The Normalcy of Dandelions
May 20, 2020
I have no illusions that life is going to go back to normal any time soon. Wyoming, the United States and the world, can start opening businesses that have been closed, but it doesn’t take away that there is probably going to be an element of caution as we start venturing out.
I saw this happen when SARS hit Taiwan. Life did go back to normal for the most part but it was a process.
The same is happening in Carbon County for me.
I have done a few in person interviews in the past couple weeks, versus having to do it over the phone. My mask is always with me and, so far, I have been six feet away. Some have been conducted outside with me keeping my distance. I’m not shaking hands when I’m done, much less a hug. That might have been the way I parted before.
However, there are some things in this world that are staying the same.
Yesterday, I was out attacking the first round of dandelions that were starting to spring up. This year, winter lasted a bit longer in northern Carbon County and flowers are just starting to blossom and buds are starting to come to life on bushes and trees.
Dandelion removal is one of my first signs spring is finally here. I don’t understand how these wild little plants do it every year because, by the end of fall, there is not a dandelion plant to be found in my yards.
Yet here they are and I am a believer they must be individually pulled up by their roots. It is a battle I have faced for years on end.
I have two houses that are side by side and I have a lot of gardens. Nineteen to be exact. This requires a lot of work and will keep me busy all summer long. That isn’t even counting the mowing of two rather large yards.
I really started weeding around five days ago. Grass is actually my biggest hassle to get out of my flower gardens. I have learned over the years if I don’t start this process right in the beginning, gardens get over run by the end of the summer.
COVID-19 doesn’t effect the need for garden work.
Although there is a part of me that would love for the gardens to burst out with little to no weeds and grass, the work to get them attractive is rewarding. I really take pride when people walk by my homes and comment how they like my yards.
My folks were monster gardeners, so it is like I am continuing a tradition they instilled in me growing up.
I have always said, as an only son, I was born to be slave labor to my parents’ desire to grow flowers and vegetables. I can remember my father spending hours on weekends out in the gardens. My mother, too. If I wanted to be around them for son-to-parent talks in the summer, I knew exactly where to find them. They would also be glad I was out there helping, so they were much more receptive to whatever I needed to discuss.
I heard both of them tell me it was therapeutic to work in the gardens after a day of work. As I have matured and have gardens of my own, I sort of know what they meant, but it was this year, digging out the dandelions, I really get it.
In a world that is very uncertain at the moment, dandelions and grass are still trying to take over my gardens. This is normal. It happens every year without fail.
It is going to be a battle, but the results are gratifying if I stick with it. Nothing will change that.
As summer approaches, I can’t help wonder what is going to change.
I am an avid garage sale goer.
Walk into either house and it is apparent I don’t really need to purchase anything. Still, I enjoy going to garage sales. Especially church ones. The baked goodies that are put forth for fundraising are a true weak spot and I find myself purchasing treats I never would in the store.
That is probably going to be gone this summer along with the garage sale itself.
Not sure how many events are going to happen this summer. Maybe none will be effected but, as it stands right now, most would suffer. Does that mean no 4th of July celebration? No rodeos? There is a lot of events that might not happen, especially early summer as we wait to see how things are going.
Time will tell and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to worry about it.
I have already accepted a lot of summer activities will consist of hiking and mountain biking around town. Hanna is a well kept secret for both activities. I can go on trails that allow me to see Elk Mountain in all its glory as it rises up over the plains.
I have mountain bike trails that are challenging and fun within minutes of my doorstep. I am looking forward to these excursions after being cooped up for so long.
Then there is the gardening.
This is an activity in no danger of being canceled because of COVID-19. Same with mowing my lawns. No social distancing with either activity.
I know the world is changing from COVID-19, but there is plenty this summer staying the same.
Washing my car and recoating picnic tables and porches with all weather paint are two more chores that come to mind. There really are quite a lot activities to do around my house once I start making the list.
I think that is what has to happen.
I wont worry so much about what I can’t do, but rather how much I will be able to do. I am always saying there is not enough time to accomplish what I want to do around my houses in the summer. Well maybe this summer, there will be. That is not a bad thing.
I guess this summer will be making lemonade out of lemons. Do what I can and be happy and not bum out on what I can’t do.
Hard to believe going out and picking dandelions put this summer in perspective for me.
It is the little normal things I can still do that will get me through this crazy time during this summer.
I can only hope it is the same for many folks who find themselves in the same position as me.