Sunday, January 15, 2017

Dirt Pushing, Barn Raising, and Mid-Life Crisising

Our lower backyard feels like the perfect metaphor for our lives right now: A vast swath of loosely executed, bare bones possibilities. It feels a lot like the headspace Mr. W and I seem to be sharing about our next big life endeavors. Where should we focus? On wine? On writing? On coaching? On opening a coffee shop or launching an app? On kitten rearing? We've spent a lot of time staring blankly at one another across dinner tables and bed pillows lately.

I'm hoping that maybe, if we're lucky, our next big dreams will take shape in tandem with our wily back acreage.

Just as I've been devoting time to self-help books and journal entries to begin carving out the foundation for my next move, Mr. W has been tearing out old groundcover and grading dirt to start reinventing our yard.

I think he's having more fun than I am. I mean, look at that grin. Only a tractor could bring that puppy out, I think.

He worked for days carving out the framework for steps that will lead from our back patio down to the meadow we hope to turn into a relaxing retreat and garden. Thankfully, the much needed rain didn't wash the steps away.

Here's a reminder of what it looked like before:

The slope (which will ultimately hold grenache and maybe some viognier and syrah grapevines) is now pretty much a nice, clean, blank slate.

Everything that was on the slope is piled up in nice, big, dirty blobs of mud and iceplant and debris.

We're nowhere near having the lovely, structured yard we want, but we're making progress.

I never wrote about it, but we also got the agrarian needle moving a bit when we assembled a storage shed in the lower yard back in August. The instructions for the thing make it sound like such a breeze—5 Steps to a Completed Mini Barn.

It was more like 38 steps. Mr. W had to assemble a bunch of individual panels to build each of the 4 walls. Then he and I had to carry them down to the lower yard (they weren't light, lemme tellya). And then we had to unleash our inner Amish farmers to lift the walls and get them bolted together securely—at perfect 90° angles—so that we could attach the roof....which Mr. W did using semi-superhuman strength while I fretted and yelped from the top of a ladder (not really doing anything to genuinely help the process).

When it was all finished, I'm pretty sure I renounced my Amishness as fast as possible and went inside to get a beer...

So that's where things stand with the next big piece of this whole attempt at living the wine country dream life business. Hoping that many future blog posts will include charming and painless recounts about how easily all the rest of it comes together. In parallel with how effortlessly the two of us figure out our middle-aged lives... 

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