BOB EASTLEY: Spring cleaning

ABob-Eastleys I write this, April has taken the bus and we’re into done with May as well. The sun has finally returned from its trip to Florida or wherever it hibernates. The songbirds begin every day at about 5 a.m. with a rich cacophony (I like that word) of raucous music. Mosquitoes hum outside the screen. The long, dark days of winter are in the rear view, and spring is springing up everywhere. I hate it.

Well, perhaps I should clarify. I love the fact that I can start trout fishing and riding a bike and all that cool outdoor stuff. The part I could do without is spring cleaning. It’s relentless. Where do I start? The whole place is a disaster area, and I need to get all sorts of cleansers and scrubbers and high-tech crud removers.

First, I want to know what happened to the yard. Last fall, we spent hours raking and blowing leaves and hauling them out and turning our lawn into Mackinaw Island. Shortly thereafter, it was covered with a beautiful blanket of snow. My plan was to simply resume normal lawn care activities as soon as it melted. Sure.

I don’t get it. When the snow left, there was a solid carpet of wet, slimy oak leaves embedded in the grass. Where did they come from? Have my neighbors been sabotaging me? There were also about a hundred brownish orange circles of dead grass all over the yard. They remind me of that thing riding shotgun on a certain presidential candidate’s melon.

To make matters worse, we have moles……. scads of them. Apparently, the little lawn monsters didn’t hibernate or vacation in southern climes. Instead, they used the winter to build some brand new subdivisions in my yard, and, in their spare time, they made some new little offspring. Swell. Meanwhile, the deer spent every night tearing up the turf to find some grass to munch on, and they paid us back by adorning the yard with a plethora of pellets. It looks like we had an explosion in a jelly bean factory. My carefully manicured garden spot looks more like a war zone.

That brings us to the house, which used to be white. A year of warm days, lots of shade and plenty of humidity turned the place into a mold and mildew magnet. I’m not sure if I should use a power washer, a putty knife or napalm. Attached to it is the other disaster area, the garage. For three months, we pulled in with large deposits of ice infused with salty mud clinging to our wheel wells. Guess where it fell off? No, really, guess. So, by April 1st, there was an unsightly pile of glop about the size of a glacial moraine blocking the entrance. I need to rent a bulldozer.

If we ever manage to get everything fixed and hauled and washed and weeded, we’ll have to tackle the windows and the back deck. By then, I suspect it will once again be time to start raking the October leaves. I love being a homeowner.

Contact Bob Eastley at eastleyr@ferris.edu.

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