We live on a tree-lined street, with kids and a dog and a story that is more or less typical. Our yard is large for a Minneapolis city lot. In the front is a patch of weeds, the frequent stage for our sons, Luke and Ryan, to play tag, ride bikes and build snow forts. The fenced-in backyard, which actually has vegetation that can be classified as grass, is reserved for our golden retriever Molly and the havoc she wreaks on our boys' games of baseball, soccer and football. Each fall I decide to improve the landscape by sowing some seed and spreading several handfuls of fertilizer. But I'm reminded of the futility of those plans each spring when the snow-pack melts and the games begin.