School has started.  That doesn’t make as big a difference for me, now that I’m not a public school teacher.  But it’s a huge difference for Joseph, who has started out at a new school for 8th grade, and a slight difference for Julia, who is plugging on with independent study work in order to graduate in the spring.

And we’ll pretend that it’s Fall already.  School starts in the Fall.  We’ll pretend that the weather is cooler, and the rain is coming, and just hold on to that thought for a couple more months until those things actually happen.  We’ll ignore the dead grass out front, seeing in its place the beautiful xeroscaped garden of wildflowers that I would have there if time and money allowed.  Maybe I should put a sign out front, “Imagine wildflowers here.” But I suppose that wouldn’t help much.

Maybe I should actually plant some wildflowers.  The thing is, I’m afraid of doing it wrong, and making the front yard into a mess of awkwardly dug up grass and struggling plants, rather than the smooth expanse of dead grass that it is now.  And one feels so public, working in the front yard.  A lot of people walk down our street.  It’s a sort of exercise strip for the surrounding area, due to it’s exact one-mile length and it’s central grass strip (dead grass strip for the present).  Even if I go out to rake leaves I generally get 1) offers from indigent people to do the work for me for money 2) offers from the neighbor’s lawn service to do the work for me 3) incredulous looks from seedy looking men walking by, which I interpret as meaning “where’s your man, lady?  Why isn’t he doing the yard work?” to which I silently reply “he’s at work.  Why aren’t you at work?” and 4) looks from nice-looking passers-by walking with their dogs which I interpret to mean “You’re doing that all wrong.  I could tell you how to do it right, but I’m just going to walk by with my dog and not say anything.” to which I silently reply, “Okay, you do that then.”

It’s much more comfortable to just stay in the house and play the cello.  Much much more comfortable.

But I really love wildflowers.  So maybe I need to leave my comfort zone and dig up some grass.  Dead grass.  (Although it will come back to life, zombie-like, and attack any wildflowers that I plant.  I know that already).  I could just put up a sign that said, “Work in progress.  Please just avert your gaze and enjoy the Better Homes and Gardens yard of the neighbor across the street.”



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