Yeah, that’s where I’ve been oh these long weeks. Out in the yard. Working. No more sitting in the house. Blogging.
I had a pool put in last summer and, while I love my pool to the point of actual physical desire, I miss my back yard.
Once upon a time, I had this really great back yard. It was one of the main reasons I bought my house. The lawn was green and lush and quite picturesque. Just the kind of lawn that made you want to break out in cartwheels.
Now all I’m breaking out in is the sweats and back spasms.
You see, my formerly picturesque, green and lush back yard now more closely resembles the post-apocalyptic landscape beyond the Thunderdome.
Or the surface of the moon.
But with more rocks.
I never knew that there were this many rocks on Earth, never mind in my back yard. It’s like one of the ten plagues of Egypt. The Rock Plague.
And I could wander around back there for 40 years, picking up rocks and still not get them all.
The Taliban would love my back yard. They could stone all kinds of people back there and never run out of ammunition.
I told my son I would pay him twenty-five cents per rock that he picked up. He liked the idea until he discovered that picking up rocks was a lot like work. He quit after about 12 rocks.
So now, the rocks just sit there. Mocking me.
I cannot bring myself to pick up these rocks. It truly is like a plague. Or like plucking gray hair. You pick up one rock and ten more rocks appear in its place.
It’s just too disheartening, so my new strategy is to simply concentrate on the front yard, ignore the rock plague in the back yard and wait and see what grows back there.
Something will grow. It’s inevitable. There’s already quite a congregation of dandelions back there wagging their snowy afros at me.
Why is it always dandelions? And crab grass?
Nothing ever grows that you want to grow and if it does, it never grows where you want it to grow.
It’s like my yard is a middle-aged bald man. No grass grows where he wants it to, on his head. But random, unruly patches are sprouting all over his back, neck and shoulders.
To tell the truth, even my front lawn is a mess. It looks great from a distance, but up close, it’s another matter entirely. Kind of like Cameron Dias.
And it’s a shame really because I used to have a beautiful lawn.
Back when I didn’t live there.
I remember when I first looked at my house. I was so impressed with the lawn. It was so thick, so green, so lush. It was obvious that the people who owned this house were lawn people.
You know those people, those lawn people. They are of a different breed, like bird people or reptile people.
You can always tell a reptile person’s house because they have that one window with that creepy, poltergeist light glowing out into the night. There are only two explanations for a light like that: some kind of cold blooded reptile pet or a grow operation.
Either way it’s a lifestyle.
Lawn people have a lifestyle. It’s sort of like a priest’s lifestyle.
Lawn people are completely committed to their lawn. Lawn people have sacrificed everything to their lawn. Lawn people never go away. Lawn people are always home. Lawn people get up early and work in the yard all day. Lawn people do not hire outsiders to tend to their lawn. Lawn people are well versed in the proper application of Scotts products and can recite passages from the directions on the back of the bag. Lawn people have big, shiny lawn tractors with all kinds of big, shiny attachments.
Lawn people use words like putter.
Now there’s a word that is the exact opposite of onomatopoeia.
Putter around the yard. Puttering implies some level of pleasure. Some level of fun.
I don’t putter around my yard.
I work my ass off. I slave away. I get filthy dirty.
And I sweat a lot.
Puttering congers up images of flowery gardening gloves and rubber clogs and iced tea.
I got none of that.
I got rocks.
A whole lot of rocks.
Yup, I am Charlie Brown and it is Halloween and it is going to be a long night.