Some call it yard work, but I call it… Playing in the dirt!

Some call it yard work, but I call it… Playing in the dirt!

Since it’s one of my favorite activities, I prefer to not only call it, but also think of it as playing in the dirt. It’s very rewarding, therapeutic, and renews my soul.

When the time of year comes, when the weather warms and the ground dries out some, I’m grateful for a chance to get outside and start spiffing up the yard. There are weeds to remove, edges to straighten, removal of remnants of any of last season’s dead stems and stalks that are still around, pruning, thinning plants that have overgrown their space, and possibly moving some.

With a half-acre to keep up with, mostly by myself, I never lack for something to do outside where I long to be. The hard part for me is choosing what to do first, not always following priorities – which would make sense. Many times, I choose to do a specific thing simply because that’s what I feel like doing at that time.

Part of my joy in gardening is talking to the birds, squirrels, any deer that come by (six new fawns this year!). And earthworms, moving those I come across while explaining that, by doing so, I’m keeping them safe, or apologizing for hurting them should I accidentally hit them with the shovel.

Not having a dishwasher, I don’t feel bad about leaving the dishes till after I come in from the yard as that’s a great way to get dirty hands really clean. You might have guessed, I don’t wear gloves in the yard, by far preferring to work with bare hands.

I encourage others to find pleasure and solace by playing in the dirt. It’s very rewarding and feels great when passersby, whether you know them or not, comment on how beautiful your yard looks.

As I write, this day that would be my maternal grandma’s 123rd birthday if she was still living. Grandma raised her seven children, one of which was my mom, in West Slope, barely over two miles from Beaverton. Though there’s still lots to do in our yard, I am happy to have a good handle on getting our yard in shipshape. Grandma would be well pleased.


Linda is part of the second of five generations born in the area. She attended and graduated from Sunset High School in 1965. The highlight of my week is Sunday afternoon when I can spend time with the grand kids.