We had the entire morning to ourselves.

The kids were enjoying a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa’s and Greg and I knew we could accomplish great things, including cleaning the garage and preparing it for winter indoor parking and cutting back some of the plants in the front gardens.

We agreed, Greg would start pretending to tidy in the garage and I would start to pretend to busy myself in the garden.

Ah the garden. It was 24 degrees, bright and sunny, the birds were singing, it was October, I had all the time in the world. The weather conditions were ideal. The kids were out of juice-box-begging ear-shot. With my Dollar Store gloves, wheelbarrow and Fiskers both for weeding and clipping at the ready, I stared blankly at the wilted mess that swayed in front of me.

Am I the only person in the world who doesn’t LOVE gardening? I don’t even know where to begin.

I guess by jumping in the air at the praying mantis on my elbow was a reasonable start.

I screamed and jumped and I still can’t figure out what I hoped to accomplish with the jumping. Perhaps I hoped if I jumped, he would follow suit?

Greg came running to my rescue and the minute he saw what was happening knew exactly the right words to say, “Liz! Stop jumping! You have a praying mantis on your arm and they bite!”

Commence jumping.

I looked at the tall grasses that had been flattened from the weight of being ignored all summer. I considered googling “Gardening for Dummies” but thought my time might be better served researching “Gardening for people with head injuries or Gardening for dunce cappers with Dollarama gloves.”

I began to trim and still, couldn’t fully enjoy the small victories I was noticing right before my eyes. Grasses were coming down, the sun was shining and still, I was the only human alive who didn’t want to rave about all the fun I had pruning this weekend. What I wanted was a cup of tea and a person who wasn’t wearing paper thin gloves or have an allergy to scary bugs (and jumping) to get in here and fix this mess I had started.

I thought about kicking some of the weeds back onto the mulch at the edge of the garden after the third wheel barrow load was dumped but quickly remembered I wasn’t angry at the home owner for giving me this lame Sunday afternoon, non-paying job. I was the home owner and I would only be screwing myself if I didn’t do it well.

I became aware of neighbours as they drove by. I heard them honk and wave and shout things like, “get to work!” Hilarious. I feared my ass was flashing passersby and hit myself with the fiskers in the back of the leg which turned into a deep, purple bruise within minutes. I know this because I stared at it in frustration as it turned from brown to grape while I swore at the sharp tool and the stupid honking neighbours.

Happy Thanksgiving—Welcome To My Garden.