over the past few days to do what I'd really been wanting to do since I moved in -- get out into my yard.
Now, I've never been a particularly outdoorsy person. I've camped but always with the wish that I was waking up in a comfy hotel bed rather than an air mattress in a hot tent. I've never had a yard that I could go out and work in. Well, I mean, I grew up in a house with a big yard, but that was my dad's domain and I was never the type of kid who saw the fun in doing something like digging in dirt. (That's where worms live!)
As I've gotten older, though, I've found myself wishing I were more of a nature girl. Specifically, I've wanted to garden in some fashion. I've just not had the means to do it (ie -- the yard). My few attempts at exercising a green thumb have not gone particularly well -- the window herb garden I tried to grow and which ended up just being little cups of mud in my window stand out in my memory. I should probably also confess that there is also this part of me that has always feared that if I did attempt gardening, I would discover that it was horrible and disgusting and I'd just hate it -- forver "losing" that part of myself that wants to be Nature Girl.
Now that I have a house, though, I've realized my chance has arrived! It started out on the small side Friday afternoon when I spent about an hour outside trimming the bushes that border my property. They were severely overgrown onto my side of the property line and it was a rather daunting challenge when I first started, but I was amazed at how much I was able to get done and how nice it looked when I was finished.
This morning, I took this urge a step further. I woke up rather early and took off for my local Menards (which is quickly becoming my new Mecca -- Target, look out!). There, I found some quite lovely petunias ready to hit the dirt. I bought a flat of them (about 36 individual plants, although a couple of them were dead) and headed home. I tied on my "pinkalicious" bandana ($1 at Target -- okay, Target, you still have my heart!), slathered on some sunscreen, strapped on my mp3 player, and headed outside -- resolute in my determination to become Nature Girl. A little over an hour later, the front sidewalk leading up to my front door is now bordered by a row of very lovely pink petunias. And here's the thing -- that was freakin' fun! There was something very primal about digging through the dirt and putting "new life" into it. There was something very peaceful about it, even if my mp3 provided a sountrack of The Clash, Nirvana, and Guns-n-Roses (my "workout" mix since I can't find the cable to connect my mp3 player to the computer to add some new music!). There was something satisfying about coming back inside with dirt under my nails and knowing I'd accomplished something. It makes me excited to tackle some more gardening, perhaps with the "crop circle" that sits in my backyard (clearly evidence of the fact that the previous residents had a pool but which is now a perfect circle filled with weeds and dirt and which is BEGGING for my love and attention).
Yes, folks, I am Nature Girl!