Landscaping retirement?

I’ve shredded over a dozen pair of Carhartts over the years. Yeah, they are tough pants, to begin with, but with my line of work, inevitably end up compost. Its like they just reach a point one day and disintegrate right then, right there, on your person.

Same goes for those wrinkly rubber-dipped work gloves that all too quickly take on that ammonia stink. The bamboo ones, though not radioactive, have a half-life of about a week. I must have gone through a couple hundred of those.

Perhaps I should have just invested in some good old-fashioned calluses!

Its been over a year since I had to endure an all-day rain. Most people don’t realize exactly how bone chilling 40° and rainy can be. Thank God for fishermen and their gear!

I can’t express just how demoralizing it can be sitting with mud-caked Xtra-tufs in your rapidly fogging truck that won’t warm up in time to eat the hot soup you just risked melting your upholstery with by cooking it over a backpacking stove leveled with a notebook on the passenger seat.

Wow, I don’t miss that!!!!

Don’t get me wrong, landscaping and hardscaping as a profession has its benefits. The smell of a rock rose on a bright day, the rushing of water between boulders when you fire up the water feature for the first time, the stone that fits without a hammer and chisel’s persuasion, the lack of a gym membership.

There’s always something tangible to reflect on at the end of the day.


Then again, after 20,000 square feet of pavers and flagstone laid, 23 stone walls erected, countless ditches dug, thousands of plants planted, the joints do ache. Some nights it was all I could do to keep upright while doing the dishes.

Oh, Gwen listened to many a groan! And she dutifully offered sympathy from time to time. Especially that day we moved ten yards of soil into the side yard. “I can’t believe you do this every day!” She said. (I totally soaked it up.)

I miss it. And I don’t. I just don’t want to have to do it every…single…day. I’m not Lance Armstrong. Hey, turns out, Lance Armstrong is not “Lance Armstrong.”

Its just a shame for those killer spatial-reasoning skills to go to waste!


If only I could get a hold of a tractor beam, then I could just tract (?) the rock up from the pile to a comfortable chiselling height, flake off that knob with my pocket laser, then tract it on over the the wall. Now that would save the old elbow and L-1 to L-5!

1 thought on “Landscaping retirement?

  1. You do beautiful work but I can’t imagine doing it every day. On the other hand I can understand missing it, it has to be hard for an artist to give up a medium that he is good at even if it beats him up.

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