Hodge: Backyard landscape renovation creates wave of ideas

Well, looks like I’m in the market for a set of gumboots. So is Tez.

Perhaps a wheel barrow with really wide inflatable tires as well. 

Something that can ride well in the mud, cause baby—there’s going to be mud.

Our once pretty flower gardens and backyard has largely disappeared into a sod and soil frozen morass, still clearly violated by the distinguishable tread tracks of a mini-caterpillar machine.

Ah yes, the joys of replacing an entire sewer line, not to mention the massive stump and roots that had so much fun causing the mayhem to begin with.

I had to admit to a slight lump in my throat as the two and three year old hand-crafted flower beds literally tumbled into oblivion beneath the blades.

But what stung most was the landscaped and recently structured crush pathway, created last summer for our wedding. 

For the most part, however, I watched the process with relative calm and even a bit of wit and laughter.

After all, there was still lot to be thankful about—at least now I know what I’m doing this spring, instead of what I was planning to do.

As well, I get to do it all over again now that I’ve had some practice. (This is where the gumboot part comes in).

The toilet works. So does the shower, sink, dishwasher, washing machine…

And, having a gaping mudscape in the backyard where there was once a large tree stump (with a funky stand-up table on it), flower gardens, crush pathway and a bunch of ugly dead grass leaves us with multiple options.

We are only limited by our imagination and lack of funds.

Tez and I can now spend countless hours together ‘planning’ the yard —again. Hours and hours stretched out on our lawn chairs, sunglasses on, cold beverage and a sketch pad.

We can visualize all kinds of amazing things—like hot tubs, swimming pools, ponds, waterfalls, massive perennial plants.

And then with equal imagination, find all the funds and techie-talented types to do the work.

But by then I just might create an X-Game version of Croquet or full contact ‘Barren Land Bocce.’  Perhaps just a good old badminton net? The possibilities are endless.

I do know one thing for sure. Whatever we finally create in the backyard, it will include a small Bridge to Nowhere.

Still, the real reason I managed to keep fairly calm about the whole backyard dig-up was because of a wonderful person I met two days previous.

I was scheduled for a meeting with a group of very busy folks including a visiting guest from Zambia. 

Five minutes before I was to leave the house, the downstairs toilet flooded. I scrambled around turning off water and other necessities,  then dashed out the door to the meeting,

I raced into the room about five minutes late (I hate being late) and immediately apologizing for my tardiness. 

Naturally my flooding toilet drama was mentioned in hopes of not only an easier forgiveness but also empathy. All nodded politely and most expressed concern for my potty plight.

The guest began her presentation and we all sat somewhat spellbound as she spoke eloquently about her home, family, village, and the state of affairs in her home country. 

It was a wonderful and very educational meeting as I left there greatly invigorated about life.

Then it struck me as I was heading home that the problems I had awaiting me were pretty minor. 

Our guest earlier that day did not even have a toilet in her home to worry about. In fact she had no bathroom.

And so, as the caterpillar dug up the 50 feet of sewer line, gardens and all, I kept on smiling at how lucky I was.

Let’s see, where’d I put those seeds?

•••

Here’s a reminder of something you, or someone you know, might like to take in. 

An information session on the Senior Centre Society relocation plans is set for Thursday, March 3, at the Water Street Senior’s Centre, 1360 Water St.

The City of Kelowna has completed the conceptual design for the facility (located at the Parkinson Recreation Park). 

City staff will be available to answer questions and explain the new design on display. The event runs from 3 to 6 p.m.

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