Nobody ever told me
At some point during this time of the year, I say the same thing. Why did we plant so many trees? This occurs when I am raking a lawn full of leaves.
Before we moved in over 40 years ago, the area had been a corn field, so there was nothing here but a new house and a newly seeded lawn. So naturally, what do all the new homeowners do, they plant. They plant evergreens, shade trees, shrubs, and lilacs. We wanted it to look like a neighborhood and not just houses in a cornfield. But when you start, the trees are so little, and the space seems so vast. When you planted, you didn’t visualize what that tree might look like 40 years later. The little tree you planted well away from the house now has huge limbs hanging over the roof. The little blue spruce in the front yard that someday you could decorate for Christmas, was now extending into the driveway. The one behind the shed, okay, I have no idea why I ever planted a tree back there.
For years, we had no shade and the grass and gardens flourished. We were thrilled when we finally had trees big enough that if you moved your lawn chair just right, you could sit in a small patch of shade. But now with four mature trees, (we cut the fifth down last year) most flowers I plant have to be shade tolerant. When we could no longer see the street from the front window and I had no place to throw the snow, the big evergreen in the front came down. Why didn’t someone warn us back then what was ahead?
When we moved in, we were happy to have so much extra space in the basement. All we had was the furnace, a freezer and the washer and dryer. Then came a water softener. And carrying down the clothes to wash and the salt for the softener was no big deal. But why waste all that good living space, let’s finish off the basement. When the kids were home, it was nice to have an extra bathroom, a rec room with another TV and some office space. But nobody ever explained what happens to legs and joints when you now list your occupation as “retired.” While the TV is still there, it is seldom used. The desk and filing cabinet are still in the office but now it so much easier to use the lap top computer in the living room. Trips to the basement to wash clothes still occur, but it better be a full load. And when did they add the extra weight to those bags of salt?
Through the years we built a garage and garden shed, finished the basement, added a deck and put an addition on. Therefore, we had more space. The kids became adults and moved out so there should be more room than ever. But nobody ever told me that the amount of stuff you end up possessing increases with the amount of space you have available to store it.
There should be a class for all new homeowners to warn them of the pitfalls that loom just 30 or 40 years ahead. But for now, I’d be happy to just get some help raking the rest of my leaves.