Press-Republican

Opinion

July 30, 2011

Another nasty chore dispatched

I retired earlier this year. I had to. I ran out of business cards. My neighbors saw it as a chance for me to finally grow a lawn they wouldn't be ashamed of.

I have to admit my lawn hasn't been a putting green. It is more like a sand trap. It's not that it's just dirt sitting there. Something is growing. I can't identify it. It looks a little like broccoli. I'd cook it, but I'm afraid of catching something.

The lawn was never my specialty. Every spring, it was treated to the most sumptuous topsoil and the most scrumptious grass seed. By day, it was cooled by gentle showers fresh from the garden hose; by night, it was bathed in dew.

Yet the lawn lacked zest from the beginning.

In its first appearance out of the ground as infant seedlings, my lawn showed great promise. They were the cutest little blades on the block.

But as its devoted parent looked on helplessly, it soon turned coarse and yellow. Taught to take its water and grow strong, it instead turned crunchy. Rather than cultivate a hue of lush green, it became a surly blond.

It gave in too easily to temptations that grass with stouter character eschew. It hung out with dandelions, and pretty soon, instead of standing up straight, it was hunched over in a defiant slouch.

The snowplow annually saddled me with an entire patch that grass inexplicably disdains, and I foolishly would plant seed, cover it with topsoil and waste gallons of water trying to coax it to turn magically into a green throw rug to go with the rest of the yard.

I'd even surround it with a little string fence as a signal to anyone who had urgent business in my front yard that would he kindly choose a route that didn't involve that patch?

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