From Tracie: Why I Watered Dirt To Make The Grass Grow: A Mother's Day Tale

Friday, May 07, 2010

Why I Watered Dirt To Make The Grass Grow: A Mother's Day Tale

I don't talk about my mother very much on my blog.  She is hilarious and sweet and awesome...and maybe a little bit shy...and she reads my blog (Hi Mom!!). Whenever something happens that makes me say "I could definitely blog about this!" she says "No, no, no! You don't need to put me on your blog."

But just this once, I am going to disobey her. (Because I have always been such a obedient daughter and this is the first time I have not listened to her in my entire life. *snort*)  I get to do this because it is Mother's Day Weekend, and children have a long standing tradition of giving their mothers things that they wouldn't necessarily want, but end up loving because they came from their children. (Hey mom, what is the chance that you will love being in my blog so much that you will let me start telling the really FUN stories? Huh? Not at all? Okay. I guess this is my one chance then!)

This is one of my favorite stories about my mom......

We moved into a new-to-us house when I was a teenager. It was on the corner, and had a large front yard with big trees in it. This house was the beginning of our gardening phase. We bought garden tools, those cute little miniature shovels and "dirt-breaker-uppers." Mom took me with her to the nursery and we picked out flats of flowers and plants to start our garden. I had wonderful dreams of gardening birthed from repetitive readings of A Secret Garden as a child, and even though it wasn't quite that grand, it came out really nice. 

We were doing great.

There was just one problem. Those big trees in the yard, led to patches of dirt where the grass didn't grow in very well. And over on the side where there weren't any trees, there were some patches of dirt where the grass didn't grow in very well either. Let's be honest, we bought this house and there were big, huge patches of dirt in the front yard, and all the flowers in the world weren't going to stop people from noticing the dirt.

My mom, being the gardener that she is, decided that something must be done. She came up with this great plan. If we would just start watering the dirt, the grass would scootch over, spread to those dirt patches, and start growing. Totally full-proof plan, right?

The first couple of days I went out there all excited, and spent 20 minutes watering all the patches of dirt.

By the second week, I was starting to get a little skeptical. The grass didn't seem to want to scootch, much less spread anywhere.

Week four, I clearly remember that there was this "dip" in the yard, just deep enough that I twisted my ankle. I continued to hobble (What's that mom? I didn't hobble? You think I'm exaggerating? No, I would never do that!) out there each day, and spent 20 minutes watering the dirt. Not the grass...just the dirt!

A couple of days later, I hobbled to church, seven miles uphill both ways.....(okay mom, now that was exaggerating! Let me start over....)

A couple of days later, I went to church on a Sunday morning. My friends and I were standing in the sanctuary, talking, after the service, and we noticed a new family had been sitting near us. We walked over to them and introduced ourselves. We learned that this family had just moved to town, and were related to people we knew at church.

One of the sons kept staring at me. You know, in that way where he was trying to make it look like he wasn't staring at me, but he totally was. Finally he said, "You look so familiar. Are you from New York?" and his brother said, "I was thinking the same thing, you really do look familiar."  I have never been to New York, so that couldn't be where they had seen me before.

We talked for a few minutes and started walking, which for me involved limping due to my gardening injury.  The first son inquired what happened to my ankle, and I answered, "I hurt it the other day doing some gardening."

At that moment, if this had been a cartoon, a light bulb would have clicked on over his head. He figured out where he had seen me before....

"You are that girl! That girl who waters dirt!"

"Um, waters dirt? When did you see me watering dirt?" (See how I played that all cool?)

"In your front yard! We know the _____ family who live over on ______ Street. Do you live on the corner?"

"Yes" (It is getting increasingly hard to stay cool at this point!)

"We've been driving past your house a lot the past few weeks, and always see this girl standing out in the front yard watering dirt. Why do you do that?"

"Well, my mom wants the grass to scootch over, and spread out over the dirt patches, so I'm watering the dirt to help encourage it to move. You know." shrugging my shoulders "We are into gardening."

At this point there was much laughing, and their mom was called over so they could tell her they had solved the mystery of the dirt watering girl.

The memory gets a little hazy there. I may or may not have blocked it out due to public humiliation.

I am pretty sure I also refused to water any more dirt after this, and I know that the grass never did scootch over.

Mom, on this Mother's Day, I want you to know that I have always enjoyed having fun times with you. I love you so much that I would come to your house any time to do gardening experiments. Although, I think if we decide to do this, we should stick to the back yard, behind a very tall fence!  You are not just my mother, you are my friend, and I love that about our relationship.  

I want to share one of my favorite pictures of my mom with you. 

This was taken last year during a very fun afternoon, and it never ceases to make me giggle when I look at it.
(Please forgive me for this picture, Mom. Look on the bright side, at least I didn't mention Chinese Fire Drills...Oops! I better quit while I'm ahead! Love you!)


  1. Awww. That is sweet.
    Nice story--did it work? Did the grass move over to the dirt patches?
    Happy mothers day tracie!

  2. Hi! Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest! What a great story for Mother's Day!

  3. That's too funny!

    My mom never made me water dirt. I would have preferred that to the mounds of weeds I was forced to yank out by the roots!

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest. I hope you have a lovely Mother's Day!

  4. What a great, happy post! Except for, ya know, the utter humiliation stuff. Your mom sounds great!
    Happy Mother's Day!

  5. Just one question: Did she really think the grass would scootch over?

    Happy SITS Sharefest!

    Happy Mother's Day!

  6. Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!
    What a wonderful story.

  7. you ARE an obedient daughter and your mom is embarrassed to be on your blog :)

    happy mother's day to you both :)


    m ^..^

  9. I'd like to say that I have no stories of any kind that would rank up there with the "dirt watering" story.

    Except I would be lyin' through my ever-lovin' teeth. ; )

    Great story! Great mom!

  10. So adorable! I use to water dirt too . Now my son follows in my footsteps. Happy Mother's day!

  11. Stopping from SITS! Not everyone takes great care of their dirt.

  12. My parents backyard had a HUGE strip of dirt right down the middle of it. It started out wide and went downhill to a narrow point, like it had been waterlogged. My dad seeded it and put down straw. It took years before it grew in completely and looked like the rest of the grass. Who knew it was so complicated? Grass is everywhere! lol

  13. Awww! What a sweet story! I hope she does love it -- it really does reflects how much love you have for her!!

  14. That's a cute story! I hope you are having a great Mother's Day!

  15. hi from sits! haha love the pic of her!

  16. What a fun story! Your Mom sounds great! I got a good laugh out of you going out and watering dirt though...ha ha! :)

    I hope you had a great Mother's Day!

  17. If you are willing to water dirt for your mother and risk personal humiliation and bodily harm, then I figure you must have had a good lady watching out for you.

  18. Great picture and story! I wish my mom was online and could read my blog.

  19. Love it :) And I have several pictures of my mom that look just like that!!! Haha! :)

  20. omg - what a great post! I love the idea of grass "schooching" over to the bare why do weeds do it but grass doesn't?

  21. awww how fun your mom sounds like a hoot :)

  22. LOL! Great story. I just sat here smiling the whole time I read it ;)