Winter rye

As suburban sprawl continues, the view from my back patio has changed from a wooded area full of wildlife and a 100 acres of grazing pasture for cattle to a view of subdivision fences and construction equipment installing the infrastructure for yet another new subdivision.

I don’t begrudge my new and soon to be new neighbors. Young families continue to flood into our little town seeking good, safe schools in which to send their children. That’s the very reason we moved here from Houston 9 years ago. We also knew when we bought this property that it was only a matter of time before the old gentlemen who owned the grazing land would concede to his grown children’s wishes and sell the property to a development company. I’m also grateful there is a neighborhood going up behind us instead of a shopping mall.

Still, I miss my view.

A few months ago, a representative came and talked to us about some drainage issues and installing fencing along the property line. Once our neighbor and we agreed, a sloped area was created to allow for proper drainage. When the lots are sold which back up to our property, a 6 foot fence will be built on the property line. With the grading and the slope, we’ll essentially have a view of a 9 foot fence along the back of our property. Oh, well…

Part of what the developer agreed to was to sod the slope. In this part of the country, the grass of choice is St. Augustine. It withstands the brutal heat we have in the summertime and only completely dies out for 2 or 3 months out of the year, depending on how cold it gets in the winter. Which is why I was surprised to see them spraying the slope with a rye grass mixture a couple of months ago. A week later, I figured there was a mix up about what type of grass to plant because I came home to find workers installing squares of St. Augustine over the rye grass seed.

Then I guess they had more important matters to attend to because no one watered the newly sodded grass and it died out. When they finally got around to watering the now dead St. Augustine, here’s what happened:


If the St. Augustine had been watered properly when it was first installed, it would have rooted and choked off the rye grass. I imagine once the spring rains come, along with the higher temps and humidity, the rye will wither and the St. Augustine will overtake the slope.

But for now, a view out my back door serves as a reminder that we can change our minds and our circumstances, but sometimes the things we plant then choose to replace or abandon may find their way back whether we want them or not. And sometimes we think winter is over, but it was only taking a few days off.

(I’m sorry if this post is vague. I’m processing some things that are weighing heavily on my heart and I just can’t discuss them publicly. They don’t involve anyone in my immediate family–we are all okay, and for that and so much more I am extremely grateful.┬áSo even though writing helps me sort through some things, sometimes I have to not write about some things. Clear as mud, huh? My hope is that if you can relate this to something in your own life it might serve as some measure of encouragement. If not, I’m really sorry you just read 600 words about what kind of grass I have in my back yard.)

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