Ever had a helpful neighbor; one who has each and every one of your concerns on their mind 24/7? My 90-year-old mother has one living near her home in Florida.
Weve been doing some work lately on her 1950s home and hes been observing from a distance, but curiosity got the best of him the other day when we were putting down some sod. About an hour into the job, here he comes -- big grin, cup of coffee (it was early) and about to burst with suggestions as to how to lay the sod.
I had never seen him lay a single piece of this stuff, and he mostly observes what were doing, but when a guy walks up with a big ol cup of coffee and a grin you feel obligated to give him an ear. I had laid sod before, front and backyard, so I considered myself somewhat of an expert in getting the stuff put down, but one can always get better at what they do and I could tell that if he didnt get this thing off his chest his health was at risk.
I will admit the backyard is once again a litter box, but I blame this on my mothers lack of watering skills, and the wild cats someone insists on feeding -- not sod placement. So here comes Mr. Home and Gardens with the first words out of his mouth being, not good morning but You know youre going to have to put a lot of water on that. I wanted so much to say, Duh but I smiled and said, Really?
This elevated Mr. Green Jeans got to help desire to the next level and in the next few minutes, and while I keep on hauling the sod, he suggests redesigning the front yard. Your sprinkler will need to go about there. Right. You can get a splitter and attach it to a couple of cheap hoses. Put it where the birdbath sits.
Sweat, sand and dirt are running down my glasses as I visualize moving the hundred pound block of cement called a birdbath. It wouldnt hurt to fertilize, but not too much. It looks like this grass could use some iron. The price of a pallet of sod just went up. Looks like youve got some weeds in that. Youll need to mow with the blower pointing outward to prevent weed seeds from taking over.
I suppose I could pull up what Ive laid and request weed-less sod but -- naw, were going with weeds, at least theyre green. Mulching is obviously out of the question. They carry all that stuff at Lowes, you know. Me having all the attention deficit problems of todays eight-year-old, I am in no way going to a Lowes to become more confused. Some days I feel as though I just learned how to drive.
You look like you could use some water. That was the first sensible thing hed said all morning. Something, perhaps a moment of divine inspiration, causes him to look up. That roofs gonna need replacing soon. Like I said, Moms 90 and our definition of soon is a whole lot later than his; probably in the area of not in this lifetime.
Then Mr. Peepers comes up with the crown jewel of his morning presentation. I suppose it may have been the reason for his visit in the first place. Id been at it several hours by now and was probably dehydrated, causing hallucinations, because I thought I heard him say, Oh, by the way, Ive installed a security system with lights that should cover your yard, too!
Guess we can get rid of the neighborhood watch volunteers, but well definitely lock the doors. Thank goodness he finished his coffee about the time he got into his own home improvement plan. The man loves coffee and we dont, so he went home and I sent mom to Lowes for a splitter.
Sonny Harmon is an educator at Georgia Military College. Visit his blog at http://sharmon09.blogspot.com.