Friday, July 8, 2016



I still can remember the summer day when a man who lived a few streets over from the house where I used to live was walking by and stopped to tell me that my lawn was the nicest in the whole neighborhood.  He then asked me how I kept it looking so lush and green.

The truth was, I didn’t do a darned thing to it.  I didn’t water it, didn’t feed it and never bothered to yank out any weeds. Yet it looked as if people should be playing golf on it.

Back then, however, I didn’t have any dogs.

Fast forward to 40 years later.  Because of the recent dry spell and the fact my dogs are single-handedly trying to tunnel their way to the earth’s core, my current lawn (in back of the house) looks as if it’s been used for grenade practice.  In the center of it is a completely bald, all-dirt area about the size of my living room.  And dotting the outer edges are yellow patches of dead grass, also courtesy of my dogs.

So a few weeks ago I sent away for some miracle grass-seed I’d seen advertised on TV.  The ad showed a guy spreading the seeds on a concrete block, watering them and then, in only a few days, producing a lush green, grass-covered block that resembled a giant Chia Pet.

“Our grass will grow on anything and is virtually indestructible!” the guy boasted.

I figured if the grass could grow on something as hard and dry as concrete, then my yard (a.k.a. the clay pit) just might stand a chance.  So I sent for a double order of the stuff, which was by no means cheap.

The grass seed arrived in what looked like a gallon milk-jug.  I frowned at it.  For what I’d paid for it, I’d expected it to be delivered in a tanker truck.

The instructions said to carefully spread out the seeds in a single layer on the ground and try not to pile any on top of each other.  Then “gently” water them, preferably with a light mist, so they wouldn’t move out of position.

I grabbed the container of miracle seeds and went outside.  That’s when I discovered I’d probably need about five more containers to cover all of the bald spots in my yard.  So I concentrated only on the king of the bald spots, the big one in the center, and spread the seeds all over it.

The seeds were coated with some kind of powdered green stuff that turned into dust when I touched it.  As a result, just about everything I was wearing ended up green.  My hands also were coated with it, which slipped my mind when I wiped the sweat off my face.

When I came inside and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I wasn’t as concerned about looking like a Martian as I was about all of that green powdered gunk clinging to my skin and being absorbed into my pores.  For all I knew, I’d wake up in the morning and have to mow my face. 

The next morning, there was a brief downpour, which I thought might be a good thing for my future grass. The seeds clumped into little islands and floated around in the giant mud puddle that formed in the center of the yard.

When the clumps of seeds finally sprouted about a week later, they looked like puffy green polka-dots in a sea of brown dirt.  And my dogs went outside and promptly squatted on them.

“I think I should get a refund!” I complained to one of my friends. “That miracle grass looks more like ‘malnourished’ grass, not thick and green like on the TV ads!”

“Maybe it only grows on concrete blocks,” she said.

The other day, I finally got so fed up with my bald yard and not being able to grow any grass in it, I did something really impulsive.  I went to a department store and bought bags of grass seed of all kinds:  quick-grow grass, Kentucky bluegrass, grass for shady areas, grass for sunny areas, contractor’s grass and even heavy-traffic grass.  I figured one of them was bound to grow.

I opened the bags and mixed all of the seeds together in buckets, then went outside and wildly flung them all over my yard.  There wasn’t even one seed left in any of the bags by the time I was done.  And as if on cue, a shower blew in about an hour later and soaked the yard.

That night, my dogs came inside covered with wet grass-seed stuck all over their fur.

So now I’m eagerly waiting to see what, if anything pops up…either in the yard… or on my dogs.

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