Look At Me Now!

Pam Pollock
June 2023

Oh hey there – it’s me, still playing Laura Ingalls Wilder over here on the Homestead when I am not playing Editor and Photographer and about 4 other roles at Movin’ Out…

I’ve  been on a roll lately puttering around the Homestead.  It all started when I kept walking by the wooden bench and little side table on the back porch.  They’ve been there in the 41 years that I have been coming up here to the house.  I have such fond memories of my father-in-law Strick sitting on the bench with my kids when they were very small.  The bench was painted white, and the metal arms were red – but the paint was very faded and in rough shape.  I kept telling my husband, “That needs painted.” Finally he told me, “Then go paint it.” And so it began…

Yep, my Homestead Frenzy was officially underway.  I went to the local hardware store and bought buckets and cans of paint and assorted paint brushes.  I tackled the bench and side table first – they are now sporting a brilliant blue color with black metal arm accents.  Just like Paw Patrol, I was on a roll!  I decided to tackle the big old dinner bell that hangs on the back deck.  I had some red paint left over and decided to venture way up in the yard and spray paint the antique hay rake that had definitely seen better days.  I will confess that I am an amateur at pretty much everything.  I painted not only the hay rake, but a portion of the grass, 2 of my shirts, a pair of shorts, and my favorite casual boots.

I moved onto to painting 2 bicycle planters, some kind of antique plow thing, some horseshoes, and then another bench and side table.

I was running out of things to paint, so I turned my eye to our lawn.  All of the April showers brought a lot of long May grass.  Another confession, I only tried to mow grass three times in my almost 62 years of age – all three times was with a push mower and every time, I had an asthma attack. I told my husband that I was ready to learn how to drive the John Deere lawn tractor and after a lesson, I hopped on board and I haven’t stopped mowing, it’s now my job.  I cut  5 acres of the yard. My mowing style would be best described as “drunken old granny who has no clue what she’s doing.” (Except I don’t drink.). The yard has a ton of trees, and big rocks and some hills and a couple of trenches.  There’s bare spots in the front yard because of all of the trees and moss has taken over in places.  It’s become my mission to make that dang lawn the most beautiful that it’s ever been.  My husband and I have been raking and sowing grass seed like crazy.  I even got a lesson on the weedwhacker tonight. 

Two weeks ago, after a solid week of rain, I foolishly jumped on the mower because I am not content with my yard “looking like a park” – I want it to look like the freakin’ South Lawn of the White House. (Hey, a girl can dream BIG!”)

I was singing to myself, “They see me rollin’, they hatin’…” I was going to town on that lawn, in my usual drunk granny fashion and then disaster struck.  I strayed down too close to the ditch, where the grass was soggy and waterlogged and I got the tractor stuck.  Nay, I pretty much tore up the turf and buried the wheels in mud.  I had to wait two hours for my spouse to come home.  He was exasperated because he had warned me that the yard was too wet.  Sighing, he got the Mule out of the garage, and pulled me out.  He sternly told me,” Stay out of this section.”

I stuck my tongue out at him, sneakily flipped him the bird and headed up the hill to the very back of the yard, where I promptly got the dang mower stuck again – not even four minutes after being rescued.  I had to call my guy on my cellphone and tell him to get the Mule back out of the garage and rescue me, yet again.  “Why the ‘H’ did you go back here,” he exclaimed.  “I was mowing the path into the woods,” was my reply. “Well stay out of there!” he retorted.

I really felt bad at this point, so I didn’t do anything obnoxious, instead I saluted him and said, “Aye, Aye Captain!” He went inside the house, and I headed to a different area of the yard – and things went well for about twenty minutes until I got that $%*&@! mower stuck again.  I made some big tracks and ruts in the yard but thankfully I did the old back and forth maneuver and got it out on my own.  I finished my mowing (it took me four hours) and as I was putting the tractor back in the garage, the man came out to inspect the yard.  “It’s a mess,” I said.  “But if you want me to continue mowing, you will tell me that I did a great job.”  I could see the wheels turning in his head.  After 40.5 years of marriage and him doing ALL of the mowing, did he really want to have to start mowing again??  He looked me in the eye and said, “You are doing a great job.”

All’s well that ends well, the lawn looked good again after a week – not South Lawn of the White House good and probably not Park good – but then again, it never looked like a Park before.  There’s new grass growing and that hasn’t happened for years.  We’re planting flowers and sowing wildflower seeds. The woods offers relaxing walks in the early morning light.

And I found three benches up in the woods that need painting… the work is never ending for this Laura Ingalls Wilder chick.  Oh Mom, Strick, and Audrey, I so wish that you could look at me now – but I suspect that you really can.  I hope you like what you see!