I am not the best at adulting.

My office looks like The Room of Requirement, my dishes are never completely done, and the other day I looked up from bed and saw a pile of clean diapers on our dresser – and Noah has been potty-trained for at least two years.

Chris joins me in admitting to not being the best adulter.

Light bulbs take weeks to get changed, we shove garbage down into the bag with greater pressure than a car crusher, and yard work is right out.

(My Mother, who is an actual Master Gardener by certification, often drops by and plants things out of pity – but only things that she has researched and ensured cannot be killed.)

We manage to cover over segments of our bad adulting by paying for lawn service and having a cleaning crew of angels come every other week. But they know all of our secrets of bad adulting. If my cleaning ladies weren’t so adorable and understanding, I’m sure they’d have conversations like,

“I wonder if she ever plans on moving that pile of diapers. Isn’t Noah almost five?”

“I know right?? And how about this junk mail that’s been on her end table for six months? You think she even sees it anymore?”

“I’m sure she doesn’t. Ew! I just found another moldy sippy cup! I wonder how long this one’s been here…”

So yeah. Don’t look for me to be featured in Better Homes and Gardens anytime soon.

One area of our general life maintenance that we often let slip is the back of our backyard. We play in our front yard, and the back-backyard desperately desires to be a natural area, boasting weeds that can grow faster than those old ladies in the grocery store claim children grow (“Enjoy every second because in a blink they’ll be married!” <BLINK BLINK BLINK> “YOU ARE A LIAR, Old Lady!!”), and a natural ecosystem that begs us to let it be. For instance, if we didn’t let our back-backyard go wild the summer of 2011, where would Yard Bunny have raised her beautiful babies? We provided a home for a family AND the perfect observational Science lesson for Ali. All by not doing yard work.


So, although some years we’ve fought it back better than others, 2015 was not one of those years. Between sickness and surgery and house flooding and all the other blessings this year has brought us, the back-backyard was not high on the priority list, so it reverted back into natural ecosystem mode – perhaps thicker than it has ever been.

For reference, this Dandelion-like plant in comparison to my 5’5” self – make sure you note the top of the plant by its white fronds:

IMG_2719 copy

I told you it can GROW SOME SERIOUS STUFF, y’all.

But the other day, as I was driving into the garage, I caught sight of something out of place in the back-backyard. I walked out there, thinking that SURELY it wasn’t what I thought it was, then eagerly yelled for the children to come see.


We. Had our own pumpkin patch.


Growing around and encircling a large tree branch that had fallen during our mini-tornado (that we’d never bothered to remove because ADULTING) was a giant Pumpkin vine, sprawling in every direction.


It boasted of one perfect, medium-sized white pumpkin on the outside, two more equally-sized white pumpkins behind the branch, many large flowers giving the hope of future pumpkins, and Fred the Cat as a guard for our Secret Garden.


My first thought was one of Great Relief…

We are growing our own pumpkin patch this year so there is NO WAY I will find myself in another Pumpkin Patch Disaster! When we are ready for pumpkining there will be no lines, no hot hay ride, and no interminable waiting. We will walk out to our backyard and pluck a pumpkin! Maybe we should offer a pumpkin patch field trip for our equally-traumatized friends…

My second thought was one of curiosity. How exactly had we ended up with a pumpkin patch? They’re not exactly a common weed indigenous to these parts…

I discussed this mystery with Chris the evening after our discovery, and slowly, we were both able to piece together how this little yard miracle had occurred.

Last year, we had bought some pumpkins. Said pumpkins got moldy (much like these 2010 pumpkins) and for some reason, instead of throwing them in the trash like normal people, we threw them out into our natural area…

(Because ADULTING.)

And those said pumpkins made babies like bunnies. Because clearly, our natural area is an aphrodisiac for pumpkins and rabbits alike.


So the moral of this story is: when you let things go, fantastically surprising things come back to you. So quit adulting and let life grow how it wants.

16 thoughts on “The Fruits of Laziness.

  1. I love the pumpkins. When we lived on the edge of the woods I did the same hoping we’d have volunteer pumpkins. Now we rent, & hubby has become ocd about yard maintenance.
    I miss the weeds and bugs and everything else that comes with a lazy yard. Even the occasional friendly snake.

  2. You are the second friend in recent weeks who have discovered a surprise pumpkin vine in their yard! I’m kinda jealous, and would totally take you up on a field trip to your back yard to pick a pumpkin, if you were serious. Our new cover school is having that field trip this year, and I tried so hard to convince myself that the Pumpkin Patch Disaster was a fluke, and that since we would go with a different school, surely it would be better this time. But I just couldn’t get over the trauma enough to sign us up for it. Meanwhile, Amy Beth is fully recovered and begging for a trip to get a pumpkin. *shudder*

    If we do end up with a pumpkin this year, I am totally throwing it in our backyard in hopes of having our own pumpkin patch next year!

  3. #1 Adulting is HARD. My BFF used to do it for me but then she moved to Seattle and I’ve been floundering in the wastelands for YEARS. Boo.

    #2 Impromptu Pumpkin Patch is the BEST REASON EVER to actively ignore yard work. I shall inform the hubbin immediately and toss this year’s pumpkins into the jungle and await our coming bounty. If the deer don’t eat them off the front porch first. Sigh.

  4. Adulting IS hard. We don’t even have any kids, but we still have a “we’ll get to it” list of household chores and upgrades and various tasks…

    The only reason our yard looks any good is because we live in a townhome and exterior maintenance is included in our HOA fees. Paying other people to adult for you is totally a valid life choice.

  5. I’m so glad to hear I am not the only one who struggles with being an adult! And the pumpkins are so awesome. Happy for you!

  6. In prep for our very first visit ever to a pumpkin patch this morning, I talked with my 20-month old son about pumpkins, brought a book home from the library, and let him hold a miniature pumpkin. Then we went and spent a fun morning doing all the play things … jumping pillow, sit in a tractor, see the animals, etc, etc, etc! On our way to our car, we walked through the area where there are thousands of pumpkins for people to buy, and as we approached, he yelled, “Pumpkin! Pumpkin! Pumpkin!” and got excited. Why did I pay the $6 and do the fun activities when we could have just looked at pumpkins?!

  7. Lol! Pretty good looking pumpkin! And I’m kind of jealous of your huge back yard! And your cleaning ladies! I need both of those things in my life!

  8. haha! You are my housekeeping soulmate. Our pumpkins didn’t even make it to the back yard. They were covered in snow in the front walkway flower beds too early in the year so they stayed there. This year we now have pumpkins growing in said flower beds. Hubby occasionally goes out to trim the wild vines off the walkway at least to prevent a tripping hazard for my favorite UPS man who delivers all my shopping. That’s all the adulting we can handle.

  9. It makes me feel a bit better to know I’m not the only one who sucks at adulting. My husband is a borderline-hoarder, so our house is always a wreck. Laundry remains unfolded in the basket for weeks, one peek into the spare room (our Room of Requirement) could probably have the house condemned by Code Enforcement, and I haven’t seen the surface of my coffee table in about five years. I am neat and tidy by nature but I gave up fighting with the husband about his messiness in our first year of marriage (19 years ago.) I call it choosing my battles.

  10. Thanks for the permission to be lazy. There’s only so many hours in the day, and some things are just more important to me than having a Pinterest worthy backyard. I love that you found the pumpkin!

  11. In total agreement when it comes to adulting! Congratulations on your pumpkin patch, how fun! And I totally appreciate the Harry Potter reference! There are times my whole house resembles the Room of Requirement!

  12. I…..I.had no idea dandelions could grow that tall!. LOL

    Also—I’m going to read that pumpkin patch story. Why are pumpkin patch field trips always so traumatizing?? Where I live, it’s never hot or sunny during those trips, but always wet, and gray, and cold, and headache-y with improperly jacket-ed kids. crying like we took them to the bowels of hell. And they’re not wrong. LOL

  13. Even people who pay more attention to gardening often get “volunteer” plants that come up from food seeds in the compost pile, and pumpkins and other squashes seem to be best at it. Years ago, we were living with a housemate whose parents sent her a Halloween gift of an ornamental pumpkin with a scene painted on it. When it got squishy, she cut off the painted surface and threw it in the trash, and threw the rest of the pumpkin in the compost heap. In spring, we spread the compost on the flowerbeds. An interesting vine appeared, and we waited to see what it would do. It climbed the 4-foot retaining wall and then grew one pumpkin on top of the wall and one down on the ground. We made pie; for ornamental pumpkins, they were surprisingly edible.

    Since then we’ve had a volunteer squash vine that grew just one squash but the tastiest squash I ever ate, and a volunteer tomato plant that’s currently making very sweet, green-streaked yellow tomatoes.

    The secret is to just throw all your vegetable scraps out in the yard. You can tell people you’re doing it to be environmentally friendly by reducing garbage in the landfill!

  14. I could be totally wrong on this, but I wouldn’t touch that giant weed thing. I’m not sure if you guys have them where you live, but we have a weed in my area called Giant Hogweed and it a bad, bad weed. It causes horrible blistering rashes if touched.

    I’m not sure if that’s what that is, but I’d be very careful. I just know that they’re very tall and has white lacey flowers on the tops of them. I don’t want to sound like a know-it-all or anything like that, but I just don’t want your children touching it and it turning out to be just that. :/

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