Money Can Buy Happiness!

I have a new addiction. I knew I spent an unusual amount of money on stuff for the backyard, but it hadn’t dawned on me until recently that I might be going a tad bit overboard. It’s Ed’s fault. (If a wife can’t figure out a way to blame her husband for any infraction, she’s not doing her job.)

Our house was built in the 70s, when houses had yards you could sink an Olympic-sized swimming pool into if you were so inclined. Nowadays, new homes have a backyard so small, you’re lucky if you can get a lawnmower back there. I’d love to have a pool, but we have overhead utility lines that would have to be buried, per the pool designer guy, so…nope! We’re too cheap, and it seemed like more trouble than it was worth. So, I talked to Ed about installing a pond. That, he agreed to. (Stupid!)

We went to the home improvement store, several in fact, got what we needed to build a pond, and moved to step two. Step two should have been digging the hole, but…this is Texas and we forgot the dynamite. So, step two became calling in professionals. What started out as a simple “build a pond” concept turned into a multi-level pond with waterfall, timers, and mood lighting. Because it was now so pretty, we had them turn an area of overgrown cactus into a nice rock-covered cactus garden. Yeah…it’s beautiful, but even if we sell the unused pond-building material we bought, we’ll still be broke.

A few years later, I decided we needed to survive in cause of a zombie attack. I call it my “quasi-prepper stage.” We got a whole-house generator and I bought food that’ll be edible long after we’re dead, along with “stuff” to cook it with, in case I must revert to backyard cooking. That took care of necessities, but what if I wanted a tomato? Only one solution. Backyard farming. It’s amazing what you can do with a little over a quarter acre of land.

So, pond, cactus garden, generator, and raised beds full of good stuff to eat now occupied our backyard. Along with stray cats who lay in the beds and ruin the cilantro and strawberries. Once we bought chairs, benches, and a firepit for roasting marshmallows, our yard was perfect. Almost. What’s a garden without fruit trees? What’s a garden without grapevines and archways for them to grow over? What’s a garden without solar thingies, birdbaths, birdhouses, gnomes, and windchimes that out ring Big Ben? It’s a sucky garden, that’s what it is.

Luckily, Ed is very patient when it comes to indulging my latest whim. Either that, or he’s smart enough to know it won’t do any good to complain, because I’m going to do what I want anyway. Or maybe he realizes this whole overspending on backyard stuff is his fault. If he’d just said “NO” to the pond, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

In my defense, I do have good justification for most of my purchases. Like the five-foot garden bead tree w/bells and daisies I ordered. Seriously, the peacock and duck with a wheelbarrow need that to spiffy up their little corner of the world, don’t they? And who doesn’t want a garden gnome in an Air Force uniform if they’re retired Air Force? Granted, he needs a lesson in how to properly render a salute, but if you ignore that fact, he’s adorable.

I will readily admit I spent WAY too much money on Gnomeo and Juliet. But…they’re unique and you can’t pick one up at the super-cheap places I normally find my garden decorations. And, of course, they needed two flamingo planters to go with them. It’s not a true Featherstone and mate, but it’s close. And functional. When Sherlock Gnomes arrived, I realized I might have a problem. But! How will I protect the gnome on a motorcycle if I don’t have the sworn protector of garden gnomes out there? You’re right. I won’t.

So…yeah. I might have a “spiffy up the backyard” addiction, if that’s even a thing. Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t do things halfway, so they’re probably not surprised to hear my backyard looks like an advertisement for a kid’s movie. Again…in my defense, our grandkids/great grandkids love it back there. Not sure if it’s because they steal blackberries and grapes or because it’s pretty, but it doesn’t matter.

I was outside the other night moving the solar cardinal. For some reason, he’s not lighting up. He’s so pretty he doesn’t have to, but that’s not the point. I’ll obsess until he does. While out there, I looked around the backyard. A slight breeze was blowing, and a cold front had come through, so it was only 98 degrees. All my little gnome friends were happily residing in their assigned spot, probably much more comfortable now that Sherlock was overseeing their safety. There was only one way to describe what I felt. Peaceful.

How did Adam and Eve do it? How did they so easily give up living in a garden? Was it because they walked around naked and got mosquito bites, or were they stupid and ungrateful? Probably the latter, because I don’t think God invented mosquitos. Those must be a gift from Satan, because I can’t think of any possible reason for them being here other than to torment us.

Life in a garden is beyond wonderful. It’s peaceful, calming, and the quickest reminder of what God does for us. I have a plaque on the wall that reads, “You’re nearer God’s heart in a garden then anywhere else on earth.” No, that’s not a typo, it’s a misprint. They put “then” instead of “than.” Doesn’t matter…I know what they meant, and it’s a little quirky. Like me. But it’s true. Whether I’m picking jalapenos or hanging spiral solar lights in trees, there are few places I’d rather be than in my backyard, even if it is costing a fortune. And I’m positive Father forgave me for wasting money on a kitten lying underneath a solar leaf, because I still help those who need it, when they need it. Unless they need Sherlock. They’re on their own. Someone has to protect my gnomes.

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