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Lawn Be Gone! – Part 2 July 3, 2008

Posted by alwaysjan in Gardening.
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Half the male population of Michoacan is currently in my backyard brandishing chainsaws and harpoons.  Oh wait, those are tree pruners.  Que paso?  I broke down and called Steve aka The Yard Guy.  I left a voicemail. Something about the lawn.  

This morning I was awakened by a distant rumble.  It grew closer.  I imagine this is how the French felt during WWII when they first heard the drone of approaching Allied tanks.  Liberation is at hand!  I listened as the troops, I mean trucks, grew closer.  Then there was a long silence.  Maybe I was mistaken.  

I looked out my bedroom window just in time to see half a dozen men jump the back fence and drop into my yard, like an elite SWAT team in full assault mode.  The dogs were going crazy.  Within minutes, working like locusts, they swarmed over all things green in my backyard, cutting and pruning.  I looked up to see a limb from the ash tree ricochet off the roof of the shed. Steve’s crew had arrived.  But donde esta Steve?  

One of the workers walked into the kitchen.  Since our back door is usually open, I don’t particularly find it odd that a stranger is wandering through my house, usually looking for the bathroom.  He motioned that he needed me so, still in my pajamas, I followed him out to the alley.

Workers were loading a truck for a run to the dump and wanted to make sure all the stuff out back was indeed trash.  I proclaimed everything basura except for two neatly bundled piles of dried palm fronds.  These I’d collected and was saving so my students could make masks.  The man seemed confused that I wanted to keep these.  I pointed to myself.  “Artista!”  I said. Judging from his expression, I might as well have said, ‘Loco!”

I was still awaiting the arrival of Steve.  After all, we hadn’t even discussed what we wanted him to do or most importantly – a price!  Since I’m a teacher, I won’t see another paycheck until Oct. 1st.  Although I’m not counting pennies yet, that day will come.

Finally, Steve made a brief appearance.  He’s a big blond surfer-looking dude who grew up across the street. He put in our sprinkler system 12 years ago and we call him from time to time to trim the trees.  We and Steve have a history.  

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Steve when he wasn’t wearing his signature wraparound shades. He directs his crew in rapid fire Spanish.  “Steve, we need to talk about price,” I remind him.  “I’ll be ’round later to talk about it, ” he promises and I know he won’t and he knows it too.   It’s just a dance we do.  It was Steve, himself, who told me “Broken Promises” is his middle name.  But Steve has one saving grace.  He’s really good at what he does. Make that two.  He’s fair.  And he has a great smile to boot. 

Today Steve’s crew pruned and cut everything from the ground up.  Never mind that I never mentioned pruning trees or the roses for that matter.  Now all the greenery is perfectly coiffed – maybe a little too perfectly.   And there’s still that pesky green lawn that needs to go bye-bye.  That’s why we called Steve in the first place.

There’s just one small glitch.  Steve informed us today he can’t come round to dig up the lawn until next Monday.  Our houseguests arrive Tuesday, thankfully after dark.  Now there IS a chance Steve can pull off this extreme backyard makeover in two days.  Get those cameras rolling cause this I want to see.  I’d pitch in and help, but somebody’s got to keep their fingers crossed.       To be continued…

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