How to end all yard work and maybe generate state funding too…

1-IMG_E1112Today, with the single stroke of a pen, I may have dealt with the entire yard-work conundrum, the ongoing challenge of pruning, cleaning out, raking, mowing, leaf-blowing, bagging, piling, and more.

The task has been especially difficult this week post-hurricane (near miss, to be clear, but messy nonetheless). But then I had this wonderful idea that absolutely has to catch on. I think I’m going to have a sign made, maybe with a brown background like the National Forest Service, then display it in a prominent area in front of the house.

“Natural Area”

The sign will read “Natural Area” – in bold print, so there’s no confusion. Maybe even, “Natural Area – Do Not Disturb!” I could apply to the state for official recognition. It’s evidently been pre-approved as a wildlife refuge because the deer are already eating anything that blooms; if we make it official maybe the designation will come with funding.


Once we’re an official Natural Area I can just let things go. It wouldn’t really be any different from now except without the guilt.

Once we’re an official Natural Area I can just let things go. It wouldn’t really be any different from now except without the guilt.

We were going to try this when we lived in Florida except we called it “giving the garden back to God.” That didn’t go so well because around Tampa the difference between “Suburban Natural Area” and “Relentless Unforgiving Jungle” is about three weeks. After that the house starts to disappear and the reptiles move in.

So yesterday we talked about the way our functional vocabulary is hard-wired to our souls (You are what you Tweet). Now today it’s the power of words to save us from yard work.

Stay tuned, if I get the official “Natural Area” designation I’ll be sure to let my favorite readers bid for naming rights.

Peace and more peace – Derek



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Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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