First, some seemingly random thoughts.
Some people don’t like mowing lawns. I tend to like it, although I don’t always feel I have the time.
I learned to mow from watching my dad. I appreciate this, since not all boys have the opportunity. I grew up thinking it was cool and manly to mow the lawn. This may be some sort of elaborate ploy on the part of older males to pass along mowing duties to their progeny. I believe I feel that desire arising within me even now, but for now, I’m quite content to mow the lawn myself.
I do think we Americans can be silly, spending many $ on fertilizer and then having to mow more because the grass is growing more quickly. I don’t want to be a slave to my lawn, but I do like it to look nice.
Some folks around me in Allegany County are probably poorer than I am, but they take care of their lawns even better than I do. I perceive a level of pride taken in the well-kept lawns on the country roads near us, even when the house is badly in need of repair and the truck is 30 years old.
Some people have tractors and don’t need them, it seems. I thought I’d do fine without one here, but mowing 1.25 acres on a 90-degree, 98%-humidity day in my first summer here cured me of that little stupidity. I bought a small, used tractor that has served well. This is much, much smaller than the Ford Model-A beast I used to mow the grass around my church building when I was home from college one summer. Had to tow that thing up the hill on a chain and roll it down to “kick-start” it. Unsafe, but a fun enterprise. Good memories.
My first boss (when I was a teenager) was the subject of some civil action that cited him for not mowing his lawn. His neighbors were upset with him.
Some do prefer not to mow at all. We have friends who enjoy their wild prairie grasses and smile at me for caring as much as I do about my grass. I suppose I could let half of our yard go uncut. But something about that bothers me. Maybe it’s the fear of making neighbors upset. Nah. My neighbors are nice. I just like to mow.
Now, here are a dozen blessings—blessings experienced as a result of mowing!
- The sweet smell of cut grass
- Adjustable-height decks on lawn mowers
- The pleasure of exercising skill while mowing
- The sight of straight, mown rows—maybe you’ve never thought about it, but they can be beautiful
- The capacity to multitask—thinking and praying while mowing
- The freedom to choose whether to push-mow or tractor-mow
- Wheels on the tractor’s mowing deck—helping to keep the deck at a proper height and keeps mishaps such as throwing of rocks and mowing of sticks to a minimum
- Being able to use my neighbor’s John Deere when I mow his lawn AND my own
- Mowing down the grass around a bunch of groundhogs’ hideouts—with no pangs of conscience
- Having the time in the summer months to spend 8-10 hours a week mowing
- The tremendously satisfying feeling of having finished mowing the lawn just before a nice, steady rain
- The sight of a field of green and a sky of blue. (My Grandmother Ritchie once validated wearing a green shirt with blue jeans by saying, “Of course green goes with blue. God knew that. Just look at the grass and the sky.”)
I’ve never paid anyone else to mow my lawn. As long as I can, I think I’ll mow my own grass. Something about this just agrees with me. I do think I’ll pass this love along along to Jedd, maybe sharing the duties when he’s old enough. He’s ridden with me on the tractor only for 30” (gotta protect his little ears), but I love waving to him and seeing him wave at me when I’m mowing….