When your front yard is nothing but weeds as high as your head and you have two riding mowers that won’t run, and your arthritis is killing you, what do you do?
I know my neighbors must really love me at this point! It’s rotten to have the worst looking yard on a country block, maybe even in the whole county!
Recently in my small home town, brown lawns have become a problem. A few years back we had a drought and the city asked residents to cut back on watering. Then the rains came and with it loads and loads of weeds. Oh, soon summer rolled around again and many yards were once again brown, brown weeds that is — I think a few folks had forgotten how to take care of their lawns. Or were there other circumstances?
People started to complain and so the city has decided to crack down on those brown lawns and started issuing violations.
Lawns and Neighbors
Even though I don’t live in the “city,” this ended up on my plate because I write for my small town newspaper. It really made me think because right now, my yard is a MESS! Luckily I officially live outside of town so the city ordinance doesn’t apply to me. But having so much trouble with my yard makes me very empathetic to those who do live in the city. So I posted a question on our town’s Facebook page and a follow-up question: Do you think brown lawns are a problem in our town? Have any of you helped a neighbor who was unable to care for their yard due to illness?
As Facebook goes, the answers to my question ranged from “having a green lawn is stupid” to “I wish my neighbor would cut her lawn.” Only a few actually answered my questions. One sweet lady must have been the only one to carefully read them. She answered, “We mow our neighbor’s lawn because she is elderly and has been sick.”
Now that’s what I call a good neighbor. I wish there were more of them around. I know there must be lots of people in our small town who would love to keep their lawns green and mowed but are experiencing a health crisis or a financial hardship. Sometimes those automatic sprinklers go haywire and can be costly to fix and water has gotten awfully expensive in the past two years.
Ask for Help
It turns out there are more good neighbors in our small town. I called the planning department and asked the director about how they deal with people who are unable to maintain their yards due to illness or age.
It turns out a good neighbor doesn’t even have to live in your neighborhood!
He said the city doesn’t have the resources to actually step in and mow or water but he appealed to our local Beautification Committee and they said they’d do everything they can to help. And on my Facebook post, others stepped up and said they could help if someone needed them. The lady who already mows her neighbor’s lawn said she could do one more.
We can all use a good neighbor or maybe even two!
Sometimes you have to ask for help. I’m really not good at actually asking but a neighbor came to my rescue anyway. He’s only 16 but he has a REAL tractor. In just about an hour or so, he got most of those big weeds down and I do believe I can actually see the road from the front porch! Next he’s going to till my garden patch so I can finally put in some veggies. I can’t tell you how much his offer meant to me. Daddy is usually my go-to person but he’s 85 and can’t do what he used to. I’m just glad he’s still with us. I look back and realize how lucky I’ve been to have him jump in and help whenever he could.
So thank you Kyle, my sweet young neighbor. Thank you daddy for always trying to make my life go as smooth as possible. Thank you to the young lady who mows her neighbor’s lawn. Thank you Beautification Committee for jumping in to help those in need. It turns out neighbors are all around us. We just have to have the eyes that see them.