I recognize that there are people who love to be outside, love to dig their eager hands into the fertile ground, love to clip and prune and pull, love to plant and tend and fret over the earth's bounty.
I mean them no disrespect when I say that I am not one of them.
I'd like to say that it all goes back to having grown up doing yard work in the Midwest. It is certainly true that when I mowed the lawn back there, I faced harrowing enemies. For years I battled mutant weeds, weeds that sprang up some 4 feet in the span of an evening. I'm not kidding.
Let me recommend a book. It's called "Passage," and the author is Connie Willis. Willis is a Colorado native, now living in Greeley, and at this point, has won more Nebulas and Hugos (the top science fiction writing awards) than anyone else, living or dead. "Passage" is destined to win her another one. She's written many fine books; "Passage" is her best.
Well, I've gotten a flood of mail about my previous column concerning my utterly incompetent lawn care. I'm gratified to report that I am not alone.
A sample: "If it weren't for neighbors, I wouldn't cut my grass at all." This is the observation of an honest man.
Another: "We bulldoze the land, already teeming with native life. We impose the landscape of Back East. Then we dump toxic chemicals onto the transposed, mismatched flora to kill all the things that grow here naturally. For God's sake, why?"
For many people, reading is a solitary activity. It's time exempt from the pressures of society.
On the other hand, over the past several years, I've noticed the remarkable growth of book clubs, particularly in Douglas County. What's behind that?