The onslaught of radio and television advertising for grass seed and riding mowers. I suppose if I was a responsible homeowner, given the time of the year: spring/April, I might have an interest in such timely offerings. However, since I’m not and since I’m still unable to manage the two acres that I own, affectionately referred to as “Belly Acres,” going on 25 years dating back to May ‘92 when we initially took ownership, the best I can do is borrow my neighbor’s riding mower and spend a couple of hours every two weeks or so trying to keep the grass below my knees. Cancer issues not totally withstanding.
Actually, aside from having little interest, minimal experience and multiple home/tool maintenance issues/pre-existing conditions, I am the perfect target: a homeowner who can’t do anything on his own and needs help all the time for everything. Specifically as it involves my yard; I have grass, trees, bushes, shrubs, daffodils, flower beds, wild flowers, weeds and more weeds. If I were so inclined and wanted to confide to someone in a Lawn & Garden store, I would have to admit that a novice looks experienced compared to me. I need to be taken by the hand — literally — and instructed as if the words being spoken to me were a foreign language. Which of course, they are.
This previous paragraph presumes however that I have a budget and even a passing notion to attempt to improve upon the randomness that characterizes “Belly Acres.” I can still remember a conversation I had with a local lawn and garden consultant when we first moved in. A gentlemen came by and together we walked around the property. After ending up back at the house, he asked me what I wanted to do. I said something like, “I don’t know, you tell me.” He responded with words I could semi understand but mostly it was unintelligible — to me, so I asked for a clarification.
After grasping the obvious, finally, I asked: “Is what you’re telling me that I could hire someone to work full time for the rest of his life and still the work wouldn’t get done?”
“Yes,” he said.
That’s when I fully understood the problem. I then thanked him for his time and haven’t revisited the issue since. Talk about pointless. And so, all these years later, the property remains nearly as it was. Oh sure, tress have fallen down, branches, limbs, sticks and stones have hit the ground — and house, and together have cluttered up the general appearance. However, any effort beyond paying people to clean up the miscellaneous yard debris has been lost in the passage of time and in my lack of initiative. Throw in a “terminal” cancer diagnosis and at least for me, pulling weeds, etc., became a fairly low priority.
Still, it doesn’t mean that I don’t pay attention to advertising aimed at homeowners, especially the ones promoting grass seed and riding mowers. Many of which are quite funny and clever. Not quite clever enough to get me off the couch and into a store to spend money on a project, especially on one whose timeline might not match mine. That’s not to say that I’m living like I’m dying so why bother? No. it’s more about common sense and gratification. I don’t need to wait for — anything. Oh sure, I need to plan for tomorrow but not at the expense (pun intended) of today. It’s not exactly akin to a fool and his money but when you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, priorities change, as do budget/time allowances; in fact/feeling, everything changes.
I don’t mean to imply that I’m a closed book, unable to get out of my own way or incapable of taking the good with the bad. As you regular readers know, I’m really pretty flexible when it comes to my less-than-ideal circumstances. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have my moments. Hearing/seeing these lawn and garden promotions has given me pause though. Not enough to change my mind but enough to motivate me — to write a column.