Joe & Juni are going to rent a house together, and they find a humble homestead based closely on a place in Boise I, myself, actually lived in for many years. It is hardly a palatial estate, but it had two of the most important things young people could ask for: cheap rent and fantastic location. It was up on a part of Boise called “the Bench” because it is on a plateau that overlooks much of the valley where the main city of Boise rests. Juni, ever practical, notes these and is willing to overlook some of the flaws– namely there was a distinct lack of character or charm to the place. Having a lawn and an actual back yard, though, are good offsets.
But about that yard– lawns need maintenance, and Joe knows what he’s in for. Everyone has that household chore that they really dislike; for me it has always been mowing the lawn. I like lawns but not enough to want to take care of them. Other household chores don’t annoy me as much as lawn-mowing. Dishes, laundry, vacuuming, sweeping… I also chop my own firewood and even though that (in my opinion) is actually harder work than pushing a mower, I still prefer it to mowing. There’s just something about mowing that seems futile. Especially since most people rarely enjoy their front lawns much; they lounge in the back yard rather than the front. Front lawns are pure decoration, and nothing decorative should entail that much work.
In the last few years, I’ve had my back lawn with with a flagstone patio and fruit & vegetable bearing plants, and the front yard was utterly xeriscaped. I don’t have an inch of lawn to mow, and even though I still have to maintain the other plants, I get something from them (fruit, veggies, bright flowers) that is far more satisfying than a lawn could ever provide.
Renting a small house together also leads into another new phase for Joe & Juni that plays into some veterans’ issues, so stay tuned.