A couple weeks ago our town had a very serious flash flood. In a matter of minutes, water gushed onto our stamped concrete patio faster than the drains would allow water to escape.
Soon we found ourselves standing in two to four inches of cold, muddy water as we tried to mitigate the water away from the foundation of our home by digging a small trench around the side of our property.
The plan worked. Our home was thankfully spared from damage, but it was definitely a close call.
After the rain stopped and the water subsided, it seemed everyone was sharing photos on social media of the crazy storm that had just occurred.
I too wanted to join the “Hey you guys, look what just happened” bandwagon but I didn’t.
The photos my son had taken during the rain showed so much clutter: lawn equipment, ladders, yard toys, stakes, firewood, random boards, and three weeks worth of oak tree tassels that had collected on the patio.
I was familiar with seeing these objects, and for some reason, they had previously not bothered me but now seeing them through a photograph was very different.
I was embarrassed by the clutter, and it was my kick in the rear to say something had to be done.
The following weekend, we raked up leaves and limbs from the yard and burnt them in our fire pit. My husband got out the pressure washer and started working on the concrete patio and brick retaining wall. I began pulling everything off of the patio, and I mean EVERYTHING.
We pulled out the plastic deck box and sorted through the yard toys to determine what was actually being used and what could be purged. We eliminated broken lawn tools that were taking up space, and everything else that was kept was moved down to the garage where they belong. Every chair, table, grill, flower pot, and even the deck box was also pressure washed.
Next, we put the box and grills back under the covered awning, arranged flower pots around the retaining wall, coiled up water hoses, and took a pair of chairs to the upper yard to create a seating area.
Only the items that need to be on the patio are out. Everything else is put up in its home.
It will take another round of pressure washing to entirely get the grime from winter and flood water off our concrete, but the difference so far is much better!
We now have a much more serene backyard and open space for entertaining and grilling!
In the following weeks, we will back up leaves in the shaded side yard to neaten that area as well.
Sometimes it just takes seeing a space from a different angle or a different lens to see what potential you are overlooking.