male bonding

August 2017, north wall

What does cactus such as pictured here, three middle-aged men, and to-do lists have to do with one another?   A great deal, as it turns out on a Saturday in April.  Cactus, for most of the year is a tough, resilient plant that, for a short time in Spring, displays brilliant color.  While the earth puts on a colorful display, it also seems to motivate men to work in the garden or help one another with projects.  This was a day for two brothers (in-Christ) to help me ( and my spouse) with a to-do list that was as much tasks as time for “male bonding”.

At mid-day, I had hoped mainly for one out-of-control hedge to get trimmed and planned some weed-kill for most of the rest.   The “natural look” of my front yard, as my neighbor called it, was a couple hours of trimming and hoeing later, something in picture-taking shape.    This evening I am even more grateful for my other brother’s skill with drywall and carpentry,  putting my “sometime this year” completion of the garage paneling done  but for a sheet or two of drywall.  With the beautiful weather, a reasonably- free Saturday, and two healthier-than-me friends ( with skills I do not have) having helped me today,  I am now thinking about what I need to dispose in order to declutter the garage.  And what is next on my to-do list.

April 2018, South wall

But dare I hope for more help from friends to help me with projects that have also been on the calendar?   A new wall and planter for the back patio.   Garden fence, soil and plants to replace the dog-proofing chicken wire in part of the yard.    Of course,  as middle-aged men, we may all instead choose to spend the time in male-bonding while we supervise younger, hired men to labor. (Particularly if they know what they are doing.)

And that is probably not a bad thing.  But then, what am I to do with the high-performance yard trimmer tool I just ordered online?  A  clean, insulated man-cave garage, with broken-in hand tools and power tools stowed in tool chests,  bench cabinets, and if asked, being able to actually find them, is almost as manly as actually using them.

the front yard, April 2018


After supervising all day

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