August 14, 2011

Lawn sizes matter

Let's talk about lawns. In a word, size matters. Mine is tiny. The square-footage of our Morrisonville lawn is barely larger than that of our king-sized bed.

It was a lot smaller when we moved here in the early '70s and has, at times, both grown and shrunk since then. Our driveway on the west side was nonexistent 40 years ago. We had grandfathered legal access to the horseshoe entrance/exit used by owners of the huge building in front, as the two properties were once part of an estate. However, a neighbor squabble led us to transform a grassy and bush-covered strip into a paved driveway.

We later acquired a slice of land on the east side next to the Morrisonville Fire Department and broke out the grass seed.

Much of our current front lawn was formerly asphalt used for parking. We dug that all up, hauled in black dirt, leveled it off and broke out more grass seed. The petroleum from the asphalt had compromised the soil deep underground, and getting seed to grow there was nearly impossible. We fertilized and neutralized. We prayed and we swore, and just when the lawn finally began to germinate, we awoke one morning to a huge sinkhole right in front of our kitchen. What the ...!

An ancient sewer structure constructed of railroad ties had rotted away, and overnight we had a major depression figuratively and literally. It's lucky people and pets weren't swallowed up. I called a dear friend with a front-end loader, and he came with a bucket of beautiful earth, filled in the hole, leveled it off and went on his way. He never sent a bill. What a guy.

Our visiting son-in-law from Long Island put down seed and fertilizer. He's a lawn-and-garden expert and, before long, grass began to grow. It looked great this spring. April showers were more than abundant, as you might recall, and we were in lawn heaven.

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