Mowing the Lawn

Believe it or not, when I first became a homeowner, I actually enjoyed mowing the lawn. We live in new construction and mowing the lawn was the end result of flattening the dirt around the house and seeding (and reseeding) the yard. Our house sits in an old farmer’s field. We didn’t have weeds, we had beans growing in our yard. You can’t buy bean killer. The whole point of herbicides is to keep things like beans alive. Meka ended up out there, crawling around on her hands and knees, plucking the bean plants out one by one. So, that first summer when we finally had some grass growing in, I got a self-propelled lawnmower and looked forward to my weekly stroll around the grounds. We had no obstacles in the yard. We didn’t have a fence. We didn’t have any trees or bushes yet (though we did leave a couple of weeds next to the house for shade). I found that I could go into a very Zen like trance and actually relax as I mowed the lawn.

I made patterns as I cut, just in case Google Earth happened to be taking satellite pictures of Belvidere that week. Some weeks I would mow up and down the yard. Other weeks I would mow right to left. That mix would give our yard that checkerboard look of a baseball outfield. My favorite way to cut the grass was to start at the edges of the yard and just keep circling around and spiraling in until I was up against the sides of the house.

All good things come to an end . We got a wood fence with the slats in a weaved pattern. It looks nice, but it is a pain to mow against. Then we got bushes and hose reels. Daniel has a swing set and a sandbox. We planted trees that I have to mow around. Even worse, the wind out here forces us to have stakes in the ground to keep the trees upright. I have to mow around those as well. Last year the cable to the self-propelled mechanism began to fade. It’s almost completely gone now. That transforms a brisk walk around the yard into a slogging chore, dragging the mower around.

200809071451591My son is eight, going on nine. He asked if he could help with the lawnmower, so we’ve been mowing together this summer. Usually I do the hard stuff, circling around the landscaping and let him mow the long straight rows in the backyard. He’s been learning the lessons of overlapping the rows, he can turn the mower around at the edges pretty well. He’s even learned to tilt the front of the lawnmower up when it threatens to stall in tall grass. As we walk back and forth through the backyard, he looks back at me and I give him encouragement to keep going. He likes to feel grown up and responsible. I love being able to see the job through his eyes. I have to say I like mowing the lawn again.

Especially knowing that Daniel will be taking over completely in a year or two!


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