For the first time in years, I’m seriously thinking about skipping all gardening this year, even the vegetable garden. It’s been my custom to add a little bit to the yard every year. When we bought the property, it was horribly overgrown. Neighbors used it as a semi-park and dumping ground. It took a heck of a lot of work to build this yard, to convince people that NO you cannot use my new lawn as your doggie doo despository, NO you cannot use my lawn as your next NASCAR racetrack, NO you cannot give your kids saws to chop down my new baby trees just for the fun of it. It’s been a ferociously uphill battle, but I had some major victories. My Secret Garden is my pride and joy.
But a number of things have really discouraged me. The flooding, for one. Every few years, my property is flooded with several inches of flood waters. It wipes out EVERYTHING. I’m tired of it. I’m so tired of battling the town, begging them to solve their stormwater drainage problems and slow down the McMansion uber-development up the hill. I’m tired of cleaning the silt and the mud from the house and yard. I’m tired of all the weeds that take opportunity on the wings of the flood waters to sink their gritty roots into my lush flower beds.
It’s been raining just about every day in Upstate New York, since January. When I step onto the lawn, my feet sink a little into the squishy mud. We can’t mow sections of the lawn because it’s filled with sticky mud. What do I do? Shovel out the lawn???
Then there’s the deer. We are inundated with deer. I live in town, for pete’s sake! But there are woods (albeit small lots) in the back. Dozens of deer come to my property for their munch fests. I think word has got out there’s a feast of free vegetation to be had here. They eat like there’s no tomorrow. They even eat the plants that deer aren’t SUPPOSED to eat. Oh sure, I could spend $6,000 and put up an 8-foot fence around the perimeter of the property…. all 2,500 feet of it…. but we put up a small fence in the front, and THAT was agonizing enough. No can do.
Then there’s the fact that I work a few jobs now. Working, coupled with doing all the mom and housewifey stuff like cooking and cleaning, coupled with all the renovations this old house desperately needs has me depressed and frustrated most of the time, when I stop to think about it (something I try to avoid!).
I can’t keep up with it all. I’m too old. I’m not even sure if I can keep up the house anymore. While we have *most* of the downstairs gutted and renovated (except the windows and bathroom and some trim work), the upstairs awaits me. And the house beams are sagging and need to be supported (a major undertaking). And the basement foundation needs to be remortared outside (requiring excavation). And the roof needs replacing. And of course, we need new siding and we have got to get gutters to direct all this water away from the house. I really wonder if it’s all worth it. Why fix up a house and yard when it floods so bad that it wrecks everything you’ve done? I just want to patch up the holes, sell the place and get something situated on a hill. It’s SO discouraging.
I guess this is normal for people experiencing flooding and other problems. I don’t see any way out and it’s terribly depressing to think about it. I think I’ll just get my zucchini at the store this year….