Summer Project 2009 · 15 August 2009

A husband’s work is never done. Or at least mine never is. I seem to get a new project assigned every summer. My wife, the Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi, says that the precedent has been set and followed for years. So she gets her project each summer. I always hope for, but rarely am granted a small project. Some years, like this one, the project was, in reality, several projects.

For the past few years, the project has been a fence. This year was no exception. Thankfully, the “fence” was only a single section of privacy fence. Five feet of fencing so that people walking on the path behind our house do not need to see the clutter of garbage cans, and miscellanies on the side of the house. The fence was a piece of cake to build compared to the many feet of fencing that I have put up in past years. It takes me a long time to get it done correctly but I do make a beautiful fence if I do say so myself. I had a good teacher on the first fence I built with a former neighbor’s son. His lessons on how to quickly and accurately set posts has saved me many hours with the fences I have built since. Fortunately, this year’s fence project was done quickly even though I dragged it out for a few days.

I finished the fence section in the time off from the big project. The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi always needs to do something in the yard. Which means that she supervises while I dig, move dirt, plant trees, or do some other labor intensive task. This year, I put in pavers and changed the look of the front yard.

Some people might mistakenly think that putting in pavers is a simple task. The truth of the matter is that it entails much more than merely digging up the sod and putting in the pavers. I found out just how many more steps when I investigated it completely. I am not saying that The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi fooled me into thinking it would be a simple task. She just told me what she wanted and I found out how much work it was going to be. First from a book, then in real life.

After the sod was removed, I had to dig down about seven or eight inches. Then I had to put in gravel and tamp it down. This ensures a good base so that the pavers do not buckle or shift and that there is adequate drainage since plants will no longer drink the moisture. Next came the sand to set the pavers. Finally, I screeded (leveled) the sand and placed the pavers. While the process may not seem burdensome, it was hard work. After all, I had to move about two and a half tons of gravel, three quarters of a ton of sand, and almost a ton of pavers. Thankfully, one of my sons moved much of the excavated dirt and a good neighbor helped with some of the gravel.

I thought I was done when the pavers were set and the path to the front door from the sidewalk was created. I should have known that my wife would not let me stop there. I took out the sod between the new path and the driveway. It was always brown because its placement in the yard kept it from getting enough water. So we replaced the brown with plants that do not need much water and rocks. This was still not enough.

We created (meaning that I moved dirt and she directed the planting) a new flower bed on the other side of the path. It has flowers, grasses, and incorporates a tree that we already had there. It finishes the yard and in doing so, got rid of most of the grass.

The final result of this year’s project is a good looking front yard and a fenced off cluttered area. It was well worth the efforts even though I have confirmed my position of mule in the hierarchy of yard patrol. I doubt that our yard would appear on any of those shows like “Curb Appeal” but I am happy with the result of this year’s project. I can hardly wait to see what ideas The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi comes up with for next year. Maybe it will be something simple. Although I doubt it.

© 2009 Michael T. Miyoshi

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