A Walk in the Woods a Day. And Spring Clean-Up

March 26, 2023

Wednesday was the sunny day last week amidst the overcast, rain, and hail ones. I have, of course, a mountain of outdoor work to do, but I’m not one to let that interfere with an adventure when the days to do that are scarce. I considered a trail I hiked in mid-March of 2020—we all know what happened that month—up the lower south fork of the Skokomish River on the Olympic Peninsula. I looked for an oh-so-valuable trip report on the Washington Trails Association website; fortunately, there was one from the weekend. The road was snowed under several miles from the trailhead.

March 2020—no snow!

Next I looked at the Hummocks Trail at Mt. St. Helens. It’s an easy trail, and I hiked it in the snow in February last year (before I had microspikes!). But a weekend reporter said they couldn’t even tell where the trail was.

February 2022

I let it go, I really needed to be outside at home anyway. Adventure days will come, and I will want the home work to be done before it gets too warm!

I finally ordered seeds and they arrived quickly. I need to get the peas and lettuce in the ground, but I want to replace my boxes first. I might have had them done if not for my bout with Covid, finally, after three years. And then I got the so-called Paxlovid Rebound. Seventeen days of isolation—except for the three days between the negative test and the return to positive, when I went to the grocery store. I didn’t get lumber.

Round Four: Garden Boxes

So: Wednesday. I get the lumber for two of the four boxes I plan to replace (it takes forever to get the eight eight-foot 2x6s cut in half), and pick up my sister’s drill to screw them together. The screws won’t penetrate, nor will the drill bit. I thought they would zzzzt right in. I manage to get two of the needed three in one corner and give up. I will have to nail them, but I’m too frustrated today.

Round Five: Electric Trimmer Trimming

I move on to trimming the salal hedge around the curve in the driveway. And the pampas grass below the house. (I despise pampas grass, and would dig it out if I were capable.)

I am oddly worn out after the salal trim, and because I have kept up with it the past few years, it wasn’t that big a job. Maybe it’s just the recent recovery from Covid—perhaps my body is not completely recovered. Or maybe it’s the inevitable slowing of an aging body.

Round Six: Moss Begone

But there’s one more task on today’s list: getting Moss Out on the one expanse of lawn before the rain returns tomorrow to soak it in. Honestly, I wouldn’t care if it was just moss, but the fabulous Chris who mows for me, and for my mother before, will ask if I’ve done it. And once I decide to give it up, there will be no going back, the grass will be gone. It’s not onerous task, though a bit pointless, since the yard really wants to be moss and dandelions. I bought the stuff while I waited for my lumber to be cut, might as well check it off the list. (I also got the goods to sprinkle on the pavement to kill the moss, but that has to be done when it’s not going to rain.)

After lunch, I go for a walk in the woods. It seems the only way I can commit to a daily walk is with a device to hold myself accountable. I’ve returned to posting a photo-a-day on social media. This is a magical time of year to go every day, looking for spring, and I look with different eyes for something interesting to post. I commit to thirty days, ending on the fifth anniversary of my mother’s death, on the eve of Earth Day. On Day 2, I spot the first trillium! My mother knew where to look, and when I walked with her she would point out the spots with her cane—even though she could barely see, she knew. But her brain was a little sketchy on the when; she would ask in January and February if I’d seen any. I know where to look now too.

There is currently one sunny day in this week’s forecast, and I have a commitment that day, and every other day but one. Besides, there was more snow forecast at St. Helens after that one splendid day, so any path finding that might have been done by others is covered again. My friend Bonnie Rae went on the one day last week, and though she didn’t hike far, it was a magnificent day. Sigh. But I did get some tasks checked off my list, and that feels good.

Photo by Bonnie Rae Nygren www.insearchofthevery.com

There will be days for this mountain before she goes bare for the summer. But for now, the boxes. And walking in the woods outside my front door.

Oh! And last week was the fifth anniversary of adventuring with the Roguester! Here’s to many more!

Would you help get Mother Lode: Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver into libraries

It’s really quite easy, all you need is a library card. Go to your library’s website and search for “suggest [or request] a purchase.” (Sometimes it’s easy to find, other times it’s several layers deep. You might find it under “Ask a Librarian.”) Then fill out the form. (ISBN: 978-1-64742-283-7. Publisher: She Writes Press. Publication date: October 18, 2022.) Thank you so much!

A really lovely review left on Amazon this week: Being the primary caregiver for a parent with dementia is walking an incredibly lonely road with an unbearably heavy weight. You have no idea where you’re going or when you’ll get there, but you’re certain you’ll have lost your sanity on the way. Gretchen Staebler’s Mother Lode made me laugh, made me cry. Most of all, it assured me another walked the same road and survived intact. If you are on such a journey, you will LOVE this book! Thank you to everyone who has left a review!

9 thoughts on “A Walk in the Woods a Day. And Spring Clean-Up

  1. Every year what needs to get done gets done. I do love checking things off the list! There are also a lot of things that never get done—namely the house gardens, that need more than mere maintenance. I’m sad about that. But my garden in the meadow brings me joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Spring=projects=work=love ❤️

    It’s not a bad deal at all. It seems every early spring you feel this overwhelm and yet you make it beautiful and the garden out-does itself with flowers and veggies. I’d love to help get your sign for the garden repainted! As for St Helens, I hope you can pick a day and go! It’s perfect right now: no crowds, pristine wilderness, empty parking lots and the perfect trail for your spikes.  I believe that would be close to your perfect day too. Thanks for sharing my blog post. Wish you could have joined me. Sunrise was gorgeous and the day was just begging to be stepped into*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suddenly decided I’d best get at it! At first I thought that said “monetary” rewards. Hardy har, very expensive vegetables! This year it’s greens, peas, beans (maybe), and bite-sized tomatoes. That’s all I can grow. And flowers. And blueberries and hopefully a return to strawberries.

      Liked by 1 person

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