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The longest yard………….

June 23, 2011

Our yard has not gotten a lot of attention over the past couple of years. Dandelions have taken over. And while I actually think they are all sorts of loverly, I know not everyone appreciates their weedy beauty. We also have lots of clover and other non-grass growth in our yard.

It doesn’t help that our yard backs up to a community walking path. That means that our neighbors pets make lots o’ fertilizer deposits in our yard.

You’d think the weeds would be a tad bit more laid back and grow slower than the grass. But not so much. They are just everywhere. And they get pretty tall – pretty fast.

My son broke his finger over spring break and my husband had a business trip. That left me to tackle mowing the yard. I had never mowed a proper yard before (only a townhouse yard with an old-fashioned rotary mower – which took about 6 and a half minutes if I stopped to tie my shoe).

Now I can say I have really mowed a yard. Not just once. But twice.


The smell of a fresh cut lawn is the same to me as the aroma of a freshly brewed pot of coffee. Fabulouso.

I love the smell. Love it. Love it. Love it.

It’s inviting and welcoming and smells all springy. But I don’t particularly feel the need to have anything to do with making it happen. I prefer to enjoy the spoils of someone else’s labor. That is indeed how I roll.

But hubby was out of town. Bear’s paw was not in working order. Our weeds  grass was growing and growing. We live in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association. And I personally  have an embarrassment threshold that rests only slightly above my unempowered work ethic.

There were a couple of obstacles I had to immediately overcome but I have been accused of being tenacious more than once so I was confident I could do it.

I. Think. I. Can. I. Think. I. Can.

Until that day, I had never turned on a lawnmower. Now, if you do this every weekend or have done it once or have even watched someone do it, you are probably think that it is ridiculous that I did not inherently know how to turn on said lawnmower. But, hold on. Think back to that first time. Did someone show you or did you figure it out on your own? No one was home so I had to figure it out by my lonesome. And I was not succeeding. Phooey.

God must have heard my pleas because my dad stopped by coincidentally (I promise I did not call him – it was a coincidence, pinky swear) and helped. And just so you know, he has decades of lawn mowing seasons under his belt and has probably mowed enough grass to be the equivalent of walking to the moon and back and it even took him a few tries to get the mower started as well. So ha.

I did give myself a small pat on the back when no one was looking because, prior to my dad’s arrival, I had (correctly) filled the tank with gas. And I even knew to hold that bar under the handle back when pulling on that rope when I was trying to start the mower – but to no avail.

But we did finally get it started and off I went. I picked out fun little patterns to complete sections quickly and make the job seem smaller. This wasn’t going to be so bad.

After about 5 minutes in, I started thinking that I should so mow grass as a part-time job. I was already sweating and I starting thinking – I could make a little money exercising, and then I could use that money to buy new smaller clothes, I could cancel my gym membership, I was rocking the tunes, it was a beautiful morning, no one was asking me where their clean clothes were or to make them a pb&j sandwich …… the benefits seemed endless.

About 15 minutes in, I thought – screw this. This really is not that fun. There are bugs, it’s hot, and I can barely hear my ipod. And sweat stings when it gets in your eyes.

About 30 minutes in, I got thirsty and had to use the restroom.

Fortunately, I am not such a novice that I don’t realize you cannot let that stupid little bar under the handle go (please forgive the technical jargon) – or else the lawn mower turns off.  Which means I would have to start it again. Which I apparently am not so fabulous at. Dagger.

But I am not a giver upper. So I kept going. Strategizing how to maximize my turns – re-evaluating what is really considered our yard and what is more accurately defined as  someone else’s job to mow common area.

I begin to wonder why we question God’s wisdom. He meant for grass and even pretty weeds to grow and grow and grow. If we humans didn’t overbuild, there would be more animals wandering about and grazing on our grass. God gave us natural lawn mowers and we scared them away. I am angry at mankind. What were we thinking?

Then the realization hits me that we are in for a week of heavy rains and it is very likely that I will have to repeat this whole exercise in probably 6 days. Augh.

All this work and this grass is just going to grow back. And grow back quickly.

I wonder what our house would look like set behind a grasslands motif. Maybe I could embrace my inner granola and just let it grow. We could raise goats or become cattle farmers.

Just when the ideas really started flowing, I realized I was done and let go of that little bar.

And to my utter disbelief, the lawn mower kept running. I swear it sounded like it was laughing at me – hey crazy lady, you could have gone to the bathroom, you could have gotten a drink – I would have just sat here and waited. Hmpf. Apparently the newer models offer an idle option. And for our particular model, you have to actually push a button to turn it off. Yes, that would have really been great to know. (And yes, if I had read the directions, I probably would have known that. Thanks smarty.)

But I do have to say it all looked nice and smelled really good and springy. And I did enjoy the sweat equity – it was a good little workout. Of course, I write that now sitting in a comfy chair in my cozy (and air conditioned) office and the memory of the heat and the bugs is a little faded. And I have had a shower and a been to the restroom. And gotten a cool drink.

And just now the doorbell rang. I answer the door to find a lawn care rep standing there with the lawn care plan my husband signed up for on-line. From India. Damn internet. Apparently the weeds have been bothering him and he would like our “grass” to look a little more like real grass.

The new plan is supposed to eliminate the weeds (and the beautimous dandelions) and create a plush, full yard that grows and grows and grows. And will need to be mowed and mowed and mowed.

Yeah for us!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Stefanie permalink
    June 28, 2011 3:02 pm

    I have a solution to the mowing problem. Move to Vegas. Out here in the desert, “desert” landscaping is encouraged. We used to have a lawn, but the water department paid us to remove it so now we have rocks. 1/3 of an acre of rocks. 🙂

  2. Nancy permalink
    June 23, 2011 6:30 pm

    You are too funny. I read this one to Dave. We laughed and laughed. I have never pushed a lawn mower in my life. Yay for you!!

    • June 24, 2011 7:55 am

      Apparently hubby’s embarrassment threshold rest comfortably above his “I will pay someone else to do it” threshold. tee hee

  3. June 23, 2011 11:23 am

    Ha! I used to love mowing the yard too, but we had a big one … one that required a ride-on mower. Was awesome EXCEPT that I completely sucked at making the pretty lines that real lawn mower pros know how to do. And our yard faced a major road. Husb was never too fond of when I tried to “help out” by mowing the lawn!

    Great post 🙂

    • June 23, 2011 11:26 am

      Yea – I got out of painting walls for many years because my help was apparently not that helpful. And forget pretty lines in the yard – it looked like a drunk person mowed it. Hmm now there is an idea. 😎

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