One of my summer jobs is to keep the weeds in check. I do my best to patrol the yard, our raised garden and an area between a couple of houses that I call the “no person’s land”. I’ve discovered that if I patrol at least twice a week, I can keep on top of the task—heaven forbid we go on a two-week vacation. I’d spend almost a week recovering our yard and garden from those pesky intruders. Granted, I could get it done quicker, but I consciously make the decision to spread out the job.

Even after a pre-emergence application, weeds still love to torture me. Over the years, I’ve tried several different products to assist me. Some have worked, some haven’t. Things I used years ago have been taken off the shelf, or I refuse to buy them because of toxicity concerns. Even though I still use products on the weeds, they continue to grow. I’ve come to accept my lot in life and realize I will always be a “weeder”.

I think I started weeding when I was in elementary school, though I didn’t realize I was weeding the yard. I thought I was just picking beautiful yellow flowers. I was thrilled with the bouquets I made and proudly presented them to my mother. I loved the idea of putting the yellow flower under a friend’s chin and deciding whether they liked butter. I even loved the yellow flowers as they matured into white fluffs you could blow into the air. I had no idea the fluffs were seeds, I just thought the act was magical.

Picking Dandelions

I’m sure our grandkids made dandelion bouquets for their mothers, but I don’t recall getting one. The lesson learned early on was mothers and grandmothers are not the same and don’t always deserve or need the same recognition. However, I always look for opportunities to spend some time with my grandkids and once in a while, I can hit it on the head. How do weeds and time go together?

In the summer when the grandkids were in elementary school, we would frequently pick them up on Sunday nights and take them to the Municipal Band Concerts at Antelope Pavilion. They loved the music and would always dance in the open space. Twirling under the large trees seemed to be their enchanting dance of the fairies. Our grandson wasn’t into fairies, so he twirled just to see how long he could stay on his feet before falling. (Boys!)

Then, I thought of the idea to teach them how to make daisy chains. This seemed to be an enjoyable project to complete while still listening to the music. It did take them a while to get a hang of the knotting procedure. I believe the music soothed their souls as they discovered the right amount of tension to use when knotting. Sometimes the grandkids would work together on one chain. Other times they would work on their individual chains and connect them together at the end of the evening. Either way, it was always exciting to discover the length of the chain. Grandpa even had to start bringing a tape measure and keep a running account of their weekly achievement.

Lessons Learned

Together, we discussed what they learned.

Be persistent.

Be patient. Keep looking for clover even when you don’t immediately see any. A recent mowing can cause havoc when finding their location.

Be flexible. Sometimes the knotting didn’t work so well. Moving fingers around the bloom and a stem can be difficult.

Be collaborative. Working together on a common goal can be amazing. Some grandkids out chained others, but it was never in a competitive way. They also discovered when they worked on their own chains and brought them together for one LONG chain was the best. Time was of the essence and when they only worked on one chain, there was too much time wasted in walking around.

Those summers went by quickly and now they are gone. I hope the lessons they learned are not gone or forgotten—I will certainly never forget them. Now, where is my Weed Be Gone?

Nancy Becker

Nancy Becker

Grandkids & Grandparents

I have four grandchildren ages 14-17. In some ways, I’m a very typical grandma, always proud of everything the kids do and wanting to help support them in whatever way I can. In other ways, I’m not very typical. My goal as a blogger is to share my thoughts and experiences that I think are funny and meaningful as I adventure through grandmahood.

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