Let There Be Yard

We get mail: What’s up with that rock wall you were building?

Thanks for asking. Last I mentioned it, I had finished leveling out the main part of the yard and had just started building a rock retaining wall.

The wall went up slowly, very slowly, mostly because the rocks were so heavy. My energy would be almost completely sapped after shifting just one of those 200-pound monsters into place. Then we had days and days of rain that turned everything to mud again. But finally, after many pulled muscles and smashed appendages, I finished the wall nearly three weeks after starting it.

There’s another thirty feet of wall behind me, with the whole thing stretching about 120 feet along the back and sides. It’s two layers except on the sides where it nears the house. My daughter was a big helper, giving it frequent “Wobbly Tests” to see if any of the rocks were unstable.

Next came sprinklers and sod, which have totally transformed our once barren, badly sloped, mud pit of a backyard into a cool oasis for relaxation and fun. Or at least that’s what I’m hoping. We still have some trees and bushes to plant, and I might put in some sort of gravel path for the kids to follow around the yard, but the big stuff is done.

Yards can be notorious money pits. I wanted to get everything done at one time so that we wouldn’t have to constantly be thinking about new landscaping projects. The goal now is to simply enjoy the yard for years to come. It’s an extension of our home – a safe and comfortable place for the kids to play and the parents to relax.

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