The Grass Is Greenest

by Amy Middleton, Guest Blogger

Two weeks ago I traded my 3rd floor Manhattan walk-up apartment for a temporary yet rent-free arrangement with my parents. I thought leaving NYC after seven years would be grief-filled, epic, tragic; but it has been none of that. I’ve yet to miss the East Coast.

The most welcome change has been the weather. In June, NYC had rain every day but four. Since coming west I’ve only had sunshine. The irony of this upgrade is that while skyscrapers do not require irrigation, the landscape of Orange County largely does. There is a surface out here called grass and it takes up land and resources, and homeowners are not happy if it is a color other than green.

Though I grew up with a lawn, the concept seems outdated and superfluous to me now. In my Harlem walkup, potted fruit trees, vegetables, and herbs competed for limited space near the only window that brought in sunlight.  Though I lacked roof access, I attended workshops on rooftop gardening.  The “Food Not Lawns” approach soon seemed the only sensible use of soil; the dream of having my own little space in which to grow food was a primary catalyst for the cross-country return.

The impact of the Southern California on yard-owners is thus: the city is mandating when they may and may not run their sprinklers. I don’t mean to be complaining about people who are frustrated at the adjustment, but this for me has been the biggest shock of swapping coasts and cultures:

If you have limited access to life’s most essential liquid, why are you upset that the government is monitoring completely unproductive water usage?

Another appropriate question is, who am I, and why am I lamenting this on May’s blog? I am May’s anagram, and while she’s leading young women in spirituality and scriptures, I am thinking about lawns.

This Week’s Guest Blog

I met Amy Middleton for the first time about five years ago. It was at a singles’ ice skating activity, and Becky introduced her to me has her cousin. Then three Labor Days ago Amy, with a few other friends, accompanied us to Portland, Maine, which is not a vegetarian’s dream. Still, it was great spending roadtrip time getting to know her. She’s extremely intelligent and thoughtful and creative. Our first names are anagrams of each other. She’s ultra cool.

Except, she up and left the city. Almost three weeks ago. She switched coasts. We miss her around these parts. Fortunately the distance didn’t keep me from asking her to write for me, which she was more than willing to do.