I finally mowed my lawn today for the first time this season. I’d put it off for as long as I possibly could. But all of the neighbors had mowed this weekend, and I had no more excuses. So, against all that I hold dear, I got up, and before a good shower, got dressed in my nastiest clothes, and went out to tackle the beast. I would have much rather had that shower, a leisurely breakfast, and coffee on the porch this sunny Sunday morning, but instead, I prepared to spend 90 minutes walking in circles, pushing a heavy machine, blowing gas fumes and bits of plant matter back at me.
You might have guessed by now that I do not enjoy mowing the lawn. Not in the least. I can remember as a young girl, begging my dad to let me push the mower around. He was very particular about his lawn, and his mower. His mower was clean as a whistle, tuned up, and topped off with oil and gas. When he finished mowing there wasn’t a leaf or blade of grass left loose on the entire lawn. When he finally gave in and let me give it a whirl, he watched me at every turn, advising me to overlap more, and not go so fast. It was not much fun, and not at all the adventure I was imagining.
Looking back at that, I cannot imagine what I was thinking! WHY would I have BEGGED him to let me mow? As an adult, I’ve mowed many a yard, and used all manner of lawnmowers. I can’t say that I’ve EVER enjoyed it. It’s a homeowner’s (or renter’s) duty…a community commitment…a chore. It’s 90 minutes I’ll never get back…again, and again.
When I was younger, and in better shape, it wasn’t quite so bad. I got hot, I got messy, and I got tired, but I survived it each time. Now that I’m older, and definitely NOT in shape, it’s more than just hot, messy and tired. It’s hell. If I recorded a soundtrack as I was mowing, it would sound something like this: OH! GOD! (heavy breathing) OK…almost ¼ of the way done. I can do this! YES, I can! (more heavy breathing) OH! GOD! I’m going to die right here in the front yard, in my nastiest clothes, with no shower, and the neighbors are going to have to come and stop the mower and call 911. OH! GOD! (more heavy breathing) I can’t do this. Maybe I can just do part of the yard today, and the rest later. (more heavy breathing) GOD! I hate mowing!!! And when I finish, I can hardly walk up the steps to take that shower.
We schedule our mowing around the weather and our free time. I always resent having to give up some of my free time to mow, rather than sitting on the porch relaxing. I’ve even taken serious measures to reduce the amount of grass I have to mow. I’ve put in gardens, flower beds, a fire pit. You’d think that would have reduced my mowing time, but, alas, it has not. Now I have to wind around all of those additions like an obstacle course. It seems to take even more time! I also push the envelope when it comes to how frequently I mow. I set the mower lower, hoping for longer stretches between mowing. I wait until the grass is as tall as possible without making it even harder on me to push the mower and get it to cut the tall, thick blades. It’s all about bargaining.
And what IS the point? Every week, all the good neighbors mow. Every week, the grass grows, and we all have to mow again. We waste gas, time, and can even endanger our health. We buy expensive mowers, fill them with expensive gas, and after we finish hoofing it around and around the yard, we sit and admire our neatly trimmed lawns. And we can hear the grass start to grow.