Thursday, August 27, 2015

Don't Let the Grass Grow

The grass is growing over the path. I noticed the other day that it’s taking me longer to mow the lawn than it used to because I am now mowing what used to be part of the driveway.

At one time the driveway got a lot more use taking vehicles to the other side of the house. When people would come to visit they would drive and park behind the house.

When both kids were home, we used to park our cars and trucks in various farm buildings and occasionally outside. All this activity happened behind the house. The car that had the low profile had the small car shed to it self. The corncrib could house three vehicles if they were positioned properly, whereas the barn took the overflow with the loft and lower level taking turns with the seasons.

Several years before the kids moved out we had a garage added on to our house. Now we no longer park our cars in the farm buildings and hardly anyone drives past the attached garage anymore, choosing instead to park in front of the house.  What was once a well-worn path behind the house is beginning to disappear.

Yes, I know there are remedies to correct this – kill with chemicals, more rock or grade the driveway.  But, to be honest, I find the encroachment of nature to be a gentle reminder of the steady passage of time.

I know this is not the first time this change has happened to our farm.  Back behind the barn there is evidence of an old driveway hidden under the grass and weeds. It keeps appearing I when I move snow early and late in the season. The pea rocks roll with the snow and mud only to be buried again.

It has been suggested that we pave our driveway. I briefly considered it until the lady of the house reminded me that not only would a paved driveway look out of place with an old farm, but also there is a gravel township road that runs right out in front of our place.

Some people would not live on a gravel road. I know of a woman visiting from New Jersey who, upon seeing a gravel road for the first time, asked her driver why anyone would ruin a perfectly good road by putting rocks on top of it.

Bernie Gerold, who lives just down the road, was telling me about two women who used to walk this gravel road. His grandmother and Mrs. Barry, who lived about a mile the other way, were good friends and would often visit with each other. But because neither of them drove and it was long-distance to call even that far back then, they would walk the mile to the other’s farm.

The idea of friends walking a quiet country road to see each other sounds both old-fashioned and charming. It took real effort to maintain a friendship then. This was when being someone’s “friend” meant more than just a shallow social media designation, mailed letters needed stamps, and a text was a passage from a book. And I don’t suppose these two women let any grass grow on the path between them.

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