I look at my backyard and it doesn’t bother me a bit. It should. It is nothing like my yards have ever looked. The grass is riddled with dead spots. The flowerbeds are full of weeds and mostly neglected plants. The Confederate Rose Bush/Tree is blooming but only because that’s what it does. It got no help from me. The Turk’s Cap is a very durable plant that blooms all summer as mine has done. It’s also taken over the shrubs that grew nearby. My roses have bloomed, but I haven’t gone out to remove the spent blossoms and the stems look gangly and pathetic. The Butterfly Bush was trimmed into a tree earlier in the summer, but that might not have been the best idea since it sits in a spot that has stayed wet with all the rains we’ve gotten lately. I found it falling into the rose bushes and instead of staking it like I should have done when I trimmed it up, I just moved the wheelbarrow against it so it’s wedged between it and the fence. I think there’s some oregano mixed in with the weeds that are growing in one of the planter boxes. And speaking of weeds, there are plenty of them in every place a weed could be. I have gone out and weeded the back flowerbeds some and I’ve tried to stay on top of the weeds growing in the grass in the front yard, but I definitely haven’t given it much of my time. Every spring I usually buy new flowers for the front beds, veggies to plant in back, and maybe a new shrub or two just for fun. I mulch the beds so they retain some moisture and look nice, but this year I did nothing. I bought nothing. I spent zero dollars and very little time on my yard.
Even though I am not fond of the way my yard looks, I don’t regret the lack of effort I gave it.
I was busy tending to something else.
Love. And it has grown and blossomed and made life beautiful. It was fed and watered and cultivated and given great care.
Candied Jansen says she weaseled her way into my life. I guess that’s somewhat true. I had been single for 2 1/2 months and had no real desire to date anyone. I wasn’t looking for love. I was enjoying hanging out with friends and having the freedom to make decisions without worrying about how it would affect anyone but me. I was breathing again. My friends said I was a totally different person. That I seemed much happier. And I was. Life was great.
And then Candied Jansen asked me to dinner and I said yes. Within two weeks, I was in love with her. Two weeks in I knew I had met the one. The one who would change my life. And she has. The last 7 months have been so full of love and life. It’s so hard to put into words what makes her so special. So perfect for me, but I’ll try.
First of all, she is one of the most giving, caring, loving people I’ve ever met. She is constantly thinking about others and how she can help them or bless them in some way. She gives of her time and of her resources on a regular basis. And the way she treats me is beyond what I ever dreamed possible. I feel so spoiled by her. She seems to delight in doing stuff for me, whether it’s buying tickets to see Brad Paisley in concert or keeping her pantry stocked with Diet Coke. She tells me I’m beautiful and shows me that she really means it. The way she touches me does so many things. It either lights me on fire or makes me feel warm and protected. I also love that she is so vulnerable with me. She lets me be the protector and the strong one when she needs me to be. She shares herself with me completely. I love that. I also love that she has a nerdy side. She loves charts and graphs and is so good with money. She knows where every penny goes and already has her budgets for the next 2 years planned. I love that she’s taped goals to her bathroom mirror and that she’s flexible enough to change them when things don’t go like she planned. I love that she’s taken an I love you email from me and taped it there as well. I love her heart. The way she cries when a beautiful dance has moved her or when a story has touched her is amazing. I love that she can dress in cargo shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops as well as slacks, a dress shirt, and heels and still be herself. She hugs me and kisses me wherever and whenever and doesn’t ever wait to see if I’ll touch her first. If she wants me to play with her hair, she asks, which I absolutely love! I love that she’s committed to things. She’s owned her car for 14 years and worked for the same company for over 16 years! She loves a good margarita and knows how to get just the right amount of butter and salt in every bite of movie theater popcorn. I could go on and on about her. I’m sure that’s obvious.
The plan is to move in together next summer. Maybe when we are actually living together, we’ll have the time and the desire to think about growing things in our yard. We can plant flowers and vegetables and enjoy our backyard together. Right now all I can think is that I want to keep tending to this love that I share with Candied Jansen because I plan to marry her one day.