Posted by: karenevoss | May 17, 2015

Live, Grow and Thrive

I’m amazed at the number of people who hear what I have on my to-do list for my yard and garden and then make comments or ask questions about me doing everything on my own. They seem shocked to know I take care of my yard and garden by myself, as if I’m not able to handle the work. As I accomplished a lot of yard work this weekend, I had plenty of time to reflect on their comments and it occurred to me that I’ve never done any of this work on my own.

I may have received the house in a will, but I didn’t choose for my husband’s life to end unexpectedly leaving me a single, first-time homeowner. I chose to continue to live at the house, but I didn’t choose to give up. As I work and learn, I have an Angel looking over me, watching me and the yard transform, and laughing when the hose sprays my face or my ideas don’t work quite right. I believe his light shines through every night from May to October using the six solar lights in front of the house.

Long before Russ walked into my life, I learned all about gardening from my father and grandfathers. They taught me how to plant flowers and vegetables such as tomatoes and green peppers. For all of my childhood, I’ve watched my father take care of our yard by cutting and trimming the grass and attacking those pesky weeds. I didn’t pay much attention when he trimmed the hedges, but that didn’t stop me from catching on when he taught me at my house. When it came time (well due past) to cut my lawn for the first time, my father coached and supervised; he even shopped for a new lawnmower with me. From 2009-2012, my dad worked with me to trim the hedges and in 2013, I trimmed the hedges 100% alone (I didn’t cut the electrical cord or my finger as advised–not that I did either in years past). This year, I purchased own hedge trimmers so I won’t have to borrow my dads or grandfathers anymore. I even learned from Russ how to trim seedums (a type of shrub) and so every May, I prune them (all 13) of their fall flowers, apologizing when I accidentally cut some of the new green growth.


I haven’t only received gardening or yard advice from my family, but I also received information from friends and neighbors. I’ve received many compliments over the last six years about the yard and garden. I’ve learned to facilitate new growth in my climbing rose that I need to cut the dead branches near the base. While I watched the roses bloom heartedly one year, it didn’t do so well the next, and last year after the harsh winter, it completely died. I bought loppers this year and yesterday cut out the dead growth, bringing new growth that appeared in late fall 2014 to the forefront. In retrospect, I brought forth new growth in myself–I removed something old and dead regenerating and rejuvenating the self. When the basement started showing wet walls, I contacted a friend who’s also a contractor and he informed me that I needed to pitch the north side of the house because it degraded as a result of the neighbors downspouts pointing towards my house and the sump pump issues they had. Let me tell you, filling and lugging gallons upon gallons of dirt isn’t as much fun as it may sound (I have the sore body and bruises from the buckets to prove it).


See, I haven’t taken care of everything outdoors on my own and yet I have. I had two choices: either leave things as they were (dying) or take matters into my hands–literally (living). I chose to live and show those looking down from Heaven what God created and has chosen to thrive.



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