Monday, September 16, 2013

"Superhuman" Seniors?

Okay, so maybe we're not "superhuman" in the true sense of the word.  But we're pretty damn close.  We've been engaged in a major renovation project in our front yard for about two weeks now.  We had a company come in, tear down the existing wall, erect a new one, and reconfigure the entire ground area.  Once completed, my hubby and I took over.

While hubby is 77, I'm a mere 69 years old.  No walkers, oxygen, or rocking chairs for us!  No way, no how!  First we dug seven holes 2'x2'x2' in hard rock and clay for the seven mature plants needed to be hauled from the back via wheelbarrow.  And let me tell you, those suckers were heavy!

After finishing the transplants, we dug 15 more holes in the same unforgiving medium to accommodate the new shrubs and perennials.  All of the holes and planting were done on a slope; keeping our footing while shoveling and bending was similar to doing aerobics while perched on a Mt. Everest shelf.  Are you amazed yet?  If not, you will be after I'm finished with this daunting tale.

To add to the esthetics of our new project we created an island in the grassy area of the yard.  We piled three feet of top soil to construct a mound, tamped it down, piled again, tamped again, piled, tamped until the desired size and shape were achieved.  Next we had a tree planted in the center by the landscapers only because if they do it and the tree dies, they'll replace it free of charge. We completed work on the island by planting 14 liriope, and a "little lime" hydrangea bush, putting down weed protection material, and finally topping the whole shebang off with 8 bags of mulch. 

You say we should be exhausted, well you haven't heard the best part yet! The landscaping company delivered 10,000 lbs. of stone, yes I said 10,000 lbs, dropping it at the corner of the newly-erected wall.  Now hubby and I really had to go to work.  We were using stone as mulch to cover the  extensive area between the plantings.  We filled wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow with tons of solid rock, moved wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow to designated spots, dumped the stone, returned to the seemingly ever growing mountain of stone, and begun the process all over again.  We also hauled 10 bags of lava rock that we used to effect "trickles" intermingled with the mocha stone.  When we finally finished, we looked on with pride at the beauty our "superhuman" efforts had created.

I relate this story to all of you youngsters out there for one reason.  Seniors are perhaps the most unsung heroes in our society today.  But I implore you to remember that we were born before and during World War II.  For the most part, our parents were hard-working people who made little money yet managed to feed, clothe, and house their families. They didn't expect government to do that for them. They would have been extremely humiliated if they had to live off handouts from the state. 

More importantly, our parents instilled in us a strong work ethic.  If something needed to be done, we did it and completed the task no matter the toll it took on body and soul. We were and still are proud of our accomplishments.

In conclusion, I hope my tale has given you a newfound respect for the seniors in your lives.  Believe it or not, you can learn a lot from them.  They can help you develop the work ethic you will need to succeed in every aspect of your existence.  And if you play your cards right, they might even offer a helping hand in major projects around your homes as well!