I Don’t Do Grass

Growing up in genteel south Louisiana, I had a daddy that firmly believed girls should be girls.  He never let us near the lawn mower, or any tool as a matter of fact.  Heck, I was in my 40s before I learned the beauty of “Righty Tighty, Lefty Lucy” when using a screwdriver.

Daddy died in January, 1979, one month before I turned 18.  What an unexpected shock that was.  The man who led his family was gone.  Thank God my mom had lots of business sense so we were good in the finance world of our household.

Spring rolls around.  The St. Augustine grass Daddy so lovingly took care of is sprouting out of control.  What to do?  I was 18, I figured I could conquer the world.  Took me, Mom and Sister about 20 tries to get the old lawnmower running.  I didn’t have the beautiful straight lines my dad regarded the only way the lawn should look.  But it was done.  Next, the edging needed to be done.  These were the days before the weed eater.  Took me, Mom and Sister 20 tries to figure out how to start the thing.  I remember hearing my dad proudly discussing beveling the blade to make the grass edge slant away from the sidewalk.  I ended up digging canals instead of dainty trenches.  The yard looked terrible.  My mom hired a professional service to cut our grass after that, figuring that expense into her new monthly budget.

Fast forward a few years, I married a man like Daddy.  He did all the man stuff around the house.  I tended to the house and flowerbeds.  Fast forward another few years as Hubby is getting a little older with aches and pains of his own.  He asked, “Why don’t you cut grass like my Mom and Sisters do?”  My shocked reply was, “Dude, you knew that when we got married!  Why are you asking now?  I DON’T DO GRASS.”

Fast forward many years later.  We are grandparents with replaced hips and replaced knees between both of us.  We can probably set off alarms anywhere with all the metal in our bodies.  And we live on 3 acres of property in south Mississippi where the grass needs to be cut every 3 days (year ’round if we have a mild winter).


Hubby has been quite concerned lately about what is going to happen to me and our property should he join the dearly departed early.  He is approaching the age his dad died.  Historically, most of the men in his family didn’t make it to 60.  I used to joke and say I was going to marry someone else WHO DOES GRASS.  Now that we are this age, that joke is not so funny.

This morning, I had an epiphany thanks to an article in July 2016 edition of Southern Living magazine about returning to nature.  I am going to join our local arboretum and start looking into natural plants.  These are plants I won’t have to baby.  These plant will attract insects that feed the birds.  These plants attract butterflies and bees.

So armed with my Avon Bug Guard (I DON’T DO NATURE WITHOUT AVON BUG GUARD), I am going to select a small, small, really small section of our 3 acres and implement a natural garden.  This is all new to me because I am used to lawns that look like golf courses.  I DON’T DO WILD.  So I am going to start with a small, small, really small area for natural and see if I can stand the tall, natural grasses.

If this works out, who knows, I might implement this into other areas of my back 40 (feet not acres) and give the hubby a break in cutting grass.  Then he and I can relax on the porch, point our rocking chairs towards the west, and enjoy growing old together because I pray this man is around long after 60 to enjoy our country life together.

Wish me luck and stay tuned.