I was walking my dog yesterday when I walked by a house with a lovely older woman busily sweeping and cleaning her yard. She looked up as we walked by and gave me a big smile. Then she said in a very fun yet sarcastic tone, “isn’t home ownership lovely”? I had to laugh and sarcastically responded, “oh yeah”.
It’s funny how one comment like that can get my brain working overtime. It made me think of the neighborhood I drive through to get to my cul de sac. It is a pretty good sized area with a bunch of beautiful homes all adorned in azaleas, rhododendrons and beautiful trees. They all have the same red brick, just placed differently all all of the homes. It is quite pretty. Not one leaf on any plant is out of place. Not one weed in any of the yards. Not a speck of moss. Day in and day out you see the landscaping teams up and down the streets making sure everything is immaculate.
Some of the homes don’t pay to have their lawns mowed and landscaping done, they do it themselves. Every weekend you will see the people outside edging the grass, trimming the bushes, adding bark, spreading rock, pressure washing their driveways, pulling moss from the cracks in the sidewalk, spreading any type of chemicals possible to make sure their lawns are beautiful, weed free and resemble those in the rest of the neighborhood. They are out there on some of the most beautiful Washington days working their tails off to make sure their homes are in line with the neighborhood covenants.
The more I think about this, the more it saddens me. What has this world come to when rather than go out and live, explore our mountains, travel, relax, it has become so very important to have the exterior of our homes be immaculate? To me this is such a time waster if you do it yourself or a huge expense if you have it done weekly.
To look at my house and yard, you would think we really don’t think much about home repair and our landscaping. My husband does trim back our trees and bushes and believe me, we have a bunch of them! He keeps the yard mowed and as far as we are concerned, it looks great. The house needs to have a new paint job and the trim needs to be finished. We have about 100 projects that need to be done inside the house – but we don’t do them. At this point, the inside is a little overwhelming but you know what, I really don’t care!
Rather than spend all of our energy or our money on maintaining the yard and the upkeep for the inside, we actually get out and play! We go places and we do things. It’s not a trade off, it’s been a choice we have made and we haven’t questioned it. Sadly, when we decide to sell the house, we will either have a bunch of work on our hands or we will hopefully sell to someone that wants to change everything out and update it anyway.
A big part of me wishes we were living in a condo so we wouldn’t have to worry about the outside but then again, I would never want to leave my home! I’m attaching some pictures of the yard that without too much time and expense, it is a very peaceful and beautiful place. Especially with the sound of the river running under the bridge.