My dad recently won theYard of the Month award from the city of Hampton, VA. They gave him a sign he gets to keep all month and everything. Plus as a monthly winner, he’s now in the running for Yard of the Year!


My dad has won numerous Man of the Year awards, garnered accolades on his job, and for his community service, but anyone that knows my dad knows that YOTM is pretty much the best compliment anyone could give him. Because he is a bit obsessed with his yard. He loves flowers so much my mom and I would swear he was gonna dig up the grass to make room for more. We used to joke that he would spend his very last dime on flowers and seeds and landscape beautification.

Admittedly, in the grand scheme of vices that’s not a bad one to have. But still…

He has chronic problems with his back so there were years when we lived in Jersey when he couldn’t mow the lawn himself so he’d hire kids in the neighborhood or his friends’ children to do it for him. But he always had a very specific pattern he wanted the grass cut in — alternating diagonals so you could see the color differentiation in the rows — and you BET NOT mess it up!!! My dad was in sales so when he was in town he worked from a home office that overlooked the front yard. And bad back and all I have — on numerous occasions — seen him bound down two flights of stairs to confront postal workers who cut across the lawn to deliver the mail.

They only ever did it once. Hahaha.

My mom and I hated it because whenever he traveled he’d give us a strict watering schedule to follow. We never did and we always ‘got in trouble.’ One summer when it was especially hot, I didn’t water the flower beds for an entire week and they died. I still haven’t heard the end of it.

When he retired and my folks moved into their new house down in Virginia my dad had a brand new canvas. And true to form he flower-pimped it out. I mean seriously, look at all the damn flowers in that photo… He not only takes care of his lawn, but he buys, plants and maintains the flowers at the entrance to the development he lives in. Just because he likes to…

I’ve said all this to say that while I’m proud of my dad because I know how much this award means to him, I’m also worried that it’s gonna go to his head. We thought we couldn’t tell him anything before… I’m sure he’ll remind us of this award any and every time we make a comment about the yard. But hey, at the end of the day it’s what makes him happy. So in the end I’m happy.

Yay Daddy!!!

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