My New Job (I have one now!)

Just got a new job.  And it could be my dream job…

I grew up in Euclid, a suburb of Cleveland Ohio. A modest city, but we were too busy playing outside to notice our lack of worldly goods.

We played Red Rover—and nobody cried, either.

And Kick the Can. (Which had several names and variations…) In the winter, we went outside just like when it was 80 degrees and sunny. No such thing as too cold or bad weather.

We didn’t have property, we had a yards.

Nor did we have landscaping. Just some greenery around the yard that we called bushes, or shrubs. Simple, generic terms. And the trees? Out there to be climbed.

As for mulch, my first experience shoveling it was as a first time homeowner (and adult) in a Mentor subdivision. After we put in some new beds

Not beds that you sleep in. Beds as in landscaping.

The only ‘beds’ we had in Euclid, were in our bedrooms. And about the only time we were inside was to sleep in them.

The lots (or yards…) on our street were about 50 feet wide, with just enough room to run a driveway between houses. And I’m not kidding. Our ‘yard’ was .19 acre.

Which is why we needed to play in ALL the yards. Thankfully, nobody minded…

So I grew up in the city. And now I live in Perry, Ohio. Which isn’t really country, as it is fairly close to several cities. But it is bordering on rural.

My new job?

McGroarty Enterprises.

What do they do there? For starters, there is a nursery.

As in plants, not babies. They also teach others throughout the United States–even as far as Australia–how to grow plants. There is an office in the small house that sits on the nursery property. That is where I’ll be working.

Probably a good place for me.  Really, what do I know about plants?

Not much.

When we moved to Perry, we built a new center hall colonial. I had no idea at the time, but they leveled the old nursery to make way for our subdivision to roll through.

What I did learn while living on that property?

How to STEAL old nursery stock.

Just beyond our property, there were a few pockets of mangled up plants all mixed in with briar and weeds. Nothing had been pruned in years. Finding these plants and trees in the brush wasn’t easy. The couple of times I went back there, I was a bloody, muddy, scraped up mess afterwards.

Me: C’mon Daughter, we’re going shopping.

Darling Daughter: Huh?

Me: Like grab that shovel over there and I’ll get the wheelbarrow…

Darling Daughter: Why?

Me:  I told you. We’re going shopping.

Darling Daughter: For what?

Me: I need a tree. You can help me find one.

And so we did. We dragged home a large stick, the size of a broomstick. Maybe 5 feet long, the top was thinner than a pencil. And we quickly planted it.

Took my then husband several days to notice my ‘stick tree’ in the new bed, bordering our deck. He was probably too focused on the 20’ x 40’ deck we just finished building, or the pool.

When he found out what we had done, he had a fit! Then kept telling me it was going to die. Of course, this is the man who gifted me several flats of ‘full sun’ flowers—then instructed me to plant them in the shade. They were dead within the month. All of them.

Anyways, I think I am safe to relay this story now. It has been about 7 years and I only ever dug up that one tree. What would I be charged with?

Grand Theft ‘stick tree.’

I stopped today to take a photo of that tree—the leaves aren’t on it yet. But the trunk is at least 10” in diameter and the tree must be 30 feet tall. It is enormous. It was pretty when we moved, but it is quite a gorgeous tree now.

My daughter and I chose that particular tree because the stick/trunk was white(ish) in color. Instead of yucky dark brown.  We thought the white was much prettier.

We had no idea what the tree was. Turns out, it was actually a really nice tree.

And like I told my then husband, we needn’t feel bad. (or criminal) I SAVED a tree that was destined to  become a basement…

There were already plans to extend the subdivision; the new roads were even in by then.

So, how am I qualified to work in a nursery?

Given the above example, I obviously have a green thumb.

I love the outdoors. Love plants.  Have always kept my landscaping weeded, mulched, trimmed, pruned and looking pretty in all the houses I have lived in as an adult. In fact, I find weeding relaxing.

So, I’m interested in plants. Which is a start.

And my job is primarily in the office. Answering customer emails, editing photos for the websites, researching and writing articles on plants and keeping an eye on the message boards and such.

Likely, it won’t be long before I’m out there crawling around in the dirt taking photos of the new Japanese maples that are getting planted soon.

Back in Euclid, we often made Mud Pies in the summer.  Meaning we SAT and played in the mud.  When we got in the bathtub at night, the water was brown. When my own children were little, I always thought it was a good day when my kids’ bathwater was brown. Dirty kids = great fun, right?

Maybe the same can be said for adults?

Given the chance, I’ll be in the dirt learning to plant and tag the new stock…

The more I learn, the better off I’ll be with the office side of the operation anyway.

This job might be many people’s personal hell. But I’m thinking it might be quite the opposite for me. Right up my alley…

I get to write AND I get to go outside.

Does it get any better?