Watering by hand

I had a neighbor who lived across the street when I was younger his name was Jim.  He was married to Louise who had been a friend of the family for years.  She had always lived in the house across the street even when my grandparents had lived in our house and my mom was growing up.  In fact my mom grew up with Louise’s daughter.  Louise taught me how to play Chinese checkers (which has proved useful later in life) and Jim taught me how to water the yard… by hand.

Jim had an immaculate yard it was nicely cut to a certain height, trimmed around the edges and green.  Very green.  And well it should be, he was out there every evening watering his yard with the garden hose.  He would stand there and meticulously water making sure every inch got enough water to make it through the next day’s heat.  One day Jim and Louise were going on vacation and Jim wanted to hire me to take care of his lawn.  Mow it and water it each day for two weeks!  I quickly agreed watering a yard can’t be that hard.  Right?

First he instructed me how he wanted his lawn mowed.  It had to be done with a back and forth pattern not around in squares like we did ours, basically in strips so each line went the same way.  Then he showed me how to water the lawn which would take about 45 minutes if done right.  45 minutes to water the grass and I have to stand out there the whole time!?  Can’t I just hook up a sprinkler it would be easier.  If I remember right it had a similar back and forth motion (similar to a sprinkler) make sure not to stay in one place for too long, it was just as important that it not be watered too much as too little. Make sure you go around the tree don’t just stand in one spot because you’ll miss the back side of the tree and same thing with the bird bath make sure you water behind it and rinse the top for the birds.

The back yard was easier I could just turn on the sprinkler but it had to be moved around so while I watered the front I had to monitor the back sprinklers as well.  I survived those two weeks and got paid for my work.  There were other times as well so I must have done it correctly.  Eventually I was paid to mow the lawn each week as Jim got older and wasn’t able to do it himself.  But why do I remember this random watering lesson some 40 years after the fact?  Well probably because the valve on my sprinklers broke awhile back and I haven’t replaced it yet.  I’ve been watering my lawn by hand with a sprinkler.  But I’m not consistent and I don’t normally get the sprinkler in the right spots to cover the whole yard.  Thus I have dead spots, in the corners, behind the tree, and well watered spots where I’ve left it run for too long (don’t tell the water police).

I’ve contemplated watering by hand but I don’t have the time for that, but then I remembered my watering lesson with Jim and it brought back fond memories.  I should make the time it would probably be a nice time to just slow down a bit and enjoy the evening and help maintain a green lawn in the process.  I may never achieve the perfect lawn like Jim’s but maybe in the process I might achieve a more relaxed posture, develop some consistency and have some time to meditate on the more important things in life.  Just a thought.