Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Neighborhood Color

We've seen the signs for the neighborhood association meetings for some time now. It seems they meet every other month, always on a Thursday. We often talk about going, but either forget or have something else going on. (We usually just forget.) We figured they talk about trees and sidewalks, sidewalks and trees. But the Thursdays come and go and we don't go.

Yesterday I was working out front trimming our adorable feather grass, my favorite part of our Kill the Lawn Project. They have such personality, I'm surprised I haven't named them. A nice car pulled up and a nicely dressed woman introduced herself. We had two not so nice cars out front and I was not very nicely dressed, but I introduced myself back. She was the head of the Neighborhood Association Group, which I'll refer to as NAG. She invited to me to the NAG meetings and told me a little about them. They discuss crime and the importance of reporting it. They have potlucks in the park. Then she brought up the crime issue again. She lamented about "the _______ man on the corner who has frequent garage sales" and that we should always put in our complaints to the Sheriff about him. (Insert a color of your choosing into the blank space.) She then said that he sells white and red T-shirts, "which are gang colors you know".

At that point I was so happy that our Thursday nights had always been busy and that we were forgetful on the nights they weren't. While digesting the hit-me-in-the-gut statement that this complete stranger had just shared with me, the woman told me that they just pulled out the mulch in their backyard and put in all grass. Finally recovering from her earlier comment, I knew I had my chance. "I hate grass" I told her, "Just hate it." She came back that she loves it, front and back yard, and that it is a must for her grandchildren to play on. I wanted to say sarcastically, "You allow your grandchildren to play in your front yard with ________ people in the neighborhood?" but I just said again how I detest grass and we are taking out as much as we can. She drove off in her nice car and I went back to my turf-less yard. (In reality, I think lawns are pretty, just not giant expanses in arid regions.)

In talking to my other neighbors today, they related a conversation they had with her, and she had told them she HATES bark. I was so tickled to think back on how our yard looked when we first killed the grass in front - a SEA OF BARK. It must have infuriated her, and now I wish I had left it barren just a few weeks longer just to get under her skin. Those Thursday NAG meetings? Not a chance, we'll be too busy preparing for our next garage sale. To do list: order some gang color T-shirts to sell.

Before and After shots of their spring haircuts.
Don't they look lovely against the bark?