Sow: It’s My Park Day

Bags of mulch are a lot heavier than I remembered. Today’s fresh start/new beginning was adjusting to being “voluntold” by my sweet husband Bruce. You see our voluntary neighborhood association’s (not an HOA) president and the vp of activities came for a visit a week ago Friday. You see, they remembered that we volunteered at the It’s My Park Day that the city of Dallas sponsors. And they also remembered that we have three large-ish dogs that spend a great deal of time at the park with us.

Before the hour was out, Bruce was the Park Liaison. And I was the Park Liaison’s helper. I even have a fancy name tag.

That’s why I was up by 5:45 on a Saturday. And at Lowes by 7:30 to buy 16 bags of hardwood mulch since the city had apparently forgotten our delivery for the park (more about that in a second). Do not go to Lowes to purchase mulch at 7:30 am on a Saturday. First of all, each bag weighs 40 pounds. Second of all, the garden center isn’t really open that early so you will have to push 40 pounds x 16 through the entire store to get to the checkout. Third, when you are loading your pickup truck with 16 bags of mulch, no Lowes employee will help but instead make pithy comments like “Dang, that looks heavy” and “Y’all sure that’s gonna fit?”


heavier than it looks

When we arrived at the park, it was around 32° F. Yes, 0° C. And a bit windy. Still 35 volunteers plus 3 local politicians (some with entourages) came to clean up in and around the creek and mulch 6 flower beds.

My first job after toting mulch bags was to check people in, make their name stickers, and get them to sign the city’s waver, allowing photography and holding no one responsible if they got hurt. I also pointed out where the donuts, coffee and water was, although given the temperature, coffee was the most popular option. Two little kids scarfed down most of the donuts, much to their mother’s horror. I chuckled to myself because I figured they would go sugar crazy pretty quickly.

The city arrived with the mulch. Bruce collected the bags he had unloaded and loaded them back into the truck.

My next job was to fill my wheelbarrow with bottled water, trash bags, gloves and kleenex (cold = runny noses) and walk the length of the park near the creek, then continue on to the flower beds, following the creek up to the next big street. I gave my big orange plastic bucket to the donut eating kids and their mom to help them mulch the flower bed they were working on (unfortunately for me, they decided to keep it).

After that I raked and mulched a flower bed. I got some gardening tips and heard about the heads of cattle one neighbor has on his ranch (his weekend home).

And then we were done. The creek was very clean. There were full black garbage bags waiting for the city to pick them up. The flower beds looked fabulous.

Well, WE weren’t done. Back to Lowes to unload and return the purchased mulch!

I’m going to need some Aleve tonight.