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Home Country

Fake Lawn
By Slim Randles
Sep 15, 2005 - 12:05:00 PM

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Herb Collins may be forgiven for his fake lawn. We all know about the knee surgery he had, and how difficult it's been for him to get around since then. He had to pay neighborhood kids to mow the lawn for him, and his wife had to water it, something neither of them wanted to happen. Herb was always afraid she'd miss spots with the spray from the nozzle and cause yellow blotches.

But life doesn't always deal us a fair hand, so Herb was forced to sit in the living room and worry about his lawn. The kids didn't edge it right, either. There was definite intrusion into the bulb bed and the pansy patch.

Just what caused him to put in fake lawn is still a matter of conjecture. Some like the "his wife made him do it so she doesn't have to water any more" theory, while others believe Herb just didn't want to be bothered with all the work a lawn entails.

We watched the truck come that day, and the sod that held some 40 years of Herb's labors was taken up and rolled into green-looking sleeping bags and placed on a flat bed truck. Then the fake lawn came and was rolled into place. Green, cut forever short and even. Never will it encroach on pansies or tulips. It went down smoothly and looked exactly alike in every square foot, appearing to be more like indoor/outdoor carpet than anything else.

When it was in and done, it was forever in and it forever done. No watering, no fertilizing, no mowing, no edging. If you dug the snow off it in winter, it would be as green as it is now. Forever. No dandelions. No crabgrass. No nutgrass. Nothing to pull.

But a lawn can sometimes mean something to a guy. For most of us, it's as close as we're ever likely to get to a farm. But we can grow it, and patch it, and water it, and fertilize it, and discuss its care endlessly. It makes up for having 200 acres of sorghum or wheat.

Looking at your lawn isn't really something a fellow does a lot, and he never really brags about it. It's just one of those things we do when we need to grow things. When we need to be outside and scratching our agricultural itch.

Herb doesn't have to sweat in the summer sun any more, mowing grass when he could be inside watching a game. He's got it made now. That's why we kinda wonder when he comes over to visit, hobbling a bit with the help of that cane, when we're out working on our lawns.

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