Thursday, June 28, 2012

Our Summer Splurge

by Julie Hyzy

We have a pretty big backyard. Don't get me wrong, it's not like acres-big. In fact, it isn't even a full acre, but it's close. While parts of the lot are taken up by the house, the patio, and garden areas, most of it is just plain grass. Looks wonderful most of the time, but it has this nasty need to be maintained. When we first moved into this house fourteen years ago, we were required to cut the grass every Saturday. Took four hours. Every. Weekend. 

Fun, fun. 

We eventually managed to convince our daughters to take on this job as they aged into it. We even paid them for this because it was clearly an above-and-beyond their regular around-the-house responsibilities. Daughter #3 was in the middle of her stint when my husband and I realized that soon - just like her sisters - she'd be too busy during the summer with a "real" job or other responsibilities to keep up with the lawn. We'd have to take this on ourselves again. 

We really didn't want to buy a riding lawnmower -- both because they're so expensive and because we'd have to store the thing, so we resigned ourselves to delaying Saturday plans *every week* until the lawn was in shape.

It was then I noticed that our next door neighbors had a service taking care of their grass. Their yard is almost as big as ours and every Thursday a team of three or four men would come in and -- zip -- the lawn was cut, edged, trimmed, and swept in a matter of about 45 minutes.

The proverbial light bulb flashed on.

I checked into the costs for getting our lawn maintained by our neighbor's service and guess what? The price per week was reasonable.

This, to me, was the definition of a no-brainer. My husband took a bit more convincing. He's not thrilled with the idea of paying people to do things we're capable of doing ourselves. The fact that the cost per week would be pretty close to what we'd been paying our daughters and that we would have a lot more free time on the weekends (that's huge for me) finally brought him around to my way of thinking.

Now, every summer Thursday at about 8:30 AM, the team shows up here. In less than an hour my yard looks neat, clean, and beautifully maintained. I love this service so much. Every week I sigh with a little bit of contentedness. It's a splurge, for sure, but totally worth every penny.

I'll bet there are lots of interesting splurges out there. What's yours?

Julie

PS - We all know that books aren't splurges - they're NECESSITIES!! Lucky for us there are two brand new titles coming out next week from two wonderful Cozy Chicks: Jennifer Stanley a/k/a Ellery Adams, and Lorraine Bartlett a/k/a Lorna Barrett. 


Ellery could sure use some good news right now, and Lorna is making her first foray into the world of hardcovers. I know they'd appreciate any cozy love you can offer!

PIES AND PREJUDICE by Ellery Adams

MURDER ON THE HALF SHELF by Lorna Barrett