Rain and dirt do not go well together. The combination results in mud. Mud and steep inclines are not pretty. We had a lot of dirt, a steep incline, and we were dreading the rain.
Andy decided to take the bull by the horns. Mother Nature be damned! He set out on his dusty red tractor and a sprayer full of weed killer and killed every living green patch visible. A week later, he sped out of the shed towing the big-daddy tiller and tore up the place. Our beautiful farm looked like a tree-dotted wasteland.
I began to wonder if our shed had the same dimensions as Mary Poppins’ travel bag when Andy drove out the next day with the tractor and a spreader. How did all of those implements fit into our little shed? He raced around the front 3 1/2 acres with Bermuda seed flying in all directions. After he finished, he set up a camping chair and set about waiting for the grass to grow.
“You know it takes like a week to germinate, right?” I hinted.
He nodded in agreement, but made no effort to move.
Eventually he set up a labyrinth of automatic sprinklers, all timed to graciously water the hard seeds. Apparently the weather had other ideas. Decatur got 8 inches of rain in a 24 hour period. Did I mention that our property slopes from front to back? To the untrained eye, it looks like a gradual slope, but the survey says it slopes down 40 feet from front to back. A gaping creek at the back stands ready to swallow anything coming it’s way. In this instance…it swallowed all our seed. Somewhere, where the creek runs, someone got free grass.
Andy was beside himself. His first task at farming had failed and his eyes blazed whenever he looked at his blank canvas. He already knew that he couldn’t plant Bermuda again, it was too late in the season. So I picked up Rye seed from a shack of seed store and he fired up the tractor. He blanketed the dirt with seed and prayed daily for the rain to hold off.
Every time I couldn’t find Andy in the house, inevitably I found him outside staring at the ground.
“I think I can see green shoots.” he would hope.
“We’ll have a good idea if it took after 7 days.” I would reply.
He would glare at me and then return his gaze to the ground.
Seven days later, he ran into the house and started yelling, “come outside!”. I dried my soapy hands off and followed him to the front yard.
“Look.” he demanded.
I couldn’t really make out anything, but the dirt did have a green tint to it. I squinted… I looked from my peripheral… and about to give up, I finally bent down to stare at the ground. And then I saw them. Itsy, bitsy green baby blades poking out of the earth.
I turned to look up at Andy and the look on his face was priceless. I’m not sure that I had ever seen him that happy. I wanted to be mad at him for being that happy about grass. His excitement would have led someone not in the know to believe he had hit oil.
Believing he had out-smarted nature, Andy relaxed into the new house. A few days later, the clouds rolled into town, and all over Andy’s face. He stood still as a statue on the back porch watching the rain for hours. His eyes narrowed, as if silently commanding the rain to stop. No one could convince him to leave his post.
The evening brought clear skies and the happiness back to his eyes. The baby grass had stood it’s ground and the rain had not washed it away. Andy quickly put down more seed to thicken the green carpet and he now checks daily for the second batch to hatch.
We don’t have T.V. yet, and our Internet service is currently dial-up… so essentially we don’t have Internet. You find you have a lot of time on your hands without knowledge of the outside world. Time to fill the stock tank, read a book on the porch, and yes…watch the grass grow