The Lawnmower Chronicles – Episode 10

I let two weeks go by without mowing. The back yard was not too tall, but the front yard was actually quite thick. I was surprised to see how thick the grass actually was. This is a tricky time of year, as in these parts it could just as easily snow tomorrow as any other type of weather. So far, no freeze or frost warnings have been issued, so the grass is still growing. As I pull the lawnmower out of the shed I spend a few minutes thinking about how to re-arrange the space, and when to pull out the snowblower so I can get the scooter in there for the winter.

My daughter needs a car, but she can’t afford one, so I spend some time figuring out how to scrape up enough cash for her so she can buy a decent used car. Watching children trying to make their way in the world these days is rather difficult. The economy is terrible for young people, as is the pace. I raised my children in a leisurely fashion, and I think that’s coming back to haunt them. They can’t adapt to the faster pace of today’s society. There seems to be no “middle ground;” you’re either in a minimum wage job or you’re in some sort of high-pressure situation. No middle ground 

I took the time to move the scooter off the front walk, so the front lawn goes quickly. Back and forth, row after row, until it’s done. There are apples along the curb from the children across the street, who have taken to rolling apples from their applre tree into the street in an effort to see them crushed under the wheels of an oncoming car. The curb also has a lot of weeds along it. They can stay there as far as I am concerned.

The backyard goes slower because there is no easy pattern. The popup camper that I failed to sell this summer (mostly because I hate having to transact business with other people) poses an obstacle that has to be worked around. I begin to think about why it’s so difficult for me to get rid of things. I have a third car in my driveway I don’t need, but I hang on to it as an “emergency” car just in case someone else will need it, maybe one of my kids or my nieces. But I know it’s because there is effort needed to get rid of things: listing the item, taking phone calls, having scammers bother you, being available to show the item off. All just things I think I don’t have any time for.

Even mowing the lawn is being done under pressure. The rain is supposed to come the next day, and if I don’t squeeze in the lawn now, it won’t get mowed for the next few days. Everything these days seems to be about that. I can’t even find time to get a haircut, and my barber always has four people deep in his waiting area. I look like something your cat dragged to the door after three days away from home.

The birds are eating seed like crazy. It’s the sparrows, dove, and wrens that I feed, not the fancy colored birds. Occasionally a cardinal, occasionally a nasty blue jay, occasionally a pretty finch. But mostly sparrows, doves, and wrens. That seems to be an apt metaphor for my entire life and career to this point. I empty the bag of grass cuttings into the plastic garbage can, wondering if I will get to point at any time soon of bringing it down to the city mulch pile. Probably not. There are many other more important life errands to run that require me to figure out a way to delay them. As I put the lawnmower away, I see that the small snowblower I should sell sits off in the corner. I think it’s grinning. Or begging. Or weeping just a little bit.

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