NOTE: This is not an allegory, parallel, story, parable, metaphor, or any other version of thinly disguised political commentary. This is literal. When I say “weeds”, I truly mean the stuff that grows on the lawn where it doesn’t belong.
We are—as you well know—locked in battle against the weeds. While it would not be an exaggeration or untruth to say we’re not winning, it would sort of be defeatist, so I won’t bother saying it. Not saying it, however, makes it no less true.
Daddy and I have very different attitudes toward weeds. Mine is sort of a DIE SUCKER! mentality. I’m ok with losing a few blades of grass if it means the weeds are gone. I’m ok with flame throwers or other radical treatments. Daddy has more of gentle philosophy. He believes that weeds should be tenderly dug up and disposed of. Unfortunately he leaves bits of the root so they’ll grow back, but he’s convinced that if he continues digging them (mostly) up eventually they’ll take the hint. He also believes that weeds at least serve the purpose of holding the soil and preventing erosion so they aren’t all bad, and anyway the grass will outcompete the weeds.
A house divided and all that. But I respect your father and I’ve tried to go along with the “dig things out” philosophy. And I will say that in certain areas where we’ve lavished a lot of time, attention, and mulch, the weeds aren’t too bad.
The lawn is not one of those places.
And I’ve had it.
Truly Had It.
So I announced told casually mentioned to Dad that this year we were going to spray broad leaf weed killer. Dad lectured. I mentally reviewed the menu for the week. When he was done, I explained that this was not one of those things I was asking about, it was more of a sharing of information. Dad launched into a second lecture. I revised the menu to include green beans on Thursday while I waited for him to run down. At the end I said, “Hmm.”
Then I went out and bought broad leaf weed killer (and sat through lecture #3 which was equally impressive and equally ineffective in changing my mind).
The weekend before last weekend, Daddy asked if there was anything he could do to help me outside or around the house. “Yes,” I said, “I would like you to help me spray the lawn.”
“Have you figured out where you’re going to spray? Have you read the labels? Have you thought through the timing of when you’re going to do this?”
“I just want you to hold something to protect the plants we don’t want to get weed killer on.”
“WHAT? It’s bad enough that you’re spraying! I’m not going to stand around and hold something when you’re not going to be near the plants! That’s ridiculous.”
I pointed out that he’d offered. He pointed out that he was un-offering. This led to a huge fight that mostly consisted of me not speaking to him for 10 minutes. I’m not sure he noticed.
Events and weather conspired and the spraying did not get done.
Fast forward to this weekend.
On Friday, a very contrite HusbandPerson said to me, “If you still want help spraying, I’ll help you.” Not wanting to spook him, I said very quietly, “That would be nice. What changed?”
“Things have gone whack-a-doodle.” I swear he said that. “And We Have Purple Loosestrife.” Daddy rarely uses capital letters like that, so I knew he was serious.
“It’s an invasive species.”
“So we need to get rid of it.” As if being a weed wasn’t a good enough reason.
“I will show you the Purple Loosestrife.” The Puppy and I dutifully followed him outside and over to a patch of not-grass. “Purple Loosestrife.” I looked. The Puppy sniffed. Weeds. “I’ll show you over here what it looks like.”
“Not necessary, I’ve got it. It’s terrible. Awful. Couldn’t be worse. Tomorrow we spray!” Grin.
Fast forward. We sprayed (and by “we” I mean Dad watched the Puppy and I sprayed). Seventeen hours later, I’d finished about 1/20th of the lawn. Baby steps. We’ll see what happens. Stay tuned.