It’s easy to know warmer weather is here by the absence of my husband inside our house.
There’s no point in me checking for him upstairs, downstairs, under the house or at his computer, because Randy won’t be in any of those places.
He is outside as soon as he gets home from his day job. He might be busy watering the lawn, planting something new or mowing. It’s as if he transforms himself into “Randy the Landscaper” by night.
His sister often jokes that her brother, who grew up on a dairy farm, remains a farmer at heart and the yard is his acreage.
But it’s not corn, wheat or soybeans he plants and harvests. It’s bamboo, a variety of grasses, other foliage and even catnip.
The catnip, he said, was a money-based decision after seeing how much I would spend on it for our cats. He would never admit he actually likes the little guys and had their best interest at heart when ordering the seed.
What amazed me was how fast it grew. It seemed like in less than a month we were bringing in fresh leaves for our furry friends.
Another plus to having a small spot dedicated to catnip is our yard is user-friendly for other neighborhood cats.
I enjoy looking out the kitchen window and watching them rolling in it, then heading off to wherever outdoor cats go.
As much as I enjoy joking about Randy, he has worked hard to make our house a home. The first year we moved in, he concentrated on improvements to walkways, the driveway and a new deck.
As the years have gone by, it’s hard to keep up with what he’s up to next.
One evening, for example, I noticed a new wind chime on the back deck—only to discover it been there for at least two weeks. I admit that I need to work on my observation skills, particularly at home.
One remedy to avoid this observation faux pas in the future might be to stroll around the perimeter occasionally so I know what’s going on.
Life is a funny thing.
When we were raising our three children, our life was centered around family activities. We devoted a majority of our time to helping with homework, going to school activities and enjoying the ups and downs of parenting.
But once our children were emancipated, life as we knew it was going to change.
Of course, we had adjustments to make during those parenting years, especially the teen years. But once everyone had left the nest, it didn’t take Randy long to figure out what he wanted to do next.
I was sad, but I managed to spend more time with friends, and poured myself into work.
Every now and then I would talk with him about the kids and ask if he missed them. too.
His response: “What children?”
I know he thought a lot about them, but he stayed busy with new hobbies, namely the house and yard.
Before we moved to Hillsboro, he remodeled our house in Colby and a little rental house we acquired. At one point, our front yard was completely trashed. All the concrete was ripped out and dirt piles were everywhere. It was tough to get inside our house.
The way that front yard looked reminded me of the movie, “Money Pit.” I still remember him getting out of the skid loader after demolishing the front yard and looking so proud as I stood there with my mouth open, staring in disbelief.
Not long after that project, Randy took a job in Hillsboro, but it would be two more years to commit to a move. With fewer projects left to do, and Randy commuting back and forth from Hillsboro to Colby every weekend for two years, we decided to make the change.
For the next few months, it was a race to finish projects and sell the houses in Colby. He did it, though. The only hurdle now is putting the finishing touches on our current house, but I am not holding my breath.
Late last summer, one of our neighbors said she wouldn’t be surprised to someday see a bronze statue of Randy with a watering hose in hand.
Yes, that’s my husband, watering hose in one hand and landscaping/remodeling book in the other.
Spring is here!