Tuesday, May 19, 2009



So before Tom went out mowing on one of his tractors yesterday, I gave him my oft-recited Be Careful Speech, complete with details of what not to do because of possible dangers, to stay way clear of the drainage ditch and to not travel out in our still-soft lake, lest he get bogged down. Stuff like that.

After awhile I stood at the window to check on Tom and alas, he was happily doing all those things I'd told him not to. The guy looked like Indiana Jones out there, complete with the hat, zooming and zipping right next to the ditch and churning up water drops in the center of the lake. Good grief.

Oh the tests I've had living out here in the country. This old dog is already tired of all the new tricks she's had to learn, especially when God nags me to let Tom do what he must do--and I must not worry about him. And with a good spirit, even. (God has to nag when I fail the tests the first 71 times.)

Anyway, we've made a big decision. For some time we've agreed that we simply have too much lawn and with each issue of Mary Jane's Farm I'm convicted about all the emissions belching out of our lawn mowers each week. We've discussed putting in more flower beds and trees and gardens and patios just to use up lawn space, but last night--after toying with this idea a week or so--I decided that we should let our back meadow 'go', as in, allow it to return to the wild from which it came. We'll keep a path mowed along its side so to toss fallen branches in our woods, but we'll let the rest of our park-like setting go natural.

That's a hard decision, for I loved sitting back there in our wicker chair next to my little fountain with the fairy on top, and yet? One must know oneself, what one can handle and what one cannot--and be able to admit both (and trust that wisdom has its eventual rewards). And a person must follow her convictions, too, especially when they grow heavier and heavier upon her soul. After all, Tom and I want to go 'back to the land' as much as possible and become naturalists of a sort, and well, it's hard to reconcile that with all those lawn mower emissions adding to the world's many ills.

Besides, I'll still have my Secret Garden area behind the barn and that is huge and will require years of digging and creating. Just how much land at 50-years-old do I really need to work and sit upon and bask and rest in anyway? Probably much, much less than I think.

I'm sure I'll be fine with one less meadow.



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Months ago some of you suggested we could get by with mowing that back meadow just a couple times a year, and yet, truthfully, the grass grows too tall, too quickly for just mowing it twice yearly. Alas.

Mary Jane Butters does have a great-sounding lawn-substitute ground cover which spreads quickly, but just thinking about re-doing that whole meadow with that stuff makes me oh so tired. At least now. But perhaps someday?

7 comments:

emma said...

Would you be able to hire a young person (teen boy or girl) who could help you? Maybe even for just a few weeks so you can transform either your secret garden, or the ground cover? Then you could enjoy the back meadow and not be too exhausted. Just a thought.

(Maybe someone connected with FFA or 4-H?)

kimberly s said...

maybe you could sow wildflower seeds? (if it's permissable)

Tristi Pinkston said...

The idea of living in the country is so appealing to me! I was sucked in to your blog by the picture on the header - what a lovely idea of a way to live life. I'm half a block off the freeway. :)

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Oh Hon, you're old enough now, to learn a sad truth. As men age, they become prone to treat their wife's admonitions, as their Mother's! And the little boy in them, simply hassssss to rebel against them. -giggles-

Good plan to listen to your bod and discover when you may have taken on too much, and deal with it. Like letting the back part, go back to Nature. Wise, imho anyway.

Aunt Amelia

Pat said...

This post reminds me of my Dad. He and Mom used to have a weekend farm on 20 acres. My Dad was very dedicated about keeping a nice yard. The farm house sat on a nice large lawn with orchard to one side and fields to the rear and other side. Every weekend when he mowed the lawn, the circle got bigger and bigger. It was very lovely, but he spent so much time mowing, he didn't really get to sit back and enjoy the beauty.
Sometimes we need to take stock of just how much work we're doing that it takes the place of enjoyment. I think you've figured out your work assignment very well, and very early. Enjoy what you can handle and let nature take its course.
ps
I too love a meadow, but I think it takes a professional team of gardeners to keep it up!

Judy said...

(i think maryjane is rich. shhh. i'm just saying!)

Karen said...

If I might suggest... you could hire someone with a brushhog to mow it twice a year, or even just once a year for you. Just flag the trees you want them to avoid damaging. Otherwise, it will in short order revert to poison ivy and sweetbriar, which is what was there before and which are really invasive.