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Walkin' the yard
My Daddy and I have this ritual that usually begins in spring and runs until the heat gets too bad in August or the flowers are all gone. Either at my house or his, one of us will mosey out to where the other is working diligently on some kind of yard project and we begin to wander together. It's something that he used to do with his Mother when she was alive and the tradition was passed to me since my own mother just "isn't much of a outdoors person." Her words, not mine.

Today was Daddy's turn to walk MY yard when he drove up and found me raking and burning to get ready for the first serious mowing. He brought me the premier edition of Nelson County Life , a newsmagazine being published by my brother and his wife in Afton, Virginia. We talked about his and Mom's upcoming flight to visit the new home of Rural Root for the first time in May. And then we moseyed.

The horse stood rather impatiently at the gate while we examined every flowering thing in the yard and a few that are barely buds. We are of the ilk that transplants living things from other folks' lives and turn those memories into our own perennial reminders of days gone by. Each plant has a story and each section of the landscape has plenty of conversational potential. Moles? He's got a mole trap that works like a charm. "You better contain THAT bush to where you want it, or it'll take over the whole place!" Smoke from my many little fires wafted through the air as we made our way to every spot we were drawn to. The bluebird house on the fencepost. The wildflower bed in front. The asparagus bed.

I could've cared less about watching things grow until I hit midlife and it dawned on me that it's a pretty cool hobby, and one that is as naturally in my blood as being a smartass. The farmer's daughter finally found her groove.

And just think.....it's only April.
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