April 30, 2017


By John R. Greenwood

I will never understand people who want to live in a maintenance-free house and live a maintenance-free life. I hear them on HGTV shows all the time. "We want a low maintenance yard." 


Isn't that what the American Dream is all about; mowing your own perennial rye grass front lawn and trimming around your white picket fence while the kids play Frisbee with Riley the black lab in the backyard? 

Saturday morning I was up at the break of day loading the back of my pick-up with brush I'd cut late last fall. I made three trips to our local landfill with leaves and branches that will ultimately be recycled into mulch. I wasn't distressed by the work involved, I was in man-heaven. That is what I always thought was "livin' the dream." My truck, filled with my leaves, from my trees, from around my house. Yes, I know there's more to life, but if you can't embrace the joy of maintaining your own hunk of real estate, how successful are you going to be finding true happiness in anything?

Don't get me wrong, I've been running the same springtime ritual for over fifty years now and it can wear you down, but to me there's nothing like the feeling I get when my .54 acre is all cleaned up and ready for those soft, gentle April rains. Those afternoon rains that have the dandelions shooting out of the ground and tree buds popping out like Jiffy Pop eight hours later. 

I swear I could actually see the Hosta growing as I sat on the back steps knocking the fresh dirt out of my boot treads. The birds were filling the air with tweet music and you could feel the maple tree roots stretching their legs in the soil below. In a week or so I'll be snorting tree pollen and getting high on May. 

Maintenance Free? 

What the heck do you people do for real enjoyment? 


  1. We like our flower gardens but I done with lawns. :). Hiking, riding horses, quilting, beach time ... lots of things more fun for me. Loved your POV and humor though!

    1. Margaret, I may have pumped up the enjoyment factor a smidgen; he says clutching his back.