Thursday, August 27, 2009

The grass isn't always greener. Especially in the middle of a drought.

(Indeed, this is a picture of our actual lawn. I wish I could say I found it on Google Images, but it's just a benefit of living in Central Texas.)

This summer our little neck of the prairie hasn't seen much rain. There's no strolling barefoot through the grass around here. Because who strolls barefoot through straw? Add to that the fact that the pesky heat index reaches unfathomable heights on a daily basis with no relief in sight and you pretty much have Death Valley conditions out there.

In the interest of full disclosure, Jason and I haven't been too concerned about keeping the grass in our yard watered and growing. Partly because the city requires its citizens to water their yards in the dead of night while we prefer to do more important things like sleep. Plus, if you water your yard, there's the unsavory but required mowing that has to be done on a more regular basis than just once per season (which would be our preference). So we just agree that the brown provides lovely contrast to the color of our house and roll with it.

Mainly, we just don't really care that we aren't going to be winning the Greenest Yard in the Universe award this year. We'll keep the money we would spend in water bills and buy our own trophy.

Our neighbors, on the other hand, are diametrically opposed to our laissez-faire lawn care and maintenance philosophy. They choose to water, fertilize, and mow with a religious fervor to rival the Great Awakening.

Unfortunately, some of their good faith efforts end up crossing the invisible boundary that separates the two yards.

Now, I don't begrudge the people their watering. They have every right to run their water bill through the roof in order to have the greenest yard on the block. Even though the statement their grass makes is that they obviously they don't give a flip about the fact that we are experiencing drought-like conditions. Water shortage, shmater shortage.

And what about the children all across the world who don't even have access to clean water? The neighbors are just throwing that precious commodity away to save their grass. So, who's really being green, huh?

OK, maybe I do begrudge them a little. Especially when I come home and see this:

The left side of the photo is our yard. It's a charming shade of brownish-grayish-dryish. We haven't mowed since I-don't-even-know-when.

The right side is our neighbors' freshly mowed lush green lawn. Made so by the water they stole from the thirsty kids.

The middle? Apparently, it would have taken our neighbors too much time and energy to make one more pass with their mower. It appears they took the liberty to deem the no-man's land in between our respective properties as our yard. But the reason it's overgrown is by no fault of our own. THEY are the ones who have been watering, thereby causing the grass to grow and need mowing. But I suppose they were plum wore out from watering the yard to who exert the force of labor to MOW THE REST OF THE YARD THEY WATERED.

I have one word for this type of petty behavior.


This incident comes on the heels of another in which our former neighbors (who built the fence around their backyard so we wouldn't commit the sin of jealousy in our hearts at seeing them frolic in their crystalline in-ground pool while we soaked our feet in a plastic kiddie pool) called the city on us because the grass was too high. At a house in which WE HAVE NOT LIVED FOR OVER ONE YEAR.

We had renters occupying the property for awhile and they kept up the yard. But since they moved out and we've really been trying to sell long distance, we haven't given much thought to the fact that the yard might be getting a bit unruly.

Funny thing, these neighbors were there when we moved out. They knew we hadn't been living there and that the house was vacant. They even went over and took our front porch swing one day after we moved because they said it had really belonged to them and they just loaned it to the previous owners of the house (a fact which, though debatable, is difficult to disprove). Nevermind that we lived there for 5 years with nary a word about the swing.

I suppose I understand they did what they had to do. It would be just too much trouble to give us a call and ask when and/or if we were going to have the place mowed. It's much simpler to just turn people in to the city so they get a weighty fine for lack of proper maintenance.

Who knew grass could be so controversial?


  1. omg - did you read my blog about my husband USING WATER EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS A WATER BAN IN OUR AREA???

    check it out: God Bless Texas

    girlfriend, I know what you mean. it's way too freaking hot out there.


  2. That pisses me off!

    Have you seen the new thing were you landscape the front yard and eliminate grass. If I ever own a house again..I'll be doing that. I hate mowing.

  3. I have to admit it... I love a green lawn. Unfortunately I hate the maintenance required. We have automatic sprinkler system (SWEET!) but it's funny - we have little yellow patches in our yard where the two sprinklers JUST miss each other, therefore requiring hand watering (not by me, not by a long shot!)

    See, I have the problem of: everyone on the block is a nut about keeping their lawn perfect. Does your neighbor EDGE? I didn't even know what that was until we moved to Texas. It's kinda insane. We have WAY too many lawn maintenance tools, in my opinion. We'd love to move to the country where the grass just grows everywhere, and dogs poop on it, and kids run in it, and it's all pretty gross but it's maintenance free!


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