Monday, April 5, 2010




1 : a portion of ground covered with grass
2 : the grassy surface of land

My mother's house sits on what I'm told is about three acres of land. I say "what I'm told" because I'm hesitant to consider any information supplied by my family as accurate. My family habitually alters the truth to their liking. If it seems right to say the house sits on three acres, then it sits on three acres.

I'm going to go ahead and say that about one quarter of one acre of these potential three acres actually has grass. And this amount is staggering. The composition of the acreage is as follows: one large 100-year-old house, one separate garage, one driveway large enough to fit...say...six cars, one dense section of pine trees within which is an overgrown garden and a broken down tree house, one swampy creek, a few neglected piles of junk, several large patches of muddy ground interwoven with dangerously large tree roots, one christmas tree graveyard dumping site, and a perimeter of weeds and brush varying in depth from ten to twenty feet extending border-side to interior.

The rest of the yard is small, coveted SWARDS of grass.

The grass is sparse for a few reasons. One being that there are many tall trees and much of the yard is covered in shade, depriving the ground of the sunlight needed to inspire the growth of a lush lawn. Another is that no one cares about maintaining the lawn. We raked leaves. We very occasionally trimmed shrubbery. But not much was ever done about the grass. Also, lawn maintenance costs money. And we certainly didn't have any of that.

As a child, I spent a lot of time walking up and down Greenhill Road, a road adjacent to mine and a neighborhood in and of itself that did not include our three acres of grass-deprived territory. Greenhill earned its name. It was quiet and sunny, and everyone had voluptuous lawns that begged one to throw herself down and roll around in ecstasy. Not that I ever did this.

We did have one patch of lawn in the backyard that had access to early morning sunlight and henceforth boasted a green abundance that the rest of the yard lacked. I spent most of my outdoor time in this area, lying on the grass, staring up at the pine trees and fantasizing about whatever I happened to be fantasizing about at any given time during my childhood. Sometimes the fantasies were about lawns (seriously). I would dream up what the yard would look like if I could alter it with my imagination. I would get rid of the perimeter of weeds so you could actually see the ancient stone wall that ran along the roadside. I would install an in-ground pool where the overgrown garden pervaded. I would trim the bushes and plant more in the muddy moat surrounding the house's foundation. And there would be grass—bright, soft green grass—everywhere, covering every sunless patch.

I actually did think about this stuff as a kid. I also dreamed of remodeling the house, had a few fantasy-dads, and thought I would spend my first million on a shopping spree of the Post Mall in which I would be aided by the use of a golf cart for in-mall transportation.

No comments:

Post a Comment