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Risking Your Marriage By Doing Home Projects Together

Image credit: http://www.seejanedig.com/
Image credit: http://www.seejanedig.com/

When we first moved into our first house here in Reno, we lived in Damonte Ranch.  The house we bought was brand new when we moved in and came with an un-landscaped backyard.  For our first Christmas in the house, we had a professional landscape plan done and we set to work implementing the plan, little by little, over time.  Our yard was 8/10 of an acre and included a giant hill.  All of it was dirt.  Oh, and rocks.  Lots and lots of rocks.  And then some more rocks.

The following fall, we went to Home Depot one afternoon because I wanted to get some mums to plant in the pots that I had in the front of the house as well as on the back deck. Since we still were dealing with a dirt themed backyard, I felt as though adding some color and something living back there would be a nice idea.

As it turned out, the Home Depot was having a sale on trees and as it turned out, we had a landscape plan for our backyard that called for more trees than the entire state of Nevada currently had growing in the wild.

And wouldn’t you know that they had Austrian pine trees on sale. And we needed some Austrian pine trees for our backyard! So we bought nine of them. Obviously.  Go in for a couple 99 cent mums, leave with a thousand dollars worth of pine trees.  Makes perfect sense.

Only we didn’t have a truck at the time so transporting nine trees from Home Depot to our house was proving to be, well, impossible.

So we called our friend, who loaned us his truck. Only when you drive a rather small pick-up truck with 15 foot trees only loosely tied down in the bed, the trees fall over. So my husband told me I had to ride back there, in the bed of the truck, with the trees. So, without really thinking it through, I got into the back of the truck with the trees. I think my husband drove 30 yards before I could no longer keep the trees from falling over on top of me. And I thought I was going to die.

So my husband got in the back of the truck and we drove home. We didn’t go on the highway because obviously that would have been dangerous. Instead we opted for the “back route” on which the speed limit is 50 mph. I drove 25 mph the entire way.

We made two trips and managed to get all nine of our trees home. I helped my husband unload them. And by helped, I mean I acted as though I would be able to lower the tree from the back of the truck onto the ground and instead dropped it immediately onto the ground. That happened nine times. It was not funny to my husband even one of those times.

But do you know what was funny? How I am right. ALWAYS.

When we were contemplating the purchase, I said to my husband, “How are we going to plant these things?” To which he responded, “We’re going to dig holes and put the trees into the holes.”

OH! Well, thank you very much for that. Because I thought we were going to suspend them in midair using floating tortoises to spin them in circles while fairies danced on the ends of the branches.

I meant – how we were going to dig the holes.

The answer I received? With shovels.

And herein lies the problem. I had met our backyard before. I remember being out there digging up rocks the size of an F150 when we were trying to put in the sprinklers. I must have been alone during that time, though, because I was the only one who seemed to remember.

You see, what I meant when I asked how we were going to plant the trees and with what we were going to dig the holes, I was trying, in vain, to get the point across that this was going to be an impossible task. I had to do so without using those words however because, those of you with husbands, boyfriends, brothers, fathers, etc. will know what I mean here, if I had dared to utter the actual words “we are not going to be able to do this ourselves”, the world would have come to an end. An actual end. We all would have died. There would have been no point in buying any of those trees because the world would have exploded into a fiery mass, spun off its axis and sent each and every one of us hurtling into outer space where there is no need for holes, shovels or trees.

So I didn’t say anything more. I decided that we could go on believing that we could dig a 20 foot hole into the ground that is comprised solely of rock. I decided I should not further the argument that it would be impossible to dig not one but NINE of those holes. Using nothing but a shovel and a pick ax. And that the job would be completed before the end of time.

Assuming all those things were possible, there was still one question to be answered. So we were going to use our magic shovel that allows us to dig a hole in the hill that might as well be made of concrete, that’s great. What I still didn’t know was, seeing as I was unable to assist in carry these trees more then 11 inches before my arms actually fell off, HOW WERE WE PLANNING TO GET THEM TO THE TOP OF A 50 FOOT HILL? And when I asked this question, I got the answer I was dreading; we’re going to carry them.

OK. Fine.

I’m not saying that my husband is not smart or that he is not a hard worker. He is both of those things. What he is not is able to understand the concept that ROCKS LIVE IN OUR BACKYARD. Some might call that stupidity. My husband calls it “hope”.

The following day, my husband came home from work, changed his clothes and marched up that hill with his shovel and pick ax.

I looked at my watch.

No more than 5 minutes had gone by before my husband reappeared at the backdoor, shovel and pick ax in hand, covered from head to toe with thorns from the sagebrush.

“What’s up”, I asked him. “All finished with those holes? No?”

The next morning the workers come to dig the holes for us.  And thus, our marriage was saved.


About Anna Thornley

Anna Thornley
Anna Thornley is a Jersey Girl living in the Wild West with her husband, their three children (with another one on the way) and two dogs. She desperately misses the beach and humidity but tries to remember to appreciate the beauty of the mountains. She works full-time outside of the home and is generally frantic in her attempts to keep everyone (and everything) moving in the right direction. Her house is a mess, but everyone in it is happy and loved—so she considers it a success. Anna spends almost all of her free time doing laundry. Her family loves to spend time together watching football and playing outside. Anna is still trying to come to terms with the fact that her family expects to eat dinner every single night. Follow Anna on Twitter to keep up with all her family’s antics: @rudeytudeymama

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