I don’t know what the May long weekend means to you, but in my house, it means yard work.


Yep. Wild times. But the good thing about yard work is I’m almost never allowed to help.

Allowed, you say? But Kelly, you are a forthright equal-opportunity feminist. Your marriage is based on teamwork and friendship, not stereotypical roles of engagement.

Sure. Right. But when it comes to the delegation of responsibilities sanctioned between the Carpenter and myself, yard work falls under his jurisdiction.

Make no mistake; this is no accident. I planned it this way. Conniving perhaps, but it comes from my own inherent inadequacy at anything outdoorsy and just really not enjoying the labour involved.

I have managed to prove myself an absolute hazard with a lawn mower, all because one time I tried to cut the grass and decided to buck the trend that it had to be mowed in neat rows. Maybe I got distracted. Whatever. I happen to believe a quilt pattern is every bit as attractive as angled rows, so there.

Ever since I pulled up all the tulip bulbs in the front garden, in a genuine effort to be helpful and remove weeds (or at least what I assumed were weeds), I’m not allowed to plant or tend to the garden ever again.

Perhaps that is partly due to the fact that I am not good at watering the plants. Here’s my theory: Mother Nature has a plan. You have to have faith in her and let the rain fall where it may. Seriously. Farmers do it.

So what if there is a drought? It’s out of my hands. That makes the Carpenter cranky. I figure so long as I remember to water the kids, nobody is going to die. And flowers, well, that’s composting right? Geez.

But I think the real clincher was last week when I asked for work gloves, leather ones, so I could help carry the broken tree limbs headed for the Belwood dump. You’d think I’d asked for a kitchen renovation.

“What on earth do you need work gloves for?” the Carpenter asked condescendingly.

“To help with the tree limbs, so I don’t get a sliver,” I said wide-eyed and hopeful. “Put me in coach, I’m ready to get this done.” I flexed my flabby Jello arm.

Awkward silence and a deadpan stare told me all I need to know.  

But I’m no quitter. Maybe I couldn’t help with the lifting, but if I was good, I could go for a ride to the dump. I don’t know what it is about the dump, but everybody I know goes there on Saturday. It sounds like the social event of the season and I wanted in.

“Can I go for the ride then?” I pleaded, with my voice ever so slightly higher.

I saw his eyes and I knew he was visualizing me, head hanging out the passenger window, sort of like our old German shepherd used to do, hair flying in the wind.

“No.” Final answer.

“But why?” I whined.

“The dump is a secret society. You aren’t invited.” And with that he closed the tailgate, climbed in the cab and pulled away. Hmph.

I’ll let you guess what I did with the rest of my morning, but you can be darn sure it wasn’t yard work.




Kelly Waterhouse