The frigid, frozen winds of winter have finally faltered. Chances of a “snow day” are officially null and void (sorry kids). The air has warmed, the ground has thawed and any excuse of but “baby it’s cold outside” has evaporated.

Spring has sprung. Life begins anew. Everything begins to grow. Break out your green thumbs and a bottle of Aleve cause it’s time to get to work!

Buds and blossoms bud and blossom, amidst a green backdrop that keeps getting greener. We are in awe of the wonderous wonders of nature. And in our wonderful love for all things natural, we race about trying to organize it, micromanage it and then call it landscaping. Satisfactorily sweating over flower beds, front porch and patio planters, to nature’s natural soundtrack of singing birds, buzzing bees and all that springtime jazz.

A coupla hours, maybe a few days and your mess-terpiece is complete. So, grab a beer. Chill out, max, relax all cool on that new padded patio furniture… (that’ll be ruined when you forget to stow it away for the winter). Sit back and admire your handiwork. It looks great from here (I’m hiding over there next to the hydrangeas… spying).

The shaped faux-stone walkway you painstakingly laid really stands out. Lining it with flashing, multicolored, mushroom-shaped solar lights adds a truly naturalistic touch. Is that a koala shaped shepherd hook and hummingbird feeder fashioned to look like a little eucalyptus tree? Points awarded for incorporating representation of a native species in your freshly artificially dyed red-mulched flowerbed. That was sarcasm… in case you were unaware.

“Judgement free zone” here though — been there, done and am still doing all that. But isn’t it bizarre… how bizarre, how bizarre, that we utilize the unnatural to rein in the natural? In a futile attempt to bend it to the parameters of our own natural design?

Whatever. Bizarreness aside, just enjoy it whilst it lasts. Because it won’t last long.

The days are getting longer. The sun is shining brighter. And nature is fixing to explode!

There are weeds multiplying like mogwai in the flowerbeds! Wasps and yellow jackets have nested in and under the rapidly growing bushes whilst swarming the hummingbird feeder and exploiting the hummers for sugar water. Squirrels eating at the bird feeder, birds pooping on the squirrel feeder… it’s utter chaotic anarchy!!!

Fire up the weedeater (after multiple tries and curses)! Power up the hedge trimmer (just plug that sucker in)! Procure an ample amount of bug spray for offense and defense. The battle against nature in all its splendor has begun.

Seems we’re forgetting something here. Got enough extension cords but… oh yes. That one task that permeates summertime. Repetitively returning again and again to be dealt with weekly. Quick, to the work shed!

“Hi-Yo, Silverware!” (Insert William Tell overture here) A riding mower with the speed of mud, a cloud of exhaust and a hearty… “Come on please just start… sigh, kill the classical music.” Open the cowl and now a trip to the hardware store. Geez, expensive much? I just want a new battery not a whole new mower! Okay, now clean the corrosion off the connectors, tighten that back down and… cue the music…

“Hi-Yo Silverware…” The Lawn Ranger! With his faithful mowing companion, push-mower, the daring and resourceful dust-masked cutter of the grass leads the fight for lawns kept in order in the back-of-yard.

Hmmm, now that we’re up and running it may be a good time to check the oil, replace the plug, tighten the pulleys and sharpen the blades on this thing. Nah, for now let’s just go and beat the grass to death. We’re up and running so let’s run with it. Be sure to get to all that maintenance afterwards — translation: NEVER.

It’s funny how some folks actually enjoy, nay, savor, the mundane task of mowing the grass. These types of people are what we call in layman’s terms insane. And if they live next door their yard will always look better than yours.

To be fair, mowing can be a peaceful retreat of meditation and self-reflection. A set ‘me time’ that, for a bit, excludes you from all other responsibilities. So, enjoy your mowing down time. Personally, I think mowing sucks, but as the grass grows, The Lawn Ranger rides again!

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected]. Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused! See ya.