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Every time I drive by a house with a front yard full of lush, green, Augusta quality grass, I am overcome with jealousy. Most people in the burbs have nice lawns because everyone around them has one and they don’t want to look like a degenerate home owner. Some HOAs will even require certain standards for the curb appeal of your house so your lawn, by rule, has to be well maintained.
Growing up, we lived on a dirt road with six other houses. (Should have been four but someone decided to throw a couple lots in and ruin a perfectly good field that was used to rip around on sleds and ATVs, but I’m not mad about it). My old man didn’t have a pesky HOA to tell him he needed to keep a good lawn, or constant traffic driving by to compare his lawn to the neighbors because we couldn’t even see our neighbors. Even though he didn’t have to, Dad kept an immaculate lawn.
The lot was about 1.7 acres and mostly cleared. Out front we had a yard the size of a football field with a man-made pond at the far end of the property. Out back there was Dad’s shed, a little flower garden mom kept, a swing set for us kids, and a couple of trees and a clothes line that also served as an upright for kicking field-goals. We were surrounded by woods and aside from when we had company, no one could see our land but every blade of grass on the property was a perfect shade of green, properly trimmed and soft enough to roll around in without getting too itchy. We played soccer, football, capture the flag, and wiffle ball home run derby all on a lush green lawn of well-kept grass. I never knew the value of a lawn until last year when my wife and I bought our first home.
We bought a house on a 1.8 acre lot down a private dirt road with 3 other houses (some people never change.) Unlike my childhood home, however, there isn’t a single spot of grass on our property that I’m proud of. There is more crab grass than actual grass. And there is more sand and shit quality dirt than there is crab grass. Out back is primarily gravel/sand with the occasional spot of grass. Out front there is a “lawn” made up of 90% weeds and moss. The lot is about 70% cleared, but regardless of the season the damn trees never seem to stop shedding leaves and covering our property. So what little grass there is, is often covered in dead leaves because I don’t have time to run a leaf blower for two hours every single day.
I like to blame geological formations and our location for the lack luster grounds that we have at our house since we live near a lake and the soil is naturally very sandy – terrible for trying to grow things but very good for drainage. When we bought the house last year in March, I envisioned our future kids rolling around in the front lawn and coming inside with grass stains that Mrs. Cush would shake her head at. I envisioned Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings spent cruising around the house cutting grass and working a weed whacker. But there is no grass to cut, there is only weeds and dirt. My kids will come inside with skinned knees and blood stains instead of grass stains. I will mow the lawn twice a month, at most, to keep the weeds from getting out of hand. And in place of a weed whacker – I’ll garnish an industrial size container of Roundup, probably to no avail.
I could have a nice lawn, but the price would be astronomical. In loam and grass seed or hydro seed, it would cost thousands. And what if it doesn’t take? That’s a hell of a pill to swallow. I could import artificial turf at an even higher cost for something that is guaranteed to look good that I’d never have to take care of. But what kind of self-respecting man does that? I don’t want to be a phony. All I want in life is a nice lawn. So I guess it’s time to move..
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