I just read in a magazine about why men care so much about their lawns. Apparently our lawn is a manifestation of how well we provide for our families. Sure, it was total BS from a women's magazine, Redbook, that girls eat up because they think that it helps them understand men more. Whenever Cathi gets the latest Redbook magazine I browse through it just to chuckle at all the articles on "understanding men". Generally, I think men are pretty easy to understand. Give us three things: good food, motor toys or tools and a woman. (Oh, and for some men, beer.) If those three needs are met, we will be charming, pleasant and a joy to be around.
Anyway, the magazine did have a point; men do care about how green their lawn is. I am not sure if I care because other people will think that I am a horrible caretaker; I tend to think not. I do know that I don't want to be the one lawn on the block that is dead. That will get all the old neighbors whispering about how they wished we never moved in and de-beautified the neighborhood. In fact, at church one day an old man on our street approached me and asked me, "What have you guys done to your lawn? It was never that dead when Eddie lived there." Ouch. I suddenly felt like I had failed as a father and as a greenskeeper.
When we first moved into our house, we had the greenest lawn on the block. When strangers would drive by, they would slow their cars to a standstill and stare out their windows, admiring our lush, comely landscape. We even considered building a pull out lane as to not disturb the traffic flow on our street. When the Utes reinstalled grass in their stadium, they sent by a representative to collect sod samples from or front lawn. The Rice-Eckles stadium turf is actually a collection of cloned Cheeseboy sod.
Something happened when we moved in that I can't explain. We watered the same amount, we fertilized the heck out of the ground; we even had some guy come and make those holes in your lawn that look like tiny turds. (I can't remember what that is called. My lawn vernacular is poor at best.) Yet, we hopelessly looked out our window to see our lawn turn browner and browner. I have since adjusted my sprinklers so they soak the brown spots and we have even watered these spots by hand. We water our lawn regularly and continue to fertilize it. However, the hotter it gets, the more spots we seem to develop on the lawn.
Don't get me wrong, our lawn isn't that bad. It certainly is not even in the bottom 3 on our block. Nevertheless, I constantly feel self conscious about it. It is like when I was a teenager and had a small problem with acne. The more I looked in the mirror and examined my face, the more I convinced myself that I was the Elephant Man. People were certainly staring at my hideousness and I was confident they were discussing me behind my back. In reality, it was 5 zits on my cheek; nothing more, nothing less.
Cathi has suggested that we get a "lawn specialist" to come out and look at our grass. I don't need a lawn specialist to tell me that we have dead spots and then charge me $100.00 to tell me what to do about it.
Perhaps we need the lawn turd guys to come more often? I remember in Elementary school, after the field was lawn turded in the spring, having the best lawn turd fights in the history of man. The arrow dynamics and curve of the lawn turd was perfect for a 5th grade tossing fit. I recall dirt filling the air as if there was a giant stampede of miniature horses galloping through the field. The soot throwing fisticuff always ended with a couple boys in tears from dirt in the eyes and an angry teacher yelling at us all for not listening to the "no throwing lawn turd" rule that was announced earlier that morning. Those were good times.
Our lawn seems to be so fickle. I find myself cursing at it constantly and perhaps that is the problem. Maybe our lawn is angry at us for not giving it enough attention. Is it possible that our lawn is lonely or depressed? Perhaps we should play some music for it or buy it a dog. If it continues to nag us, we are just going to have to put it up for adoption.
If it's true that a man's sod is an expression of his dedication to his family, I am failing in both areas. Maybe my neighbors will just ignore my lawn if I park a few old, junky cars on it.
FYI - The picture of the lawn is not mine. We do not live in Florida.