What a Difference a Week Makes

Last weekend, when we celebrated Shannon’s birthday, the backyard was muddy, and the outside faucet  was blocked by a small bank of snow. The driveway and yard were a mess of twigs, branches, and the last of the leaves that had come down after the fall raking had been done. I blush to admit that the front porch still had Christmas greenery in pots. To top it all off, the edge of the front yard had enough sand for a small beach. It was a hard winter, and the road crew frequently sanded the slippery roads.

Last Sunday, Clif and I tucked to. We cleaned out our little shed. I swept the driveway and chucked the Christmas greenery into the woods. It was a good start, and even though the front lawn was still a sight to behold, the yard already looked better.

Over the course of the week, I raked the front yard, and Clif worked on the sand at the edge of the lawn.

The newly-raked front yard
The newly-raked front yard

The last of the snow melted, and Clif turned on the outside faucet, which made my life ever so much easier. I have noted many times that our dog Liam, even at ten, is a very energetic dog. One of the things he especially loves to do is run around the backyard. You might even say he was born to run. He is, after all, a Sheltie. When the yard is dry, his running causes no problems. However, when the yard is muddy, his paws and legs become a mucky mess, and without the use of a hose, we have to resort what we call “bucketing the dog.”

We lug a bucket of warm water down cellar, and first dip his front paws and then his back paws into the bucket. Liam, to put it mildly, does not enjoy this process, and by the time we are done there is water everywhere, but his paws are significantly cleaner.

When the outside faucet is on, we can dispense with the bucketing. Liam doesn’t enjoy being hosed down any more than he enjoys being bucketed, but the process is easier and quicker—no heavy bucket to lug, no water on the cellar floor.

No more bucketing
No more bucketing

To add to our pleasure and the dog’s cleanliness, the mud, like the snow is nearly gone. A quick rinse of the the dog’s paws is all it takes to make him clean enough to come inside.

Yesterday, I raked nearly a third of the backyard, and unless there is a heavy rain, I will be out this afternoon to do some more raking. In a few days, all the raking will be done, and it will be time to remove leaves from the beds in the front yard.

A busy time of year, but a rewarding time, too, as we get the yard ready for summer and grilling and nights on the patio. I’m pleased as punch over the progress that has been made at the little house in the big woods.

And I am constantly amazed by what a difference a week makes.

Little Miss surveying the progress that has been made in the backyard
Little Miss surveying the progress that has been made in the backyard
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