On Labor Day the forecast was for showers and thunderstorms and we were kind of tired of running around, so we decided not to sail (or raise the mast). As I was weed whacking my lawn, I realized that I was still spending a majority of my brain power on engineering this removable bumper/light bar for the boat trailer and, by extension, what a terrible thing boat ownership has been for my yard. When I say weed whacking the lawn, I literally mean the lawn—not just the fussy bits around the edges.

To be fair, my yard wasn’t great before the boat. I grew up in the woods, and prefer self-tending environments. Overly manicured yards remind me of things in which I’m aggressively disinterested, like golf courses and Disney properties. But I did a reasonable job at keeping the neighbors from showing up with torches.

We had record rainfall in August (over 13″ of rain in my region) which has made the loose community of clovers, dandelions, and crab grass that make up my lawn go crazy. I stayed ahead of the worst of it with an occasional mow, although the areas where the mower couldn’t go were looking like spring wheat. Hence the weed whacker. Mine is the cheapest thing I could possibly find in 2006—a tiny underpowered wired electric job that’s about 6″ too short to comfortably use and corroded to the point where you have to take it down to its principal parts to get more line to feed out (which is also the original line, and probably a little extra brittle at this point). It’s about one step up from that thing babies push around that makes the colored balls pop and bounce inside it. Anyway, I was reaping what I didn’t sew and things were going ok, but then I noticed that tidying up the worst areas made the medium-terrible areas look fully terrible. I decided to knock down the tallest pieces of bermuda grass and horse corn (or whatever was growing in there) with the trimmer rather than pull out the mower, but I could only reach the parts that were within a 25 foot radius of an electrical outlet, because I didn’t bother to break out the 100 foot extension cord.  I figured that if the neighbors do show up with torches, I may at least be able to blame aliens for the crop circles.

I try really hard to do things on the boat the right way. The sailorly way. The more expensive and time consuming way that pays into my bag of chits with the sailing gods. But like The Byrds said in Ecclesiastes 3, there’s a time for everything, and I’m highly likely to continue to make my yard the time to be lax.


"Prepare to fend off the bridge abutment."