Our builder found out a few days before we were supposed to move in that the wrong fence had been ordered. It would take 10 days to two weeks for the right fence to come. My husband suggested to just keep the fence off and install the new one when it gets there. But that was impossible for insurance reasons. About a week after we had moved in, big strong men came to take out the old fence and put in the new one. It was December and it had been raining during that week. A good Texas rain: When it rains it pours. So the big strong men left big deep footprints in our yard. It didn’t help that the metal fence pieces were quite heavy and added significantly to the weight of the big men. Not only did we now have a beautiful new fence behind our yard (funnily, you couldn’t tell a difference to the “old” one); our new lawn also looked like the stomping ground of a longhorn round-up. We tried to even it out, but the weather wasn’t very cooperative and the grass was going dormant. So we decided to live through the winter trying not to break our ankles while playing in the yard and stepping in the holes and to start our beautification process in the spring.
What better time to do some intensive yard work than a long weekend? We had a lot to do: rake a million leaves (something that I had never experienced before: leaves falling in March) and old grass, put on layers of dirt to even out the yard, and rake the dirt in to help the grass grow. At 8 am on Good Friday, my husband drove up with his truck full of dirt. That was one of those moments when I thought “yes, having a truck is really convenient”. Our nephew drove up with some friends to give us a few strong hands spreading the dirt and our one-year-old son also had a blast helping. Everyone worked really hard for two days.
By the end of the next day, we could barely move. Our yard was nearly even. And very ugly. All brown with an occasional leave of grass peeking through. And it smelled! The dirt contained natural fertilizers and they smelled quite strongly. It did make the grass really happy.
What we hadn’t considered in our plans was that the entire family was coming over the next day for a house warming Easter Egg hunt and a delicious leg of lamb. Not to forget the Easter Bunny who was supposed to hide eggs. How was he supposed to hop across the dirt without getting his feet dirty and taking the smell everywhere? Luckily, our son was not as critical then as he is now. I had visions of roly polies and other creepy crawly things that lived in the dirt crawling into our son’s Easter basket. And just as bad: being carried into the house. We had to limit the hiding places to the porch. And being that young, our son didn’t expect much and had a great time finding things in the pots and plants on the porch. The real Easter Egg Hunt with the bigger kids would be harder. I just gave it up at one point to try and keep them off the dirt. Tiny feet only left tiny footprints that our now almost even lawn could handle. Their clothes and shoes though probably smelled up cars and laundry rooms.
The smell they carried into our house has left by now and the grass is happily growing. It may have been the happy kids playing on it that had the lawn improve instantly.