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In the Weeds

     They're everywhere! They pop up in the most barren places. They defy rock landscapes and commercial thickness weed barriers. They fly in and toss their seeds over bark, groundcover and grassy green lawns. Their seeds blossom into big, bossy green leaves waving gleefully at passersby—from the depths of your lovingly tended lawn or your artfully-designed rock landscape. They even pop up in the seams of your concrete driveway.

     They have no shame. You can't keep up with them—not when their BFF, Best Friend Forever, Mr. Rain, is aiding and abetting them in their plot to take over your world. Mr. Rain has been a frequent visitor lately so I've been doing a lot of bending over, pulling weeds by their roots. Aha! Gotcha!

     Got that one and a dozen before it and I could've sworn I got every one of them from that section of the narrow pebbled strip at the edge of the patio but as I unfold from my stooping position my eye catches a green something, over to the left. Not just one. A bunch of green somethings. And I haven't even started over there by the bushes. Plus—this is just the back yard...

     The newly-discovered weeds among the pebbles were the worst. They refused to give up their roots. I stumbled backwards as they cut loose their leaves, leaving their roots firmly entrenched in the ground. I don't wear gloves. I should, but I just don't like wearing them, so my fingernails pay the price as I dig down into the moist brown dirt, determined to get to the roots if it kills me.

     Sometimes I win; sometimes I lose. My fingernails and fingertips turn brown with stubborn dirt that loves its new home as much as the weeds love sticking it to me. But I have to say, the satisfaction of getting a firm grip, down close to the roots, and pulling that sucker right straight up out of the ground is nothing to be laughed at. Feels great!

     Out in front, there's the sidewalk strip in front of the house. Its beauty rocks! Another way of saying it was designed for maintenance-free, note this—weed free—eye appeal, with river rock of varying shapes and sizes filling the strip. Commercial-grade weed barrier fabric protects the rocks from the mischievous weed seeds that lie beneath the rocks—but not from the seeds that fly in from afar, landing here and there and everywhere.

     Pulling those weeds is a different story. I have to look real close to see which rock is protecting the roots of that particular green thing. I move the rock aside and reach as far down along the stem as I can to get a grip—and I pull. Shoot! I decide to wait for Marcelino to take care of these intruders, but he doesn't come for a couple of weeks and meanwhile, what will the neighbors think?

     Tossing that thought aside, I go to work pulling the occasional weeds coming up among the rosemary groundcover and around the few large rocks of the front yard. Dusting myself off and turning to go inside, so proud of my weed-free—okay, practically weed-free—front yard.

     As I turn, freshly-arrived weeds waved their leaves at me from between the rocks. There are so many I can barely see the rocks. But still I wait for Marcelino to come and restore the strip to respectability.

     He came and conquered and now I'm praying for no rain, at least not until the day before he comes next month.

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