The growing green monster: Lawn maintenance is a full-time job
By Patricia Baer
Despite recent frost warnings, the warm weather months are here. You may still need an occasional jacket in the morning, but the temperature is high enough for nature to bloom, pollinate, and grow.
And grow it does.
I have mowed my lawn several times this season already. Given the number of dead patches of grass that exist on my lawn, I should be grateful it grows as well as it does.
Instead, though, I find myself cursing this green tyrant who has taken over my life. Everyone warned me this would happen, but I did not listen to them. They all said, “Keep it small. Yard maintenance is a hassle.” Living in an apartment without green space, I thought they were crazy for not appreciating what they had.
Now I understand. My schedule currently revolves around Mother Nature. I am forever monitoring weather.com to be sure that this is not the last day of sunshine before three days of rain. If it is, I know I do not get to enjoy that last day by sitting around soaking up its rays. I am obligated to haul out my shiny red mower and hope I do not discover any leftover soft patches of ground.
I did not realize it at the time, but apparently I purchased swamp-front property. I have learned that three days of rain mean at least six days before the yard stops being an oozing muck that cannot support the mower’s weight. There is a lovely section of near-constant standing water that takes even a few more days to soak into the earth. So that final day of sunshine mandates one last grass cutting if I do not want to face a jungle of growth in the future.
My yard is not that large, not as large as I ideally wanted. And yet, each time I mow I end up drenched in sweat, red-faced with heart pounding and a small voice in the back of my head reminding me, “This is the way people your age end up having heart attacks.” I have wondered how my grandparents ever managed to keep their expansive country lawn looking pristine at their age. Then I remember they were retired, making them available to provide attention whenever needed.
As I face another round of monotonous pacing back and forth across my home’s green territory, I question whether quitting my job is what it will take to satisfy this beast and its demands of my time.
I know I am not alone. I hear you out there. The constant hum of mowers, trimmers, and blowers cleaning up the last bit of clippings fills the air. That droning sound occurs round-the-clock it seems at times. It has become disregarded background noise to the point where I woke up at2 a.m. the other day and was startled by the total silence. We are all in this fight together to keep our growing green monsters at bay.