The closest I come to being a serial killer is attempting to raise a bunch of potted plants on my back porch.  I confess, I am not good at growing things except whiskers.  Especially lacking are my skills for growing grass.  NO, not that kind.  The kind that covers the ground around my house. That is why I live in a community that has a homeowners’ association.  They take care of the grass.  I take care of my house.  It’ a good deal.

My friend, Ron, however, doesn’t have such a deal.  His homeowners’ association consists of one associate–him.  So Ron has to deal with things like lawn mowers, edgers, fertilizers and weed killers.  It’s enough to make a man…well, it makes him suburban.  Explain what that means, willyuh Ron…



By Ron Carmean, Contributing Editor

 A few years ago, my wife and I moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia.  Houses were attractive, neighbors appeared friendly and the developers had left a significant amount of trees and grass. Usually, in such a setting, the trees were removed, then the area is named Whispering Willows or Maple Grove –without a tree in sight.

As time passed, I noticed the properties around us had lawns that could double for a PGA putting green.  Men put in more time with their lawns than with their children.  Chemicals from large trucks covered every inch of lawn with “growth producing substances.”  (We kept our dog away, just in case.)

Mowing grass was practically an Olympic event.  At least once a week, men saddled up their riding mowers and the race was on.  Who would finish first?  Of course, neatness counted, too.  Some men clipped the edges of their lawn, while on their knees, with tools looking suspiciously like scissors.  One go-around was not enough.  These people were serious.  At least a second cutting was necessary.

Then the borders were addressed.  Flowers, bushes, miniature Christmas trees were tended to next.  Mother Nature was no match for these groundskeepers.  Suburban men meant to improve on God’s handiwork.

When done, they rode over their handiwork a third time to collect clippings.  Most bagged them as the law required.  But one lone wolf turned up his nose at such regulations and poured his excess grass down a sewer.

In comparison, our grass looked at us with a sad, half-green, half-brown stare.  A lawn expert told us why.  Our property was “down hill from the surrounding homes.”  When rain hit their grounds, it flowed to us.  We had puddles the size of kiddie pools.  Top soil was eroded with every rain fall.  In some places, the most shallow tree roots were exposed.  Not a pleasant site, and as daylight disappeared, tripping and spraining or breaking an angle was a constant concern.  I thought of posting a sign: “No strolling after dark.”  But why point out the obvious. Beneath what remaining grass we had was clay—apparently it doesn’t absorb water quickly or efficiently.

Undeterred, we seeded our grounds and cut it regularly—not  too much, not too little.  The end result of our labors: another half-green, half-brown stare…but cut to the ideal height.

Six months into our occupation, my wife and I, at the supermarket, overheard women talking about properties in our vicinity.  One said: “You can tell so much about people just from the condition of their lawn.  If the outside isn’t well-kept, you know the inside is just as bad.”  I thought: “Wait a minute.  I’m a nice guy.  I treat people fairly.  I keep our home in good condition.  But I can’t get blood from a stone, or grow green grass under our conditions.  Besides, I am not my lawn.   Can’t you see that?” But these women had come to a different conclusion.  Plus, they lived up stream from us.  I bit my tongue. I still have the teeth marks.


I wonder if Ron remembers that New Christy Minstrels ditty…

Green, green,
It’s green they say,
On the far side of the hill.
Green, green,
I’m going away to where
The grass is greener still.



Books by Marc Kuhn:  DEAD LETTER…Young love, misguided jealousy, a world war and a long lost letter whose shocking mystery is opened 40 years later; THE POPE’S STONE, an historical novel that follows two descendants of a Virginia family who, despite living a century apart, share uncanny similarities in their lives; NEVER GOOSE A MOOSE, a collection of whimsical verse featuring thought-provoking “never-do’s” that children should beware of; and ABOUT A FARM, a children’s book about challenges we all face every day, regardless of where we live. All four books are available at and each has its own .com website under its title (exception:

bookcollage copy

Intimate details about Marc Kuhn and other exhilarating stuff at

Many of the pictures used on my blog are photographs I’ve taken. If you see one you want and it is one of mine, simply ask in the comment section below and I will send it to you. Other illustrations used within this blog are culled from available images on the Internet. Copyrighted material is not intentionally displayed. If a source is provided, attribution is included on the blog. There is no attempt to steal or devalue any material used within this blog. If you have an issue or concern about anything included in the text or illustrations on this blog, please contact me.

Marc’s Blog is copyrighted 2012, 2013, Marc L. Kuhn. Reblogging is permitted with notification to author and if presented with attribution to source. Other reproduction, whether in whole or in part, must receive permission from author. Contact author via comment on this blog space or at


About Marc Kuhn

I am a retired radio exec. I've worked at major stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami. That was then. This is now: I've published seven books and this blog thingy. Need to know more? Really? Okay, I bare/bear all at The other links are for the websites of each of the books I've written. I've been busy! Hope you'll stop by and check them out. Thanks for your interest!
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  1. Marc Kuhn says:

    Phillip…no problem in re-blogging. I only ask you to reference the source somewhere in your presentation. Thanks very much!


  2. Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group?

    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.

    Please let me know. Thanks


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