OK, I think I’m becoming a bit obsessed. No, it’s nothing real serious. I’m not obsessed with, say, sports, or alcohol, or some tawdry exploit of mankind. I’m obsessed with working in my yard. When we moved here, there was nothing but dirt. As you can see from the picture above, it’s all green. But what you don’t see, is that it’s not grass. That green is nothing but weeds. I do have grass in my backyard, just not in the picture.
On a whim last fall, I bought a bag of fescue, which is any of a genus (Festuca) of tufted perennial grasses with panicled spikelets. Don’t worry. I didn’t rattle that off the top of my head, I got it from the fine gentlemen at Merrian Webster, who now what to charge me $1.99 for such tantalizing information. But I’m now into grass… not words so much. I know, what about the blog? What about my great discourses on the roles of women in the church? What about the need for more Christians honoring the LORD’s day? I know the score. My wonderful readers will glance at it, think Timothy is on his high pachyderm, and won’t give it another thought. However, if I write something simple, like a post about, say, honoring those women who do stay at home to glorify God, and you will be on my like sprinkles on a donut.
But back my obsession. You might not think that I am obsessed, but I disagree. Here are some of the signs: not being able to afford chemicals to wipe out the weeds in the lawn, so determining to do it by hand. Not being able to afford shrubs for the front of the house, so begging church members for any plants that might take root from their gardens. Not being able to afford a chain saw, so cutting down trees with a hand saw and convincing myself that its an aerobic activity.
OK, maybe that is not all that bad. But even with the progress I’ve made, I still have a long way to go and a short shovel to get there. And… there… is… one… more… thing.
My neighbors. They rent. The trees in their backyard hang over into my backyard. They needed trimming. Yes…. I trimmed them. They needed it! Really. The trees looked horrible and I knew that they hadn’t so much as noticed. What is wrong with them? I know, sinners or the worst sort. So I found myself going over and knocking on their door, asking… if I could… trim their trees for them. Mrs. Heidi even threw in a bag of Starbucks coffee. OK, she’s complicit too, but she doesn’t realize how over the edge I am.
There is even a Van Halen song about this edge. It goes like this: “I’ve been to the edge/there I stood and looked down. I noticed a lot of weeds there baby, no time to mess around/if you want to weed it baby, you got to, got to weed it baby.”
OK, maybe it doesn’t go like that. But it should. There should be all kinds of songs about planting tomato plants, lettuce, radishes, chives, chili peppers, azaleas, rose bushes, and even snap dragons, which I didn’t know existed until Mrs. Heidi brought one home for me to plant the other day. No, she didn’t have to ask me to plant it. I immediately went into planting mode once I saw the plant. It’s not doing so well, but I plan on watching several hours of Youtube videos on the art of growing snap dragons. Don’t worry. There is clearly a huge debate among those who grow such plants. Not that I have witnessed that debate. But I have seen the debate for growing tomatoes, crepe myrtles and azaleas. What it boils down to is, stick in the ground and good luck! These growers can never agree on anything. However, you can’t ignore the experts if you want to be successful… and I have to be successful. After all, with all this planting and weeding and watering and trimming and cutting and fertilizing and composting… I might actually have success in my backyard. People might come by and say, “My Timothy, what a fine backyard.”
And when you are a school teacher in the public schools, you need that kind of hope.