The saga: Once, when I was maybe about fifteen, I attempted to mow a lawn. Sadly, it was not counted as a success. At the time, we were even living on a fairly flat piece of ground, for East Tennessee real estate. I think I pushed the machine around for about 15 minutes before giving up. Time has dulled my memory of just what caused me to give up so quickly – was it a too-hot summer day? I have a vague memory of sneezing, wheezing, and watering eyes – allergy excuse? Was I just being lazy?
I am just not a garden or yard person, and have managed to live in apartments most of my life ~or in houses where someone else tended the yard. I used to buy house plants – and I love painting plant pots – but was so rarely successful at keeping the plants green (or their appropriate color) that I finally decided to stop the madness and wanton destruction, and just gaze from afar at other people’s plants, with envy. I love gardening television.
This year, I am taking responsibility for a yard for the first time ever. Thank goodness for National Public Radio on a Saturday morning!
Wait, question, before you even get to the mowing part, what do you do with all the branches that the wretched trees are constantly raining down on the lawn?? I hope they will work in the fireplace this winter; otherwise, they’re going to be returning to the earth naturally, and possibly right where they lie. Kidding, at least I have been putting them into a pile. Anyway…
The yard is a really nice size (whoa, it looks awfully big from behind the mower). I have been working at it for a couple of months, and can do the front, sides, and part of the back in about an hour and a half. I have accepted the fact that my neighbors are standing behind their curtains (in cool air conditioning) laughing and laughing and laughing as they watch me winding back and forth and up and down and crossing over myself multiple times, very inefficiently working this mowing-the-yard thing out. What do they know, they all have riding mowers. At least I’m getting some exercise!
Well, the farthest portion in the back has been a challenge. I decided to approach it by adding about 5 passes of the mower each time. I worked my way halfway up the hill, having to go over the overgrown grass a couple of times, but knowing each next time would be faster. (Yes, that makes sense, just read it again more slowly.)
The happy ending: Saturday was a lovely, sunny, cool morning. At 8 a.m., I started by taking down a few rows in the back, and it was such a nice morning that I just couldn’t stop and ended up doing a whole section of the upper stretch, all the way to the neighbor’s yard! Figuring I had about an hour and a half more of the double-duty stuff to finish off the last section, I was running out of steam by 10:30 and stopped to feed myself and my visiting niece. The one who was asleep on the couch the whole time. Did I mention she’s an energetic 16-year-old who runs track and plays tennis?
After a breakfast of leftover chicken quesadillas, off we went to the dump and then for some window shopping. (It’s a small community.) When we got home after three, I realized I was hearing a lawn mower awfully close by, just out the back. When I stepped out, there was my neighbor with his mower! It took him about 30 minutes to knock down the last few yards of tall grass! I love my neighbor! He said his wife commented to him that I was working hard on it all morning ~ I guess she took pity on me and sent him out to finish it off. I love that about her!
So, now all the grass is finally at “neighborhood” level, and will be a snap to mow next time. What a difference 30 minutes of time from a generous stranger can make in your world! This is one I will be paying back and paying forward.
Hope your grass is green and you have a great week!
~Janet @ The Christmas Place
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” ~ Winston Churchill