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Measuring Progress by the Yard
I've just come in from an entire day of indulging my Inner Agriculturalist out in the Back 40, also known as My Yard. Now it's Sit Back and Admire time.
From my window I can see a green space, neatly mowed and trimmed, with tidy borders and not a single unruly blade of grass. I can see flowerbeds planted and mulched. I can see a vegetable garden tilled and raked, the earth dark and rich and inviting.
And I can see my neighbor, Sam, standing there with a shovel in his hand. It's his yard. I have to go to another room to look out on my yard. Be right back.
Still there? OK. Here's what I saw when I looked at my yard:
*A lawn that's mostly green, and also mostly grass. Well, about half, I guess. The other half is made up of various members of the Weed family, all of which seem to have developed resistance to every single chemical in the Scorched Earth aisle at NASCAR Sponsor Mega Home Hardware And Lumber Warehouse.
*A cut that sort of reminds me of the way my kidhood friend Ralph Bonifant looked after his dad decided to save money on haircuts and do it himself with clippers he got at a yard sale. The best way to describe it is clumpy. It's short over here, long over there, with patches of varying lengths in between. And like Ralph's hair, it's parted on the left. I wonder how I did that.
*An assortment of dog logs, despite the fact that this morning I went around and picked up a bagful (Eeuw.) My dog Cookie takes great offense when I do that ("Hey! Wait a minute! Put down that scooper! Those are mine! I had them just like I wanted them!") and has spent most of the afternoon replacing what I removed.
*What used to be a pretty good little tomato garden until I got carried away and tried to grow tomatoes in bales of hay, an experiment that worked only slightly better than trying to grow tomatoes in bags of water softener salt. I spent half a day getting the hay plowed under with the rototiller and working the soil so I can get some plants in, a month late. If you look closely, you can see where the tiller got tangled up on a piece of baling twine, went berserk and attacked the fence. I wonder if this sort of thing ever happens to the people on the Victory Garden show.
*A new layer of mulch on my flowerbeds, also known as The Place Where Oriental Lilies Go To Die. I measured the beds and went to an online site to calculate how much mulch I would need this year. The calculator said 80 bags. Good grief. Eighty bags? I want to mulch my flowerbeds, not open a gas station.
And I see:
*That I'm going to have to do the whole thing over again in a few days.
That's the thing about yard work. Once you start, you're stuck with it. And once your hard work gets your yard into showroom condition, then you've got to work twice as hard to keep it that way. Sisyphus with his rock had nothing on your average American homeowner with a Lawn-Boy and a Pooper Scooper.
Speaking of which, I've got to get back out there. Cookie's been busy. Memo to self: Feed dog less.
© 2007 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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