Friday, March 23, 2012

The Philosophy Corner

I like to publish this once a year or so because it’s cute and because it can be food for thought in many areas.  It's a conversation between God and St. Francis and if you haven't read it, you may want to.


"God: Francis, you know all about gardens and nature; what in the world is going on down there in the U.S.? What happened to the Dandelions, violets, thistles and the stuff I started eons ago? I had a Perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of Soil, withstand drought, and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honeybees, and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of color by now. All I see are patches of green.

St. Francis: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. They are called the Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers "weeds" and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

God: Grass? But it is so boring, it's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, bees or birds, only grubs and sod worms. It's temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want grass growing there?

St. Francis: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it has grown a little, they cut it....sometimes two times a week.

God: They cut it? Do they bale it like hay?

St. Francis: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

God: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

St. Francis: No sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

God: Now let me get this straight...they fertilize it to make it grow and when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

St. Francis: Yes, sir.

God: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

St. Francis: You aren't going to believe this Lord, but when the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

God: What nonsense! At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer.

In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep the moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves become compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of life.

St. Francis: You'd better sit down, Lord. As soon as the leaves fall, the Suburbanites rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

God: No way! What do they do to protect the shrubs and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

St Francis: After throwing the leaves away, they go out and buy something called mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

God: And where do they get this mulch?

St. Francis: They cut down the trees and grind them up to make mulch.

God: Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. Saint Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

St. Catherine: "Dumb and Dumber," Lord. It's a really stupid movie about....

God: Never mind--I think I just heard the whole story from Saint Francis!"

When we built our home, one of my goals was to have Southern Living Magazine cover grounds and for a few years I got close.  Then the reality of trying to do this while surrounded by woods and a less than weedy pasture sunk in.  Now I’m content if the neighbors don’t laugh when they drive by and I’m not embarrassed when company shows up. 

To go a little philosophically deeper, I’m pretty sure when I’m lying in bed with only 24 hours to live and I’m playing “I wish I had of” with myself that "have a great lawn" will not be one of my answers nor will many of the other things I spend way too much energy on.  Not only is it important to stop and smell the roses, it’s also important to stop and ask some important questions – the older I get, the better I understand this.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

One year ago: Chocolate Truffle Cake, Bloody Mary, And White Bean Soup

Two years ago:  None



  1. Larry, this post was wonderful. Your property absolutely, positively does look like a magazine cover for Southern Living. You and Bev have done a marvelous job and are an inspiration to all of us.

    Love the camellia at the top of your blog. My mother grew them when I was a child and we had huge ones when we lived in Vicksburg. If I can't have them here, at least I can enjoy them when I visit you. I just want to grab it and float it in a bowl of water on my coffee table. Do you know the name of that one? It is spectacular.

  2. This is so perfectly stated. I just might have to share this. Thanks.

  3. Great post, Larry! And from what I've seen, you DO have a lovely yard. Might not be Southern Living worthy.. but what do they know!! :)

  4. I need to share this too! Thanks for the nice giggle even though it is so true and kinda sad! Have a lovely weekend.

  5. We mulch in our grass clippings and leaves. It's a much happier way to go. Your little story is cute, and so very true! BTW, we often have a yellow lawn the day before the lawn service shows up. I'm not going to spend thousands of dollars for chemicals to kill dandelions!

  6. This is great post. All I can say is 'Amen!'.

  7. Oh my gosh, Larry! I read this aloud to Bill and we both laughed out loud! So true how so many people are incredibly anal about their lawns, their homes, and more! Living in the country we have let all the weeds take over and love how they stay green all summer long with no watering! What a joy to live with so much less to be concerned about. Our garage is a mess and the house is clean but slightly cluttered by me, an avid reader, and a hubbie that never learned to hang up his clothes. With two hairy golden retrievers, a beagle and 3 cats, the fur flies freely and we use several rolls of lint, dust, and fur remover tape each year.

    I do get the basics cleaned and realize that, like you, it's more important to stop and smell the roses and tell my anal-retentive daughter (whom I dearly love) that I just don't care what anyone thinks anymore . . . and man does that feel good to be able to say!

    Keep philosophising! I love it!

  8. Larry, when we ate at the dockside fish spot, I thought of you and of Sam from My Carolina Kitchen (cuz she has a home just south of here). This would be your kind of place my friend!

    I can't wait to see and read your post on the breaded fish and the sweet potato fries. I'm sure you prepared them to a point of amazing!

    Be well! Roz

  9. I have often caught myself in the middle of something and wondered if it would even matter in the end. Can't tell you how many times I've changed our plans, just to make a better use of our time.

    I like my house clean, but it may not sparkly as some others do. Our yards are no longer given the time and careful attention that the neighbors would probably like. Our garden produces loads of awesome vegetables and that keeps me happy with it all! Beyond that, we'll just keep mowing down the front of the house and call it good.

    YOUR place on the other hand looks fantastic! :)


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