by Dale Burgos
My wife Elizabeth and me, standing among the palm trees in Arizona
Across Canada, many of us are breathing a sigh of relief. Old Man Winter wasn’t letting go and it snowed in many parts of the country well into the month of May. Reports from parts of BC, Alberta, Manitoba and the Maritimes had seen unseasonably cold temperatures and weather patterns.
In a previous article, I wrote about the many things I miss about Winnipeg. It’s usually this time where I start to rake all of the sand and salt off my lawn and start to buy flowers to plant in my yard. Since moving west, the big difference is that I don’t have to clean the salt and sand off my lawn – funny enough, I don’t have a lawn to rake. Somewhat ironic that I moved to a rain forest and my yard is full of rock and moss with no need for a lawnmower (which I sold and now only need to use a weed wacker every couple weeks).
Another big difference is the type of plant, flower or tree I buy. Recently, I added two palm trees to my garden, some succulents and some forms of cacti. These types of plants still fascinate me, as they cannot survive in my hometown of Winnipeg.
Thankfully, the weather has taken a turn for the better, which has been great for us, people with green thumbs. It was sketchy for a while and I honestly didn’t think the sun was going to come out, in fact, my wife Elizabeth and I decided to go on a last minute family trip to sunny Arizona. I like to think of myself as “solar powered” and my batteries needed some recharging.
Every couple years, Elizabeth and I spend a few days in Phoenix, where the sun is always out and the temps easily top 110 degrees Fahrenheit (during their summer months). This year, we decided to take the munchkins. When we broke the news, we made it very clear that the trip was for relaxing, as opposed to the crazy ‘Disney’ trips people take where you feel like you need a vacation after your vacation.
The Burgos Bunch had a great time and it seemed like we had the resort to ourselves, because as you know when it gets too hot, people stay indoors. That seems to be standard practice no matter where you live.
As an added bonus, there are many more deals to be had if you’re planning a trip down south, as it is their slow period. This year, we lucked out, as the weather didn’t top 100 degrees, which I wouldn’t have minded, since it is a dry heat!
Once back, it didn’t take long for Elizabeth to add to my list of chores. May long weekend is supposed to be a time to relax, right? We were expected to have perfect weather – mid 20’s with no chance of rain. It would be the most opportune time to work on the garden and perhaps sit and relax on the deck. Except for one small problem, I get a text from Elizabeth while out for breakfast with #4, telling me that she’s started to tear up our existing deck in the backyard! There went my plans for some R&R on the long weekend.
Granted, it was in desperate need of replacement. It’s now going on 12 years and has been the victim of West Coast rain seasons. She thought it would be a good idea before someone falls through, never to be seen again.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to build things, and I will gladly buy another power tool, but the problem here is that I am a superb klutz. I have always been clumsy and will always be. I’m pretty sure I injured every part of my body.
First day started out fine, just a small scratch from a rusty nail, but near the end of the day, I fell backwards down our steps whilst attempting to peel away an old deck board. I managed to gash my thumb and land squarely on my back on cement steps. On day two, my injured thumb was repeatedly wounded during my quest to build the perfect deck. At work on Tuesday, I had no less than three bandages adorning my body.
In the end, I’ve got a sweet deck (that is thankfully level), but most importantly a happy wife and no chance to hurt myself on an old deck. But let’s be real, I’m sure I’ll find a way to hurt myself on the new one. On to the next project! But first, I need to refill our first aid kit.
Dale is the Director of Communications for a school district in BC and continues to write from afar.