The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

When my husband Russ 
would play with his cousins as a boy, 
he always made everyone pretend 
his name was "Ross".

For some reason,
he thought "Ross" was
an infinitely cooler name than "Russ".

We've laughed about that many times over the years, but I suppose that as a youngster I did many of the same kinds of silly things -- trying on different voices or hairstyles (thank goodness none of the ridiculous ones stuck!)

My sixth grade photo is quite unfortunate, for instance, as a result of the "shag" hairdo that I suppose was inspired by Carol Brady (although it looked a little more like Keith Partridge) . . .

And I remember quite well the day I bought my first blue eyeshadow, marched to the pharmacy by my blonde, several-years-older neighbor who knew all of life's secrets.  I was certain that eyeshadow was going to change EVERYTHING.

So it seems there is no truer adage 
than that of the grass always looking greener elsewhere.

At our house, it's actually more than an adage because we have the privilege of living next door to the master gardener of the neighborhood.  It's wonderful, because when I look out my kitchen window I have a beautiful yard to enjoy.  

 I could install a green kitchen floor to help me feel better about myself. . .

Or better yet, a green floor AND ceiling! 

It's awful, because when I drive up to my house, I have to drive by her house first.  And then mine is a real letdown.  But gardening just isn't my bag -- and let's be honest --

I'm not willing to work as hard at it as she does.

And there is the point of Robert Fulghum's words about grass.  
He said:

"The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence.  Fences have nothing to do with it.  The grass is greenest where it is watered.  When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be."

Hmmm.  Very wise indeed.

However, I fear that no amount of water dumped on my work would save me from what we'll dub the "grass effect" I experienced while devouring my two latest wonderful/awful book acquisitions:

(Both are by Lark Books, both were found at my local B&N.)

If you haven't seen these books, you should seek them out.  They are chock full of inspiration and unbelievable eye-candy.  Whether or not you're a quilter, the works in these books will get your attention.

There are plenty of quilts on these pages that make me say, "HOW ON EARTH DID SHE GET THAT LAWN?!  NOBODY'S LAWN CAN BE THAT GREEN!"  The answer, of course, is that she started with different seed.

Some people's parents name them "Ross" from the beginning, and that's just an obvious leg up on the competition.

The moral of this story is that, as is the case with my neighbor's yard, sometimes the grass on the other side of the fence actually IS greener.  And no amount of blue eye shadow is ever going to change that.  Which is okay.

Because the rest of us are going to sit 
on our side of the fence and just  
enjoy, enjoy, enjoy the view. . . 


Judy said...

Love the picture of Ross/Russ's bellybutton. Where is the companion picture of your Carol Brady hairdo? I know a few quilters who would love those books. Thanks for the tip.

susan m hinckley said...

There is a picture in existence of that hairdo . . . luckily, it's buried in the storage room right now (and let's hope forever).

The books are both wonderful, and so well-priced! Perfect gifts for anyone who would appreciate them.

april said...

it's ok, my good friend, who also happens to be my hairdresser, totally chopped off the back of my hair last week. i believe it's because i admitted to her that i kept finding myself styling my hair in a carol brady/mrs. patridge type fashion - under at the sides and flipped out in the back. what's worse is that i kind of liked it. i'm guessing chopping the back was her way of saving me from myself.

anyhoo, you totally got me on the april fools post (although maybe being a week out from april fools also helped), poor cooper and i'd be a little scared to keep reaching in the cone too, love the quote about grass and fences!

thanks for the inspiration. hope april isn't too cruel for you guys. it's divine here right now.

luanne said...

It's okay if blue eyeshadow won't make my grass greener, but I'm still counting on it making me look like Meryl Streep. Is that asking too much???

So not one but two art quilting books -- are you up to something new? Must say, you picked two of my faves. I just might need to have a fresh browse tonight. Thanks for the nudge!

susan m hinckley said...

ha ha, April! I have to admit my hair has a bit of the Carol Brady flip going on today as well -- good thing I'm planning to get it cut tomorrow . . . I certainly hope someone would tell me if she was the first thing they thought of when they look at me.

LuAnne, I remain a quilter at heart. And so in my mind I make art quilts. You see? This is exactly what I was talking about. I thought I was doing the same thing as the folks in the book. No? Well that explains a lot!

And I don't think anyone should ever underestimate the power of blue eyeshadow. Generations have relied on it!

Allie said...

OH MY GOSH I had the Carol Brady haircut - I cried afterward, it looked so terrible. My girlfriend tried to fix it. Yes, the same one that helped me put on my blue eyeshadow for the first time.

You keep on watering your own patch Susan, there are people looking in awe at YOUR lawn, you know!

april said...

ok, i totally have to second allie!!! touche!

susan m hinckley said...

Thanks, friends! I suppose that's the point -- we're all standing on a pretty good patch of grass . . . but it's still pretty hard not to feel like the neighbor's yard looks better. I guess we just need to remember that WE'RE somebody's neighbor, too!

Sara and Cory said...

I used to tell people when I was little that Sara was short for Samantha...haha! :O)

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