Wednesday, June 01, 2011

And, Just Like That, It's Summer

It had been SO miserable, rainy and crappy here in Chicago the past few months that not even my SAD lamp could pull me out of my funk. But then on Memorial Day it was like Mother Nature finally decided, "OK, y'all've had enough," and summer instantaneously arrived. Seriously, we went from lows in the 40s to highs in the 90s in one day. I gave up on trying to figure out this sort of thing long ago.

But now my husband and I had no excuse to continue putting off the work we needed to do to beautify our deck and clean up our back yard (I use the word "yard" loosely, remember -- it's basically just a concrete path lined by a few clumps of weak-looking bushes).

He loaded up on flowers and whatnot at Home Depot while I braved the scary under-deck space into which the wind blows leaves, trash, and god-knows-what. This area is where our building's gas and electricity meters are and so we need it to be clear because we go back there every once in a while, but during the winter and spring this little cubby gets filled with a ton of debris. I'm always convinced I'm going to find a dead rat (it's the city, folks, these things happen) or a severed finger (that's just my morbid imagination) or a Black Widow spider (again, the imagination) or something horrible when I'm down there. But I sucked it up, put on some plastic gloves, armed myself with a few brooms, a dustpan and a trash bag, and cleaned it out. Thankfully there were only leaves and a few random balls of cat hair (who knows?) that I had to contend with.

My husband did all the hardest work. Here's our deck before:

Above you can actually get a glimpse of the four plants I wrote about here that I've miraculously kept alive for several years. See how the one in the corner is like twice the size of the others? Here's another view but with the sun in the back they're kind of hard to make out. (We decided not to transfer it into a new planter just yet -- we're too afraid we'll kill it in the move.)

And... the end result:

Last night we celebrated a second warm night by reading on the deck in our lounge chairs with our dog spread across both of our legs. (It seemed comfortable to him but kept cracking us up.) Now the question is, how long will this summer last? After waiting so long for it to arrive, the answer better be: Until December.

- e


Sammy Jean said...

It was gorgeous on Memorial Day!! Be thankful for the "yard" you have... I live in a cornfield (DeKalb) and yet have no yard to speak of. It's like being in the ocean- water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink- except replace water with space... you get the picture.

But I think the best part of living in the midwest is trying to figure out the weather. I have a friend who just moved here from northern California, and she is just baffled by the weather. She finally decided that she can't plan anything outdoors for fear it might rain. I've told her time and time again that if she doesn't like the weather, she should just wait 20 minutes because it will change! Gotta love it. :D

maikib said...

it looks awesome!!! well done on all the plant growing! (i have a black thumb, so i love to see success amongst other peeps). i remember when there was nothing on that deck! must be bliss to lay outside and enjoy it! :)