Friday, November 13, 2015
Words Are Not Actions
One of the red flags that flew over my brain was an email from leadership detailing how to mow our lawns properly, how to weed them, with photos of how a lawn should not look. It even went so far as to tell everyone to mow their lawn that night. I hated how I felt we were being treated as children. Oddly this email corresponded to right before KP was due back after an extended stay in India and had not seen the campus as an actual working entity yet. Funny why was KP not around for the packing up and moving bit? Ya know that just occurred to me...
Anyway back to lawns, let me picture it for you, to save on overall costs they did not overlay turf on the whole lawn but rather did the perimeter to save on erosion and seeded over the yards with rye, which was quick growing and would cover the mess of dirt till it was the right time to plant the real grass seed. These lawns were pretty sad can you picture the "dust in drought," "mud in rain," "house just built" yard. So can you see it... nice grass around the edge and tall weeds and sporadically clumps of grass (mainly rye and crabgrass) in the middle... not much you can do to make it look good. My kids and I had already spent hours de-weeding our lawn and we were helping others on our street by pulling weeds before they got to big to pull out easily. My kids and I had been fighting the battle of the sage brush for a month, prior to others moving on campus, we didn't just do our lawn. We had the attitude of if you see a need take ownership of it.
I typically used a reel mower for my old postage stamp yard in Carrollton. I reelly (get it) couldn't start our power mower. Sadly at the time of the email the rye was too tall and sparse for the reel mower to cut effectivly, and our power mower would not start... Yup my yard did not passed muster.
Now in my old neighborhood, my male neighbors often took matters into their own hands when they saw me struggling to mow a lawn my hubby was too dedicated the reaching the lost at any cost to mow. My momma raised me well and to tell the truth He likes doing dishes, *shudder* I like out door work... For example I cut down a tree today, we are well matched. Yet the pesky mower often would not start for me. Many a time my neighbors started my mower for me after I refused all offers of allowing them the joy of mowing my lawn for me. They often would do the trimming when my back was turned. I was always grateful and paid them in homemade cookies. On campus only H's boy ever offered to help me when I was obviously struggling. What caused me pain was as I was struggling to mow my lawn, the man who wrote the "how to mow your lawn" email was out in his yard. Did he miss the fact I was fighting a loosing battle with the mower? He didn't offer to help and well he's a senior leader I'm not going to "bother him." Yet in the email we were encouraged to help each other, if you see a need help out. Actions speak better than words or emails.
That email upset me enough to mention it to the sender. I didn't say much something along the lines of "Hey your email made me cry." (Bye the bye thanks for the new lawn mower that was very kind). There was a part of me that thought if they want it to look nice and perfectly groomed why are they not hiring it done? Why not turf all of the lawn not just the edges, if keeping up appearances is so important? Is this really what we should be focused on, the outward appearance of the campus, uniform mailboxes, uniform days to mow, all the housing looking the same with no personality. Gardening in garden beds only unless you were willing to put it back exactly how you found it. I was so tempted to put a garden in my back yard where the seed just would not take. It was a mud pit for months. I thought I can take a picture of the mud, then put up a garden box. If I ever move out I can return it to the mud pit state... *giggle* I never did that, just giggled over it.
How could I not but compare my "New Community" to my old neighborhood. One where I intentionally cultivated my neighbors, got them to talk to me and each other. Where we helped each other without someone needing to ask. It was a good street to live on. How odd is it that I felt more fellowship with the bachelors, the librarian, the cop, the teacher, and the common law family than I did in a community of my fellow christens and co-workers?