Gratitude for Change and Nature

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For the past few years I have worked some variation of third shift leaving the opportunity to simply be outside working in the yard as something needing to be scheduled. My work was physical and I still tried to maintain a gym routine leaving little time during daylight hours for mowing the lawn. Even during days off it was too difficult to transition to a a “traditional” sleep schedule so I simply watched a lot of series on Netflix.

One of the multitude of positives about losing my job was the ability to return to the land of the living during the day. Suddenly I had daylight hours and sleep during the night. I had the ability to do other things other than binge watching television. My daughter can be a natural child and not have to be quiet all day because Daddy needs sleep. More than anything else—I can spend time with my daughter during the years I will never get back. No amount of money can make me give that up again.

Because I am awake during the day my family has the opportunity to participate in our community garden. We are complete rookies when it comes to this but I’m excited to learn through experience. We have thrown our plot together as quickly as possible and have made an amazing transformation from what we inherited. In the coming years we should be able to have some experience and knowledge under our belts allowing for better planning. Personally I would love to experiment with heirloom tomato varieties and a plethora of salad green varieties.

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Over the holiday weekend we were able to get our plants in the ground. We kept it very simple purchasing starts for tomatoes, red peppers, zucchini, squash, eggplant, and a few stalks of corn. We planted seeds for carrots, two varieties of lettuce, and basil. Next year I would like to start the seeds in trays but time was an issue this year as we didn’t get our plot until a few weeks before the planting deadline and had no idea what we were doing or where to start.

Being awake during the day has also allowed me to get a jump start on improving our yard. I had been lucky to have had time to mow the lawn on a regular basis and my wife had a young child to chase after and keep quiet. Needless to say the landscape took a hit for a few years.

It may not be much but I actually have had time to lay out a flower bed in our backyard. It is not even June yet and we are getting a jump on landscape. It is just the start (obviously) and I wish I would have taken a “before” picture, but this is serious progress.

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Many people don’t realize what a blessing it is to sleep when it is dark and have daylight hours to do what you desire. Personally I don’t take that for granted. I am genuinely grateful for the opportunity to play in the earth while the sun shines.

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