Sunday, June 16, 2013

You Don't See Stuff Like This in Iowa



You Don’t See Stuff Like This In Iowa


You don't see a junked up yard like this in Iowa. Yards like this are common in California. Iowans are neat to the point of being scary. I can’t figure out why they’re like this. I have some theories. Dave (from Iowa) says it’s because they’re so prosperous they don’t need to keep a lot of junk machinery around their place. But I’ve also seen them out mowing the ditch and it doesn’t matter how much machinery you have it isn’t necessary to mow the ditch. They seem to LIKE to do it. I was just back in my home state. I kept looking for junky farms like you see in California but I never saw one. Even poor people in Iowa are neat.
I used to take pride in the fact that Iowans and therefore me are neat to the point of being scary. I’m starting to loosen up on that. I’ll never be a slob. It’s impossible. But I might be able to let dust build up on the furniture if there’s something really fun to do outside. If I can’t have a fantastically green and manicured lawn at least I can have a neat dirt lot free of star thistle. I can rake the rocks and dirt and wait for the rain to turn it green next winter. I entertained the idea of astro-turf but chickened out. Astro turf is nothing like a cool green lawn. Maybe I should turn the whole back yard into a slip and slide. That would be excellent on a blisteringly hot day. Everything here is a shade of tan. Except the trees. They’re deep green but dusty.
If an Iowan came here they’d still be mowing the dead grass. I’m pretty sure. I’m kind of surprised that Iowans don’t ride mowers in the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). Iowans are very comfortable on lawn mowers and probably spend more time on their mowers than in their cars. Alvin Straight rode his mower over to Wisconsin to visit his brother. Check out "The Straight Story". It's a very heart warming movie by David Lynch and Mary Sweeney. (Mary convinced him to do it I'm sure. It'd too heart warming) All Iowans have at least a quarter acre lawn if they live in town but more like 3 acres if they live in the country.


Maybe they’re so neat because it’s easier to mow. Can you imagine how annoying it would be if they had to mow around a bunch of junk? So when you go to Iowa you see these vast unencumbered tracts of green grass. Lucky Iowans. They have plenty of rain to make that grass grow, good soil and NO rocks. Out here in dry land California it’s almost as if we’re cultivating rocks. You can’t mow after a certain point in the year because the blade will clip a rock, throw up a spark and burn the place down. It’s happened. Even in the relatively lush coast range you’ll see someone clearing coyote brush with their bulldozer and the next thing you know you’ve got helicopters hovering over your head with big water buckets.
So there you have your Iowans busy, humming away mowing their huge, neat, and manicured lawns with alacrity and complete confidence. I’m a little jealous. But I’ll take California. Iowans have to suffer through interminable days of gray skies and freezing winter. It’s not worth it to me.

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