Outdoor Adventures

Posted 4/7/21

Cannot Do It Alone By Brian G. Schommer I hope that everyone had a great Easter and enjoyed the gorgeous weather with some time outdoors. At this time of year, there seems to be a plethora of …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Outdoor Adventures


Cannot Do It Alone

By Brian G. Schommer

I hope that everyone had a great Easter and enjoyed the gorgeous weather with some time outdoors. At this time of year, there seems to be a plethora of projects needing to be completed. Mowing is right around the corner and making sure your lawn mower is in tip-top condition and ready to tackle weekly yard grooming duties is a project that those who are handy with a wrench look forward to. Changing the oil, filter, air thingy and making sure the widgets, gadgets, what-cha-ma-callits and do-wah-ditties are in proper alignment just comes naturally for them. Like many people, I am not a total mechanical illiterate but my proficiency with tools is limited. Thankfully, there are mechanically inclined people in our lives who are willing to lend a hand from time to time. Do you have a deck? If the answer is yes, then you have most likely asked yourself, “should we pressure wash, stain or paint the deck or do we put it off this year?” We had that discussion already at our house and the answer is, “we definitely need to stain the deck.” My proficiency with this type of project, while again not totally inept, also has some definite limitations. I am pretty good with a roller or paint brush and while I can be a bit sloppy, I could stain the deck. Would it look as nice as it could? No. Thankfully, there are people in our lives that will help us out with this type of project. Once the deck is ready, the annual “placing of the patio furniture” ritual. Before the actual event takes place, the cleaning of said furniture is required. A bucket of sudsy water, a few washrags and towels are all that is needed to take care of this. Mom did a great job on teaching me how to clean things, so no need for help with this part of the project. As the sun dries the last droplets of water from the various chairs, tables, firepit and other deck accessories, it becomes quite evident to anyone within 100-yards that the time has arrived. The various pieces are placed on the deck in the same locations they were last fall. With a keen eye for precision and detail, my lovely bride will give the final blessing and the firepit will be ignited, which signals the official arrival of deck season. At least at our house, it is quite the momentous event which also points to great times out on the deck with friends. Most likely, these times will include consumption of some sudsy “water” that is not used for cleaning. Thankfully, there are people in our lives that will help us with this as well. Some may even bring their own suds as ours are not aligned with their taste. Differences can make things more interesting if you let them although, pretty sure dark suds will never become a thing in our beverage repertoire. Another common project is spring garage cleaning. There are two things that can be said for certain about garages. There is no such thing as “too much” when it comes to garage space and there will always be another project in the garage. Arranging, rearranging, replacing, rebuilding and of course, sweeping all land on this list as for many, the garage is more than just a place to store vehicles and other “stuff.” In many cases, it becomes an extension of the home where fun, fellowship and other frivolities take place. If your garage is unfinished, maybe this is the year you insulate and sheetrock the walls and ceiling putting you on the path of creating that home extension that so many of your neighbors have. Just know that if you do, the addition of cabinets and countertops, neon beer signs and other artwork to personalize your space will follow. All we have left to complete is the ceiling and, as you may have figured out, my skills in this area are far from proficient, but not due to lack of knowledge. I am short and the ceiling in the garage is significantly higher than my arms can reach. A couple 2×4’s and wood screws can create an apparatus quite useful in assisting with holding the sheetrock in place and a ladder is an incredible way to elevate and eliminate issues caused from being “vertically challenged,” but this type of project is simply not a one-person job. Once again and thankfully, there are people in our lives that are good at this sort of thing who will give of their time and talent to help get things done. In many cases, those suds might come into play as well Lawncare. The word itself screams “projects,” most of which are continuous tasks completed on a consistent (or at least somewhat consistent) basis. Which way will you go with fertilization and weed control efforts, aeration and if you have a sprinkler system, which company will you use to get it up and running? When will you be cleaning out the landscaped areas of your home, filling in any holes, picking up sticks and a few leftover leaves, seeding/overseeding and all those little things that need to be done? A few of these projects are the “do-it-yourself” type while others can be handled with a simple phone call. As has been the theme, there are people available to help us get these projects completed, thankfully… some with suds and some without. We are blessed with so many wonderful outdoor places to experience life and yet, so many of us constantly say that “we just don’t have the time.” We are also blessed with many wonderful people that are willing to help us make sure that our projects get done. Often, we are faced with the decision of “should (can) I do it myself or do I pay to have it done?” Projects can become cost prohibitive and often get put on the backburner or completely shelved. Kind of like the ceiling in a garage. Things that we can do ourselves can also cause a conundrum. “How much time will it take to do this and how will the completed project look?” This translates into, “how much cussing do I subject the neighbors to and once I am done, will we end up having it redone by a professional.” In these situations, the deciding factor may be answered with yet another question. “If we have this done for us, what can we do with the time that is freed up?” If the answers are activities like spending more time with family, going a ballgame, taking a walk along the riverfront, sitting on the deck or in the garage with friends sipping some sudsy “water,” wetting a line or chasing a ball around the golf course for a couple hours… the price may be worth it. Are our lives really that busy or are we just kind of bad at making the time? One of the hardest things for many people to master is time management. How often do you catch yourself saying, “I wish I would have done that,” or something similar about a missed opportunity? May this serve as a reminder that we have people in our lives who are more than willing to help us, as Prince said… “get through this thing called life.” In some cases, it may cost us a few bucks. The results may be better, and you may be able to enjoy life a little bit, even if you are a few Franklin’s, Grant’s, or Jackson’s lighter at the end. On the flipside, you may have been able to use the time to make memories that will last a lifetime. Springtime projects get us outdoors in most cases and that is a blessing by itself. How you choose to get out and “Enjoy the Great Outdoors” is up to you.