If given a choice between watering the backyard and regular exercise, I’d rather lift weights and do cardio exercises for an hour and then take a one-mile walk on nearby streets.
Heck, to avoid watering the yard, I’d walk two miles a day.
The reason is simple: watering the backyard is exercise that involves a lot of climbing. We live on a hillside. Our house is surrounded by HUGE oak trees and the largest one behind the house is about 400 years old. The circumference of this ancient oak tree is twenty feet.
Imagine what would happen to a raw egg if you stepped on it with all your weight. If that old oak tree decides to fall on the house, the house would be that egg. Don’t get me wrong. That tree is majestic. It is breathtaking to see, and the wild bees that live in some of its hollow limbs love it too.
Besides, where we live, the law says, “No person shall cut down, destroy or remove any tree(s) growing within the City limits from any property without a tree removal permit, except as provided herein.”
I don’t want to go into detail about what it takes to get a permit to cut down a four hundred year old oak tree like the old goat in our backyard. However, the fine for cutting (what the city calls a Civil Penalty) that tree down without permission would be about $43,000 and that might include six months in jail. In other words, it is okay for that tree to crush our house and us in it, but it is not okay for us to cut down that tree.
Back to climbing stairs—there are four flights of stairs leading from the street to the top of backyard for a total of ninety-nine steps.
The one stairway inside the house from the ground floor to the second story has thirteen steps. Using that stairway to represent one story means that climbing from the street to the top of the backyard equals climbing a seven-and-a-half-story building that does not have an elevator or escalator.
Why all the effort to water a yard? Because the yard has an elaborate drip system with five valves scattered around the slope. To water the yard takes about three hours and five trips to turn the valves on and another five trips to turn the valves off.
However, only fifty-three steps are used during watering, which means climbing 530 steps—equal to climbing the stairs of a forty-story building.
Then there is putting out the trash. To do that requires climbing another 50 steps or about four stories.
Today I put out the trash and watered the yard, so I climbed a forty-four story building. I’d rather lift weights but if I let the plants in the yard die, well, I’d never hear the end of it.
Am I complaining? Yes!
Should I be? No!
Anyway, enough procrastination (about four hours worth – maybe more). I have to get back to work editing and revising my next novel.
Discover the Sunday Hike (within walking distance of this backyard)
His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.
And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.
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