Lowliest of Street Sweepers

Thank goodness it didn’t rain today because I had my Sunday set aside to get some much needed yard work done.  There’s no question I’ll be having a few aches and pains in the morning from nearly six hours of the raking, mowing, and pulling weeds.

A first mowing always seems to take longer because of how certain sections of grass tend to grow faster than others which bogs the mower down mower to where it has to be gone over again just so it’s even with the rest of the lawn.

In spite of us having a severe winter, the Creeping Charlie is all the thicker than it was last.  Whomever introduced that nasty weed in our Country should be dug up and given a good tongue lashing.  Between the European Buckthorn and Creeping Charlie, we’ve got our hands full with those two invasive species.  From the time I was young, I’ve always hated the odor of Creeping Charlie because there were times when I’d smell it before I’d see it.

As much as I’ve tried to eradicate it at the rear of my office, it’s still trying to come back.  I did hear some years ago from a lawn care professional that Creeping Charlie’s seeds can lay dormant for up to seven years, which is why it’s suggested that once you go after it, you have to spray every year.  It also becomes a lost cause if your neighbor has a patch of it because of its fast creeping ability.

I’ll not forget a story about two neighbors who almost came to blows over “Charlie” because one of them diligently worked at getting rid of it, while her neighbor was actively encouraging it to grow along her side of the fence separating their two properties.  The hate between those two grew so strong that the woman trying to eradicated it, finally decided to sell her home just to be rid of both “Charlie” and her neighbor.  Even though I don’t like spraying chemicals on lawns, I couldn’t help but take the side of the woman trying to get rid of it because she’d even offered to pay for spraying a six foot strip on her neighbor’s side just to create a buffer zone of sorts, but her neighbor flatly refused the offer.

One of my personal delights today was seeing those two yearling oak trees I planted late last year having managed to make it thru the winter.  Both of them are now starting to bud.  One is a Red Oak and the other a Burr Oak.  You can be sure I’ll keep a close eye on their development this year.  I learned a number of years ago that oak trees really don’t like their root systems disturbed which oft times causes death if one’s not careful with their roots when transplanting them.

I happened to run into a young gentleman today who’s been actively working at keeping the squirrels out of his garage where he has a vintage car stored.  From the sounds of it, he’s got his hands full with trying to keep them out.  For some reason, whenever a squirrel manages to get into a garage or home, they’re the dickens to keep out.  It’s almost as if they’re instinctively drawn back to those places.  Most people don’t realize the damage they can do to wiring harnesses.  They’re almost like rats to where they seem to enjoy chewing on just about anything.

What impressed me the most about him, is how determined he is to make the home he purchased about six months ago, all the better.  Just by the looks of what he’s already done, I’d say his yard is going to be the envy of the neighborhood.  Every time I see a young person taking a keen interest in making his or her home all the more eye-catching, it gives me hope that there’ll be the many more paying closer attention to their homes and gardens than they are their computers and smartphones.

I’m a firm believer that the performing of regular maintenance and improvements around our homes is all about attitude.  There’s no question that if one has the mindset of menial tasks being tedious and time consuming, then the end results will be simply done instead of well-done.

I’ve told all the many over the years how I believe each and every person has the core ability to do at least one thing very well.  Even if the lowliest of street sweepers do exceptional jobs at keeping boulevards and avenues clean, then they too have the right to be lauded, which goes right back to their attitudes.  I don’t believe an exceptionally good finish carpenter hates his job, because if he did, his work would show it.

Whenever I hire people to do work for me, I pay keen attention to their work attitudes, and if I suspect they’re just there to fill in voids of time and then waiting for their paychecks, it’s almost a given their work re-affirmed their attitudes.  I’ve challenged a few of them in my day by saying, “If you don’t have your heart in what you’re doing, then I think you need to go find something else to do.”

I have a dear friend whom I’ve admired over these many years because of his penchant for doing the very best at whatever task he buries himself into.  In spite of having a great job and a broad range of abilities, I asked him long ago, what type of work would make him the absolute happiest.  I was a bit surprised by his answer being, “If it paid well enough and included benefits, I’d be the happiest as a detailer of cars.”  Once again, it’s all about attitude.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  Quality is not an act, it’s a habit.

Joe Chodur

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