Friday, June 8, 2012

My Neighbor and My Lawn

I've recently become good friends with my next door neighbor, Nick. We've lived in the same neighborhood for quite a few years, but somehow we never really got to know each other 'till just recently. The event that brought us together was a tornado. That is how people meet in Kansas, via some natural calamity with a tornado being our first choice. Anyway the night was dark and the storm was howling and I was hiding in my basement with another buddy TJ and our respective cats. Nick was watching the whole thing from the comfort of his front porch.

To make a long story short we all survived the tornado, and while roaming the street in front of our houses after the tornado we decided to start drinking. That is another way people in Kansas meet each other - alcohol. It turns out the tornado actually did hit our houses but it was down to an F1 class which means lots of wind and drama but nothing of real importance. Kind of like Kim Kardashian. (DANG!!! Did I just lower my literary standards here? Oh well this is only my second blog so I guess I should keep the bar low to reduce future expectations...) But yeah, Kim Kardashian and F1 tornados both make me want to drink, and I'm really not that much of a drinker.

So Nick and I are an interesting study of misfits in a world that encourages conformity. We both live alone, we both have cats, we are both kind of employed but not really at the moment, and we both have a horrible lawn. None of this bothers the rest of society except for the lawn part, or at least Nick and I perceive that the rest of society is bothered by the lawn part. Probably most people don't care but we imagine they do. But just so everyone knows: for the record, we do care about the appearance of our lawn. Sort of.

Nonconformist Lawn
I like to think that we are doing a service for the rest of the neighborhood with our lawns the way they are. Actually it is just the one patch of lawn directly between our houses that is really bad. It seems as if our apathy for yard work is cancelled out by the good efforts of our other adjoining neighbors so that some portion of our respective yards looks OK, but the spot between our houses seems to compound our laziness for all the world to see. And by keeping this patch full of weeds and other "undesirable" elements, we are making all of the other perfectly green monolithic lawns on our street look good in comparison and the neighbors should thanks us.

Not to mention that we are also very eco-friendly in our approach to lawn care. We embrace a biodiversity in the variety of plant life that we support. Dandelions, crabgrass, clover, and a wide assortment of... things that I cannot identify flourish here. Isn't diversity the thing these days? We have it in the work place and society at large and all are welcome in this country. America is a melting pot and so is my yard.

And while I'm talking like a hippie I should also bring up evolution. Many people in Kansas develop a severe facial twitch when contemplating the pure evil that is evolution. They also have a good bit of distrust towards evolution's unwashed half-brother known as natural selection. What? You don't believe in science? Just look at my lawn! The evidence is right there! Come back and have another look again this time next year and it will be a little bit different. It will have evolved! Call me lazy but I'm really just trying to improve science literacy here in Kansas and God knows we need all the help we can get.

At the end of the day if we both mow at the same time the patch of biodiversity doesn't look half bad. It's all level and kind of uniform, and at this time of the season it's all green even though it's a few different shades of green here and there. A famous frog once said, "it's not easy being green," but he apparently never lived next door to Nick. Doesn't seem too hard to me.


  1. I think your lawn looks just fine. But by British standards, you'd be declared an enemy of the crown. The English are very particular about the appearance of their gardens.

  2. Oh. My. Sod.

    I noticed you used the words "God" and "Science" in the same sentence (paragraph six, last sentence). You sir, are quite audacious, by Kansas standards at least!

  3. I see the potential for a low-maintenance rock garden for you and Neighbor Nicky. Just a thought. :D

  4. We have a 3ft. deep area between the road and our stone wall that we never weed or cut. Fortunately, our neighbor across the street is so offended by it that she periodically comes over and rips out all the four foot tall bamboo, cuts the foot tall grass and otherwise cleans up what she considers "common property."

    Your lawn looks green to me. Isn't that what counts? You could always buy a tree to dress things up. I'm sure the cats would enjoy that, especially if you hung a squirrel / bird feeder off of it.

  5. Enjoyed the snarky Kim K. comment. Glad you and TJ were safe from the tornado. Your lawn looks ok to me, perhaps you and Nick can take turns mowing every other week or so, however it looks fine to me. Enjoy your blogs! I'm a mom of 5 cats, love to hear about your kitties too.

  6. "Live and let live" works in politics, religion, and lawn care.

  7. Why not sew some wild meadow flower seeds and create an eco-friendly mini meadow.....I'm sure it will look much better and attract butterflies and bees etc, and hopefully put a smile on someone's face when they come across it, especially amongst all those uniform, conforming, same old, flat green monotone lawns (however difficult it is to be green).......have courage and be different.