LJWorld.com weblogs Rolling along
Up to my (behind) in grass
I was riding to racquetball the other day, rounded a corner and was surprised to see a man in the middle of a semi-busy street with a lawn-and-leaf blower, blowing fresh grass clippings from the curb on his east side of the road all the way to the curb on the west side.
At least he had the decency to ease off the trigger as I rode through the maelstrom.
On the way home, I rode by a commercial establishment where a lawn-service worker was cleaning up after his mow. He was blowing off the sidewalk that ran adjacent to the road upon which I was riding.
He, too, eased up when he saw me coming, but seemed to grow weary of waiting for my slow bones, shrugged, then sent a wave of grass and sand and leaves pinging off my shades and sticking to my sweaty brow.
Thanks for that.
That same night, I was riding to work in the gloaming and saw a vacant lot that had been allowed to go native — I’m talking waist-high, grab-a-machete undergrowth here — finally had been mowed. The clippings that weren’t in huge, clumpy ricks had been shot into the street, creating a thick, green carpet extending several feet into the roadway.
I know, I know. It’s spring. It’s cool and wet and sunny and, well, photosynthesis happens.
But is the concept of keeping one’s yard waste in one’s own yard a thing of the past?
I recall my youth, when I first learned to mow. My dad imparted several dad-isms about lawn care: Never service a running engine (from the guy who nearly lost a finger to a running engine); don’t mow wet (from the guy who rarely has the sense to come in out of the rain); and always make the first couple of passes around the lawn with the side-discharge chute pointing in, so the clippings get mulched as you mow, but more importantly don’t end up in the neighbor’s lawn or the street. Common courtesy, doncha know.
Seems quaint now.
I’m reminded of how many people I see blowing their leaves into the street — illegally, I believe — so they become somebody else’s eyesore, or the folks who shovel their driveway snow into the roadway for the street crews to deal with.
I’ve nearly wiped out on wet leaves in the street, and this winter one fine fellow who had waited days to clear his driveway of snow waited until the streets were nearly pristine before attacking the icy mess with his snowblower. Rather than blow it into his lawn, however, he went to great pains to shoot it straight into the street — and nearly took me out in the process.
Aw, maybe I’m just being a grouch.
Keep blowin’, guys, and I’ll keep dodgin’. After all, a little grass never hurt anybody.