"There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage."
--Martin Luther

Monday, 7 October 2013

Medical Mondays: Sometimes There Is No "We"

It's the first Monday of October (already?) and that means it's Medical Monday, hosted this month by Jane at From a Doctor's Wife, Emma at Your Doctor's Wife, and Lisa at Life of Ray Doc's Life.  This time I'm posting about home maintenance as a medical spouse.  It's meant to be taken lightly, and not as a criticism of my very busy husband.

Last weekend, while I was in the throes of gardening, I suddenly thought to myself that home ownership is like a gateway drug. You think it will satisfy you, but it ends up bring more work and stress than you anticipated. For example, about 18 months ago, we were so excited to move into our brand new house. After spending most of adulthood in apartments, dorms, and condos, it was thrilling to have a whole house to ourselves. No more listening to the upstairs neighbour's chihuahua barking or opening three or four doors before being home.  We had space!  We had freedom!

We moved in and it was bliss. Well, that is until we realised that our house had a lawn. Of course, we knew that before, but apparently you need to mow a lawn regularly or it looks terrible and you start finding maintenance flyers stuck in your door on a daily basis. We also discovered that we had no idea how to operate the mower we had bought from the previous owners. Thankfully, my husband's colleague recommended a good lawn service, and we breathed a sign of relief.

This year, Gil had the wonderful suggestion that we should start a garden. He was really excited about this project that we would undertake, but it turns out that by “we”, that meant that he borrowed some books from his secretary and I did all the purchasing, digging, planting, and minimal harvesting. For hours of labour, we seem to have exacted several handfuls of cherry tomatoes and three small onions. Still, I was excited at this new venture and despite the lacklustre results, I'm happy that “we” tried it out.

As soon as the garden was started, Gil decided we needed to begin composting. Luckily, our city provides composters at only a minimal delivery cost. Of course, I postponed ordering one until late summer and it wasn't delivered until two weeks later, but now we can finally get started and will hopefully have great soil for next year's garden.  It turns out, however, that composting is actual work.  You don't just put it on your lawn and dump items into it.  Instead, you need to mix the compost material with leaves, twigs, and plants.  In short, to set up the composted we needed to spend considerable time raking and weeding to get enough for the base of the compost.  And by "we", I mean "me", because Gil was once again at the hospital on a Saturday.

Then something strange happened. Apples emerged on the lovely tree in our yard which last year produced lovely blossoms but no fruit. It would have been wonderful, except that we didn't realise how quickly the apples would ripen and by the time I got around to buying a “fruit-picker”, most of the apples had fallen and begun rotting on our lawn. This is why I found myself on a lovely fall Saturday bending over to pick up rotten apples and deposit them into our brand new composter. To make matters worse, many of the rotting apples were covered in bees. [Gil's comment:  "That's great!  We need to maintain a healthy bee population in the neighbourhood!"]

All this to say: We love our house, but be careful what you wish for. And now I've learned that whenever my doctor husband says “we” should start a project, it probably means I'll be doing most of it!


  1. Ah, the dreaded home maintenance! We had an apple tree once, and while I loved the tree, it was work. Either you pick the apples off the ground every day or you end up with a mess. Some days we mowed right over them, making applesauce. What a mess! Thanks for linking up with Medical Monday's.

  2. Popping in from Medical Mondays!

    I love the fruits of home-grown produce, but the work to get there . . . not so much!! :)

  3. Stopping by from MM - we went I reverse .. Owned our place in medical school, renters in residency. All of our house projects always started as we ended I I, but his suggestions at least got me started ;)

  4. This is so funny. I look forward to having a house one day, and I always enjoyed helping my parents with their "projects", but nowadays it seems daunting. Good luck!

  5. I was laughing reading all this! So true and any first time buyer goes through the same exact thing! I remember being so happy my father made me mow the lawn when it came time to do it for my first home!
    Have fun with the new place!
    Thanks for linking up with us for Medical Monday!