May 21 2005

Buzz, buzz, buzz goes the mower.

Published by at 12:13 am under Outdoors,The Fam,The Man

I was never allowed to mow the lawn when I was younger.  When my parents were still married, I was too young to even approach the mower while it was running.  My yard work consisted of bringing my dad another beer when he needed one.  After the divorce, we (me, my mom, and my sister) lived with my grandparents for a few years.  My grandpa was still in good health (this was years before we would discover that he was harboring cancer in his lungs) and mowed the lawn himself.  When my mother met and married my stepdad, and we moved into one house and then another, my stepdad mowed the lawn.  I always wanted to do it myself.  I thought “What a great way to work on my tan!”  I was stupid and naive, but I wanted to mow the lawn.  Finally, after we moved across the state and it was just me, mom, and stepdad, he let me try to mow the lawn using his riding mower.  He tried to explain to me how to “establish a pattern” and how to handle the mower, but I either didn’t understand him properly or I am really dumb when it comes to riding lawnmowers.  He so hated the way I mowed the lawn that I was never allowed to mow the lawn again.

When The Man and I moved into the trailer and had a small lawn to maintain, I still wasn’t really allowed to mow.  The Man really likes doing outdoor work, and considered yard work “his job”.  We had a very small amount of grass to mow, so it only took him a very little while to do everything.  All I could do was what I’ve done all along: watch, and bring another beer when it was requested.

Now, we live on much more land, and have a much larger lawn.  We do have a riding lawn mower, but sometime over the winter the rider decided that it really, really hated us and refuses to start.  We’ve been thrown back onto our little push mower.  Luckily, only one of our three acres of land is in any condition to be mowed.  Regardless, it’s a lot of grass to mow, especially since we have a lot of trees to be maneuvered around and dealt with.  I firmly believe that if our riding mower had not bit the dust, I still wouldn’t be allowed to mow.  But, since it did, and since push mowing the lawn is a lot of work on hot days AND since I’m now home all day instead of working, I can now mow the lawn whenever I want.  Which I did today.

My hands hurt.  Is this normal?  When I told Chris that my hands hurt and I had a blister on my thumb from pushing the mower, he looked at me like I was crazy, so I think this is probably not a common experience.  He told me I was holding the lever down too hard (we have one of those mowers where you have to hold down a bar to keep it running), but I don’t think that’s it.  After he told me that, I consciously tried to loosen my grip.  My hands still hurt, right on the base of my palms.  When I first came back into the house, my whole hand tingled and was cramped.  I always knew I had weak little hands (I’m one of those people who always needs help with the pickle jar), but this is getting out of . . . well, hand.

Regardless of the pain a wuss such as I must experience, I find mowing the lawn to be a very satisfying experience.  I like the immediate results for the better.  I like watching dandelions fall to my whizzing blades of doom.  I like that I probably walk a couple of miles – up and down, up and down – while I’m mowing, so I’m getting some exercise I normally wouldn’t be getting.  I’m sure the thrill will wear off after a time, but for now, it’s something simple that makes me happy.  We all need more things like that in our lives.

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