Sort of Green

It’s been nearly 5 years since my family and I have moved to the land of mini-vans, back yards, and large supermarkets. Another more common name used for this piece of Earth is suburbia. Before we moved to this family filled location, my wife and I talked about what we were most excited for.  I don’t remember our top five, but I do recall that mine included a drive way and hers included a garden.  Yes, I was happy to escape the monotonous tortured search for parking, and my wife was looking to develop a green thumb.

We settled on our house in April and moved in at the beginning of July. Within that time, the lawn went from green to brown, and we have been fighting, unsuccessfully, to revive it ever since.  The lawn has settled into a mix of green, brown, and bare patches of Earth. We’ve tried planting grass to fill in the patches, and we’ve planted flowers to beautify the lawn but nothing has sprouted. It has become clear that if we had to rely on our farming skills to eat, we would be mistaken for skeletons. I figure at some point the neighbors will crack and chip in to buy us a sprinkler system.

People really our serious about their lawns in suburbia. If one were to take a drive around our neighborhood during a spring or summer day, one would notice automatic sprinklers going off (usually first thing in the morning – supposed to be the best time to water the lawn. I have learned something) and landscapers performing their duties. However, at our house we have taken a different and clearly unsuccessful approach.  In addition to praying for rain, I move our, $9.99 Home Depot, sprinkler around the lawn to try and get the most coverage. Secondly, I am the landscaper (to save money and so the children will take note of self-reliance.  Not quite Walden, I know.).  This is ironic as mowing the lawn has always been one of my least favorite chores. When I was growing up, I engaged in hand to cord battles with an old lawn mower pull cord that left me with a couple of calluses on my hand. I cursed that machine many times over. I begged my parents to replace the lawn with pavement (not very Earth Day of me). I told them we could put in a basketball court, and I would play all the time.  Ultimately, I would earn a scholarship to college, and the paving would pay for itself. Nothing doing.

Last fall, we had a professional come and do a Fall clean-up.  Afterwards, the lawn looked so great that I wished it could have just stayed in that state (kind of like I wish the bed would stay made and my face would stay shaven).   Alas, no miracle occurred and the grass has been growing. I guess I will have to keep mowing the lawn – at least what’s left of it.  So much for a green thumb.

Just Watch TV!

I look forward to the weekends. I love being able to use my time more as I want rather than as I must.  I look at weekends as a time to refresh, bond, and catch up. This doesn’t make me unique – I know. Heck there are songs, stories, and clichés about looking forward to the weekends.

My family and I observe the Jewish Sabbath which runs from sundown Friday till one hour after sundown Saturday. During this 25 hour period, we strive to have our focus on more spiritual endeavors.  In addition, we spend time with family/friends, eat good food, dress nicely, and rest.  We do not use electronics (lights and ovens are left on) such as computers, television, phones, etc.  This tune-out of the mundane does indeed help to create a mental break from the previous week and is a way of preparing for the upcoming week. Each week, I greatly look forward to the Sabbath.

I looked forward to it just the same, but this past Sabbath was different. The children could not stop arguing. Our older son (BR) was rude, pushy, and overaggressive with his brother; the younger son (SY) was whiney, instigating, and inflexible. Everything that occurred produced a fight. I know many of you are probably shaking your heads at this point thinking something like – “kids arguing – been there, know that one.”  Me too. However, this time seemed different. It was as if they could not stop. Eventually, I insisted (actually, I yelled loudly but insisted sounds nicer) that they each go to their rooms and shut their doors. However, you know what I wished for – really – the television. I would have been happy to hear Thomas tooting, the Backyardigans going for a snack, Spongebob laughing moronically, or Dragonball Z Kai characters yelling. These sounds would have been music. Each child in a separate room watching contentedly and quiet – ahh. Hell, I would have brought them popcorn.  I know, I know, I shouldn’t encourage even more television watching, but damn it, I couldn’t take it anymore.

Peace and quiet on a weekend thanks to nonstop TV.  Have they written a song about that?