Saving Daylight

What were you up to this weekend?  I spent my Saturday morning getting mulch in my hair.

Not kidding.  I actually spent three hours at an Atlanta park raking, moving and playing around with wheelbarrows full of mulch.  I know what you’re thinking – I don’t even do that with my own yard.  What gives?

Piedmont Park is a well-known park here in Atlanta, but what most people don’t realize (and I didn’t before volunteering) is that the park has only four groundskeepers for nearly 200 acres.  Most of the work that’s done in the park is done by a volunteer.  As part of a new effort from my graduate school, a group of us got together to lend a hand for the morning.  I have no reasonable explanation for why I was willing to do this (because I hate doing yard work so much) other than it was going to be a beautiful day, and I just felt like doing something that would make me feel good.  Selfish, I know – but doesn’t everyone do volunteer work, at least a little bit, for the satisfaction?

Tip for small-framed gals using a wheelbarrow:

It may seem silly, but a lot of DIY projects involve using tools that weren’t designed for small-framed women weighing less than 130 pounds.  Like bulky metal wheelbarrows.  So here’s what I learned:

  • To dump the contents of the ‘barrow, tilt it up to let gravity do its thing, but this won’t take care of all of it (tilt it too far forward and you’ll nearly topple over it).  Instead, grip the handles while the wheelbarrow is still vertical and shake it from side to side.  This will cause anything left inside to fly out, fully emptying the wheelbarrow.
  • Learn when to push the wheelbarrow and when to pull it.  It’s fairly easy to get stuck when trying to push the wheelbarrow over a small obstacle, so on uneven terrain, if pushing is getting difficult, just do your best ox impression and pull that sucker instead.

We had enough turnout that it didn’t take us the full three hours for all of the mulch to be spread, but I am honestly surprised that I even managed to get anything else done all weekend.  My knees were sore from carrying wheelbarrows full of heavy mulch, and my shoulders felt like they were made entirely of knots.  It’s pathetic, but as of Monday, I’m still recovering from sore muscles.  But I did manage to get a few other things done, including more painting in the entryway and a trip (my first!) to Habitat Restore (the park was just a couple miles away from one of the two locations in the Atlanta area, so no matter how much I wanted a nap, I had to check things out).  More on that paint job for Dueling DIY tomorrow, and my trip to Habitat will post later this week.

And are you as thrilled with that extra hour of daylight after work as I am?  I know we technically lose an hour every spring because we set our clocks forward, but what that means to me is that the light sticks around a little bit longer during the hours I want them the most (I’m okay with trading my 6:30 AM sunlight for 6:30 PM sunlight any day).  I’m welcoming spring with open arms.

Comments

  1. anna says

    One of my best investments was a heavy duty PLASTIC wheelbarrow. I would rather that the weight be due to the load, not the wheelbarrow.

  2. Guerrina says

    A day of fresh air and sunlight! Still waiting on that here in CT! As a Habitat family, love, love, love their ReStores!

  3. Sarah says

    Wait – there’s a ReStore in/near Midtown?! Please tell me where! I use them as often as I possibly can and practically lived in one in my college town. The cashiers all knew me because of all the projects I worked on in school! I love them and love supporting them, but sometimes the one in Grant Park leaves something to be desired.

    • Sarah says

      No, that’s the one I went to. There’s another up in Gwinnett but I haven’t been there yet.

      • Sarah says

        Thanks! I probably won’t make the trek to Gwinnett any time soon (I’m on the West side of ATL).

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