The Lawnmower Chronicles – Episode 5

Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands. Jonas is probably up in Buffalo preparing for opening night tonight, and I am nervous about opening night tonight as well, as now the whole thing is out of my control. With the lawn needing serious cutting, I decided to take my recently repaired and returned lawnmower into my own hands and cut the lawn, if only to get my mind off thing for awhile.

The mower worked OK, but the grass was thick and wet underneath, so it was no picnic. Although I had the bag attached to the mower, not much grass went into the bag. Most of seemed to fall as wet mulch back on the lawn. The mower strained a bit on some denser patches, but made it through the session without cutting out. One section of the lawn against the east fence had standing water, so I had to skirt around that.

As I mowed, I began to think about authority. I presume this is because, as a director, you have a lot of authority over a show. People want to please you, and everybody asks you questions. Sometimes, even if they question something, they still don’t ask you questions, because you’re the authority. So they do what you tell them regardless of their own doubts or fears. Sometimes you never know they even have questions.

“Question authority” is a phrase I have heard often in my life. But what happens when you become the authority? Do you question yourself? I’ve been doing a lot of that lately in all aspects of my life. I chair a department. I direct shows. I’m a father of three children. And I find myself constantly questioning a lot of decisions I make. As I shake the mower to release some of the wet grass underneath, I realize that one reason I look forward to retiring is that I will no longer be the authority. I’ll be able to sit back and let others make decisions. Or so I dream.

I’ve left a wet grassy mess on the front sidewalk. I’m beginning to sweat and my lower back is barking at me. It all feels good.

I keep experimenting with new patterns for mowing the back yard. The various obstacles continue making the search for the perfect, most efficient pattern a bit elusive. The Mother’s Day tree has grown quite a bit, and so the branches reach out to places they have not been before. The raised garden that my daughter’s partner made while they were living here bed needs attending, as weeds and volunteer trees are beginning to consume it. I think all the bird houses I put against the back fence are now occupied.

The new bird feeders are a spectacular success, almost too much so. I now have to fill them as part of my morning routine. The old Home Depot feeders never attracted so many birds. I see mostly sparrows and wrens, with the occasional finch, blue jays, and cardinals. Mourning doves drop by to pick up the leftovers, as do young crows. There seems to be a small hill of seeds I now have to mow over around the base of the feeder.

I should sell the old popup camper, Eric used to use it as his summer hangout with his friends, but nowadays it sits in the backyard, closed up. Perhaps, with the show closing, I should take an hour to raise it up just to get fresh air moving through it.

My eyes are filled with sweat. I have to take a shower today after this session. Humid, not hot. Rain is forecast for later today. I am glad I took things into my own hands. Lawn mowing is perhaps the one chore that, when you’ve completed it, you feel like you’ve accomplished something of value and worth. I like to stare at a new-mowed lawn for awhile.Perhaps the patterns on the lawn have something to tell me, but today I am too sweaty and preoccupied to listen. Still more to get done today. I’ll have more time to listen next session. Or so I hope.

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