Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Dead Spot

I finished mowing the lawn today and sat down on the porch for one of three 32 ounce cups of water that I try to guzzle every day. I tried to get the lawn mowed yesterday but by the time I headed to the shed to fire up the lawn mower it was pouring rain. Luckliy I beat the rain today. I like yard work but I like having boys around to help more than I like doing it myself. For the better part of the past 15 years I've had Michael or Bret, or both, around to manage lawn mowing responsiblities. They both started mowing at about 8 years old. Since Bret is busy in Taiwan and Michael is hanging out in Santa Barbara I'm now the lawn dude.

Like I said, I finished mowing and sat down on the porch and realized how good the lawn looks. Maybe it was the cool wet spring or the warm late summer, or neither. Maybe it's the fertilizer from IFA, whatever, it looks as good now as it has for a long time. I thought Michael and Bret would be pleased. While I was lost in that thought I realized that the dead spot of grass that traditionally has been right below our front porch has nearly filled in.

The dead spot has been there for as long as I can remember because all the kids and their friends, like normal children, never had time for steps. If the steps are in a direct line to the door, fine. If there is the slightest detour, forget it. Short cuts rule. This was definitely a short cut to the front door plus if you leaped from the threshold an 8 year old would land exactly on the dead spot. Grass is no match for the pounding of dozens, maybe hundreds, of kid leaps in a single day. So you can imagine what an entire summer would do to this little spot of earth.

Kylie is 17 now and I think she has jumped off the porch once or twice this summer to get to her friends car quicker. I know the mail carrier appreciates the short cut but that amounts to a pair of feet per day. I like to sit there and watch people go up and down the street but most of the time I'm barefoot so that doesn't do much damage to the sod.

I thought the dead spot was going to be permanent and a few times through the years I put sod down in a futile attempt to keep the grass lush and full all the way to the porch. I even remember thinking I should give up and pour concrete there since the grass would be worn to the roots by late spring every year. That dead spot drove me nuts - until now.

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