What really wakes me up at 630 AM? Was it the run I just finished? Nope. A freezing blast to the face from the sprinkler as the wind catches the spray, forcing it in the opposite direction from which it was purposefully aimed.
Last year, as new homes finally got sod, just one other poor soul was out there, throwing up a simple wave each morning. A sign of solidarity as we wrangled hoses and sprinklers. I must say, I’m glad it wasn’t just me, even if they mastered not getting sprayed in the face and I did not.
Windy morning after yet another windy morning, trying to force the water into submission, my sole purpose was to not let the new sod die. Struggling to master what some might find easy, I’d hear the surging spray erupt from well-oiled machines in (almost) everyone else’s yard – one by one, a ticking clock of sprinkler heads.
Sprinkler systems – admittedly a source of irrigation envy on many-a-morning.
As with many neighborhoods, there’s a lot of small talk as we meet and greet new neighbors. In spring, the small talk is often about sod…and sprinkler systems. It is almost assumed that you have one.
When asked, my husband and I sometimes joke that we do.
Sprinkler system in the flesh.
Only, lets not get too hasty in calling me a ‘system‘ or I might get a big head. It’s kind of like when I worked for a certain genetics company and someone started referring to me as the ‘equipment department’ to customers. Ha! Tech service calls and repairs definitely taught me a thing or two, but I was no department…but I digress…back to the sprinklers! I have found a method that seems to work but ‘system‘ suggests that I’m not still getting sprayed in the face on a regular basis.
Believe it or not, once the watering twice a day because it refused to rain last July, and our sod watering permit expired, it actually wasn’t so bad.
In fact, having to water my own lawn may actually have a few minor perks.
I appreciate what I once did not. The every-other-day watering restriction used to seem like a bummer. A limitation. Nope. It is freedom! No matter how hot, I just cannot water on odd-numbered days. At the end of certain months…I get TWO days off. In a ROW. And no more disappointment when the sun isn’t shining – rain is a gift, washing away sprinkling duties.
I have to get up for it. I cannot water my lawn with two small children without watering them. It’s further motivation to keep getting up early, run, and start sprinklers when I return. Then I my bible and have plenty of time to read, study and pray…albeit with a couple of trips to move sprinklers and perhaps some towelling off. Then, hot coffee and a shower, and I’m ready just in time to greet those sweet little faces as they wake.
It saves money. We obviously saved by skipping the initial purchase of a sprinkler system, but last year, we also saved big on our water bills. When several neighbors told us the cost of their sprinkler-system driven water bills, we were shocked. Ours wasn’t just a little less, it was a lot less. Trust me, when you are moving it around, you are keenly aware of how much water is going on your lawn, and elsewhere. Our ‘method’ takes into account wind so we only place sprinklers where water actually hits our grass – Not the neighbor’s yard (sorry), the street, or the weeds behind us.
We are so blessed. By now, you know me, I’m always looking for a way to be grateful and joyful regardless of my circumstance. It’s here – even in a cold spray to the face. I am grateful we have a lawn instead of a dirt and weed pit like we did at the beginning of last summer. We have two hoses and two new sprinklers that work (last year 2 marginally worked and one simply did not).
We have clean, drinkable water that we use to water our grass. Just consider that. We should all be very careful in complaining about having such excess of a resource that many in the world die without.
Watering the lawn without a sprinkler system is a true first-world problem.
Sure, maybe someday we’ll install a sprinkler system. It would be a true luxury. But for now…hoses and sprinklers are good enough. A little self-discipline never hurt anyone. And, since my neighbors can see my inept attempt at escaping the spray, it can be seen as a humbling experience.
While I know I’ll probably still be excited to quit sprinkling by mid-summer, for now, I’m committed to enjoy it. Our lawn may not be as plush as some of the others, but it sure will have deep roots.
As new sod is laid out like carpet in our new neighbors yards, some of you will see me out there in the morning. My smile and wave hopefully will communicate an appreciation and understanding for your watering struggles.
Be encouraged; if I haven’t killed my sod yet, you won’t kill yours. That would take some serious skill.
Solidarity, my friends.