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Living With Dust
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Photo: Jake Levin
Right now I’m staring at dirt – 2,400 square feet of it. Relaxing in my lawn chair (with no turf in sight), a gentle breeze catches the dust and carries it to the cement slab where I sit. It enters my nostrils and clings to my hair. A thin layer of it covers my books and papers.

Periodically, I grab the push broom and bully it off the patio. But it always returns like a steadfast fly. My son’s lab rises from his earthy bed at the side of the house, ambles over, shakes off the soil that powders his black coat and nuzzles me with his dusty nose.

This is my back yard. No, this is my back lot – there is no yard!

I imagine what it could be like, what it will be like – some day – and this is what I see: A 1,200 square foot, lush, green lawn with an attractive curb border, two cherry trees laden with plump ripe fruit, 10 tons of walker gold granite, an array of colorful ground cover plants, an automatic drip system, stepping stones, a soothing waterfall and new outdoor furniture.

But for right now, two forty year old web backed lawn chairs and a yard full of dirt will have to do. You see, last week I made the decision I would rather look at dust than debt.

Delayed Gratification

The new house I purchased six months ago came with a landscaped front yard only. To put in the back yard of my dreams will cost about six “G’s,” which I don’t have.

Oh, I could do it on credit; I’m sure some (if not most) of my neighbors have. But what would be the trade off? I could have a beautiful back yard in three days but I realize I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it. Every time I switched on the waterfall it would be a reminder of what I owed. I imagine myself tossing and turning in bed at night worrying about how I’m going to pay for it and what will happen if I get sick or injured and can’t work.

So, I decided it just wasn’t worth it. For now, I don’t have a yard but I do have peace of mind. I’ve resolved I need to save for my sod (a novel idea in this day and age). For the time being, I’ve chosen to live with dust, rather than debt.

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By Kathy A. Lewis. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines


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