Growing up, my sister and I would do anything to avoid helping my parents with their yard. Any time Mom or Dad needed help hauling wood, mowing the lawn or taking the boat out of the lake, we would swiftly report to our rooms and find something to busy ourselves with, hoping our brothers would step up and lend them a hand.
Up until about a year ago, our topics of conversation usually consisted of dating, small-town gossip, and the latest additions to our wardrobes. Most free time was spent either working out or talking to each other on the phone. Stressful situations included not having concrete plans for the weekend, planning our next vacation together, and needing to rid ourselves of a guy we’d deemed no longer worth our time.
In the last year, we each purchased a home in our respective communities. Since we’re both new to homeownership, many of our conversations now involve comparing and contrasting problems, successes, how-to’s and other homeowner tips.
Driving to a recent family gathering, we were discussing taxes, interest rates and home heating systems – all of which only recently became an interest. I couldn’t help but glance in my rear-view mirror to see whether my dad was listening. Scanning through the day-old Fargo Forum I brought home for him, my dad didn’t appear to be tuning in, though I know he at least heard bits and pieces.
Zoning my sister out, I thought about what it must be like to be a parent, to watch your child live, learn and grow. Watching his girls go from Barbies to sports, from high school to college, from part-time to full-time, and then from an apartment to their own home must be interesting, to say the least.
Examining my own ways, I’ve gone from shopping for shoes and purses to window coverings and furniture. Instead of purchasing a cute new shirt, I opt for a classy rug instead. Where a big concern used to lie in how spotless my car was, I’m now finding no time to wash it due to having three times the living space to clean. The mall used to be my shopping headquarters. Everything I need now I can find at a hardware store. I used to relax in a lawn chair and soak up some sunshine. Now I get some sun while staining my deck or watering my newly-planted White Spruce pine tree. Instead of painting my toenails, I stand before the color samples at Menards wearing grubby clothes, ready to tackle the next room’s painting project.
It’s just funny how life-changing decisions can … well… change your life. And I’ve determined these actions are normal, because my sister is doing the same thing.
Oh, and our newly discovered passion and hot topic? Mowing our lawns.
Shootin’ the Wit is a column about everyday life that should never, ever be taken too seriously.