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Column: Giles Snyder readies for summer yard work

Editor’s Note: Giles Snyder is a free lance lifestyles columnist. His work is available for purchase through the WVPA.


If only I would follow my own advice, I might have more time to devote to navel gazing this summer.


But I didn’t and now I fear I’m setting myself up for a busier than usual season of yard work.


That potential was brought home to me this week while I was taking a neighbor dog back down to his house after a play date with our big dog Rodney. One of the neighbors was out spreading grass seed.


At least, I think it was seed. It could have been some sort of fertilizer.


I didn’t ask what he was putting down in his yard, but it doesn’t really matter. The end result will probably be the same.


The dog and I stopped in the middle of the street and watched as my neighbor strode back and forth sending whatever he had in his hand-held spreader flying in every direction.


When he noticed me watching, I cracked a smile and suggested he would regret it.


“Don’t do it,” I joked. “You’re just creating work for yourself.”


The neighbor I harassed is a relative newcomer to our corner of West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. In fact, we hadn’t even been properly introduced.


We took the opportunity that day. And, lucky for me he was a good sport about being heckled. After shaking hands, we chatted for a few minutes before going our separate ways.


I thought he’d go back to work encouraging grass to grow, but when I passed back by his house after returning the neighbor dog to his rightful home, he was no longer in his yard wielding his spreader.


He was nowhere to be seen.


I like to think I caused him to think twice about sprucing up his lawn – that he decided to slack off and do what I usually do when faced with yard work – kick back and hope that it will magically take care of itself.


Unfortunately, the Hogwarts approach to lawn care doesn’t work. Magic does not replace the investment in time and money. If it did, I would have the best, most luxurious lawn around. Instead, my wife is left to wonder about what’s actually growing in front of our house.


That’s not to say that I haven’t tried to sow grass.


Despite what I insisted a couple of weeks ago – about waiting for the official start of spring – I actually got the jump on the season this year.


The Friday before the spring equinox, I raked my yard as the experts suggest to help new seed germinate. Then I retrieved my own spreader from the garage..


I’ve even remembered to turn on the sprinkler a few times since then to ensure my efforts are properly watered.


I’ve clearly ignored my own advice.


But I fully expect to regret the enthusiasm of spring – probably right around the time I have to pull out the rickety old lawn mower that’s been sitting idle in our garage all winter.


Giles Snyder lives in Martinsburg with his wife and two kids. You can follow @GilesSnyder on Twitter, find him on Facebook or keep up with him through his blog at








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