Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Yardwork with My Tween

It is currently 350° in Phoenix (no hyperbole or exaggeration here), and today I had a lot of yardwork to do. With temperatures exceeding most oven broiler settings, the idea of being outside for more than a fraction of a second is not as alluring as it is in the fall with the perfect 75° weather. 

But I have a secret weapon. It's my tween. My tween has been working with me to learn to mow, and she is now on auto pilot. This means that instead of me having to mow and then move into the rest of the yardwork, my daughter does the mowing (and trimming) while I get to tackle the rest of the work. She earns money, I get to spend less time with my skin baking off my bones, and we both get to commiserate about the heat together. 

So today I had to tackle trimming my palm tree. This tree is massive, and it has these seed pods that serve two purposes: to clog up the pool vacuum and to sprout hundreds of baby palm trees all around the pool deck. Additionally, when the pods are cut off, they weigh between 25 and 50 pounds, so they are a real treat to haul to the rubbish pile (heavy sarcasm here). 

Normally I don't trim this tree until the seed pods start dropping (after telling myself for weeks to do it before that). And in the past, it has taken me about six hours with a hand saw to trim the fronds and pods. By then I’ve melted into a pool of lava and am too scorched to do anything with the carnage, so I leave all the debris on the ground for a few weeks until I can muster up the energy and willpower to go back out in the heat and deal with the trimmings.  

But today I used my Greenworks pole saw. The reach was perfect, and instead of taking six hours to trim, I had the tree trimmed in 35 minutes. Then I had another (heat)stroke of genius and hired my 8-year-old to pile up the fronds for me. I tossed them over the wall; he dragged them to the driveway and stacked them up. He earned two bucks, and I earned a free afternoon in the AC.

Two hours, beginning to end, and the lawn mowing and tree trimming were done. We were able to once again retreat into the blissful joy of our air conditioning. And while this may seem like an advertisement for Greenworks tools, it is nothing but glowing appreciation from somebody who is grateful for as little time in the baking Arizona summer heat as possible. I got nothing from Greenworks but a pole trimmer and the joy of spending time with two of my kiddos doing yardwork.