Jurassic Lawn-Part Two
As scary movies go, “Jurassic Lawn-Part Two,” is not much to write home about, more like “Gone with the Lawn,” if you catch my drift. The whole matter was determined in a rather one-sided manner last September, with me on the losing side. At least that was my initial thought.
One of my more pronounced flaws is a certain naivete or even gullibility, if you prefer. I am often inclined to view life matters with simplistic sunglasses, or as my sainted mother used to say, “Keep it simple, Stupid.”
Though I consider myself to be politically correct to a fault when it comes to matters involving equality and equal rights, I lack the ability at times, to grasp the bigger picture on certain other issues. Obviously.
I use as an example the drought being currently experienced in California, one making earlier dry spells seem more like nuisances. This one portends a much different future for the average guy than in any other period of time. Those living within suburbia are closely monitored and those living in rural areas had best have their own source of H2O, or else forget about agriculture.
My family has fought the battle of inadequate water through three generations so far up here in Northern Mendocino County, and has now temporarily gotten a leg up on the water-war with the construction of a second pond on the property. As I wrote about in the inaugural segment of “Jurassic Lawn,” I had conceived this idea of carving out a tiny niche of civilization from the brown which is the color of summer. I wanted a splash of green.
My fantasy was one only truly achieved with the presence of a lawn, or lacking the spaciousness, a few small representations of same. I use the term “lawn” loosely because the second and third entities measured no more than seven feet by eight. There was barely enough room for two lounge chairs, side by side, on either of these mattress-sized “lawns.”
The fourth was eight by fourteen feet. Doing the math for my four lawns, (12 x 20) + (8 x 14) + (8 x 7) + (8 x 7), is easy. The four products, (240) + (112) + (56) + (56) = 464 square feet. That amounts to one lawn of twenty feet by twenty-three feet, or seven feet wider than the size of my original cabin.
That’s a pretty small bit of real estate over which to wrestle.
My SoCal upbringing entered into matters, but it was really just an effort to carve the smallest of niches from the wild, upon which to sit and drink a cup of coffee in the morning, or a glass of red at night. I went to great lengths in the summer of 1992 to upgrade that initial attempt at a lawn, a little odd-shaped unit about twenty feet by twelve.
We had taken out a bank loan for seventy large and bought a brand-new Trooper, our first four-wheel-drive vehicle. We had used the bulk of the loan to bring the house up to Code, much of the loot being spent for fees, and to have the septic system installed. We already had a very nicely functioning system built of a huge, buried redwood box and leach-fields, but it had to be engineered and overseen by the County, and that is where the big bucks came in.
In putting the side yard back together, I had wheel-barreled somewhere around one hundred and twenty-five or so loads of soil from the manzanita grove, a couple of hundred feet away, and mostly level or downhill all the way to the site. I must have wanted that lawn pretty badly, or maybe it was just a case of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Lawn.”
I wanted to carve out that little patch of green civilization from the brown which used to be our existence. From that point when the water tapered out in May or June, through when the rains returned in the fall, dun is the color of the land. I didn’t need “The Best Lawns of Our Lives,” so much as, “It’s a Wonderful Lawn.”
Besides, no matter how beautiful it was in April, by August it always resembled “Wuthering Lawns.”
Everyone around me watched as I meticulously prepared the soil for the second, third and fourth lawns. Conversations “may” have taken place, the drought and its impact on the farm “may” have been addressed, and I may-or may not-have been present during these alleged exchanges. One thing is certain, I should have been able to piece it all together.
This information and three dollars and fifty cents, will get me a latte at my favorite coffees shop, and nothing else.
When the hatchet fell, and it was pointed out that my use of water for lawns was frivolous, I felt like a dick. Why hadn’t anyone mentioned it before? Was I that out there?
Talk about “Silence of the Lawns.”
To be concluded...