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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Musings

Here we are again. I just noticed it has been over a month since I posted last. Time flies when you have a life to live! I actually have had many, many thoughts and ideas to post over the past month. I just never got around to doing so. Here are a few.

One of the things I have wondered about for many years is lawn care. (ahh - I can hear the cries now "come quick, gather 'round, he's speaking of lawn care!!") We of the present accept lawns and lawn care as a part of everyday life, at least for us that live where homes have yards. Did you realize that lawns and lawn care are a relatively modern development? Grasses were not common, nor did they grow well in the climate of most of North America. Lawns sprang from (was going to say "grew", but too cheesy) the European/English gardens of the well-heeled. The "common folk" rarely had a green yard unless it was a herb/vegetable garden or basically a pasture. The time and expenditures, both monetary and of labor, were not given to something as frivolous as a green yard in most parts of the world until well into the 20th century. The invention of the lawnmower and grasses engineered for North American climate and soils around the beginning of the 20th century were the catalyst for our modern lawns. (you guys caught up in this yet? Facinating, yes?)

My point? Is there a point? Well, I am just amazed at the time, effort, and money devoted to lawns. Did you realize that in the U.S. close to 20 billion dollars a year is spent on lawn care in goods and services? TWENTY BILLION DOLLARS!! For a lawn! There are many, many people out there wondering where their next meal is coming from and we as a people are spending billions on grass seed, fertilizer, and the illegal aliens to apply them.

In case you can't tell, I am not a lawn person. When we got married, I told my wife I did not do lawn work. We have been married now for over 37 years and I have not done any lawn work to speak of except for one five year period where we lived on a place with a couple of acres for a yard. We bought a riding mower and I did mow the lawn then. An example of my yard awareness - We lived in one house from 1980 through 1988. When we were moving I was walking around the house to see if we had left anything. When I got to the side of the house opposite the garage and driveway, I realized I had never been to that side of the house before - in almost eight years. Not a yard guy.

Now for one of my real pet peeves about yards and what started this in my head a few months ago...LEAVES! I am constantly amazed at the money and time we as a people spend on getting leaves up and out of our yards! Then a lot of folks will pay someone to put fertilizer down on the same yard. Crazy in my book. Do people realize that leaves, left to rot, will become fertilizer? We have armies of leaf blower carrying crazies pushing leaves from one side of the yard to another. (or into another yard) We have the poor soul that actually uses manual labor working for hours with a rake to make a pile of leaves, usually blocking the street in front of their house. We spend millions of tax dollars paying workers to pick up these leaves and transport them away. Away vile leaves! With tax revenues decreasing, city/county workers being laid off and put on reduced hours; I am amazed I never hear anyone say "What if we stop picking up leaves?"

 I promised a few thoughts back at the beginning. Then again, I did not expect to do a dissertation on lawn care and leaf disposal. I will stop now. I think I will go put some leaves to work and make some tea. More thoughts later.