These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


i am mr. homeowner, as my friends in holland like to call me. and so much goes into makinga house into a home.

certainly one of the best examples for the exterior, front of the house is landscaping. after all, the front is where the community sees where you live.

ours isn't pretty by any means. there is a young tree growing in the area between the curb and sidewalk, grass in the same area, sparse grass to the left of the walk and no grass to the right of the walk up to the porch. in other words, it's quite bare. or barren.

some weeks ago, however, while talking to someone from the city, it was mentioned to me that some college kids were doing some internship and looking to do some landscaping in our sone-to-be new neighborhood. i said it'd be great but neard nothing more of it.

then a few days ago, i noticed some people up front. it was the same city official and tow men. turns out our home was selected as a site to landscape in our block. i was elated. dawn drove up then, so she was able to help discuss with the landscaping.

it looks like we will get landscaping done to our front yard. they will put in annuals, shrubs, remove some bad dirt, plant grass and i asked about maybe a small tree up front. the landscaper said maybe a dogwood. he asked what color leaves, white or pink. i said pink.

the grant will provide the materials and the college students will provide the labor. we are so lucky with this. i know doing landscaping can be tedious and expensive work that can take weeks and weeks. so i am very pleased with this.

i am glad that the city wants to help make central neighborhoods look better and cleaner and do things like this to make it happen.

in the spring, we'll look into the backyard. it's a huge yard and really completely shaded by large trees. we may have to cut strategic branches to allow more sunlight into the yard. also we'll have to plant grass to make it look nice and probably lots of flowers and maybe some shrubs and other plants. it'll come along in time.