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    Why Gravel Is Our Front Lawn

    It's actually my front and back lawn. I've never really cared very much about lawn, having been raised in Cleveland and then New York City. Herman doesn't care about having a lawn because for many years when he lived on a dairy farm, even after the farm was no longer a working farm, he tells me had to take care of something like 2 acres of lawn. So he pretty much was in agreement when it came down to making a decision about whether or not to have a lawn.

    Herman and I are even more convinced that we made the correct decision when we see our neighbors on both sides of us mowing their lawns. We have actually seen some grass popping up through the gravel, but Herman goes after that at my insistence with the weed-whacker. I think that takes a total of about 10 minutes every two weeks. And Herman says he can live with that! As I can because I like the way our "lawn" looks as gravel. Not that I have anything bad to say about vegetation, but I remember my parents always fighting with our front and back lawn and tried to get it to grow. I do remember actually having a really good time running through the sprinkler on a hot summer day when I was a kid. But I also remember the lawn always being kind of burnt and dry when we hadn't had enough rain.

    Which was actually unusual in Cleveland because it seemed like it rained there all the time in the summer. More likely I was just being a kid and it simply seemed like it was raining all the time. Well maybe that isn't true because each time I speak to my mom it seems to be raining there.

    When I was in New York City, I didn't see very many lawns, though I did live in a fabulous building in the West Village that had a wonderful courtyard with lots of vegetation, and even ivy on the brick walls.

    It was very difficult to get into this building, but I happened to be waiting on the owners in a restaurant that I was working at, and we got to be friends and one day they offered me this great apartment. It wasn’t cheap, something like $1,100 per month, and that was back in 1987. So I roomed with my best friend. As it is very difficult to get any apartment in New York, I was delighted to happen onto this unbelievable place.

    So back to my not having grass but gravel as a front lawn. Let me just review what Herman and I consider the advantages: no mowing, no watering, no burnt out patches, no fertilizing, no weed control, no hassle!

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"