When I was a little kid, I always wanted to mow the grass. My oldest brother mowed our lawn a lot, and our father did, too. I wasn’t allowed because it was too dangerous. Perhaps telling me I couldn’t mow the grass was a bit of reverse psychology because not being able to mow only made me want to cut the grass even more.
For the longest time, I begged to mow the grass. I understood the blades were dangerous so pushing a lawnmower was something a responsible older person got to do. Getting permission to mow would mean I was no longer a little kid. I was about seven years old when, one day, our father finally motioned me to take the handlebar of the mower.
Being scrawny, I soon discovered how hard the task was. In the 1970s, the push mower bodies were extremely heavy and the handlebar on this particular mower was almost my height. I’d shove my body against the handle and push hard, almost lifting the back of the mower off the ground until the wheels started rolling. He never let me cut the grass without him being nearby, and only cut on level areas at that time.
Our father and our first cousin, Harold, got a lot of amusement from watching me fight the lawnmower, but I didn’t complain. I worked hard and at the time, I enjoyed it. Now, in my 50s? Not so much. Mowing probably wouldn’t be so bad if the lawn on each side of our house didn’t slant at forty-five degree angles. Going down the hillside is easy. Sometimes, a little too easy. God only knows how bad it could be if the mowers today weighed as much as the ones back then. It’s doubtful I could slow my descent.
After our parents divorced, I cut lawns to earn extra money as a teenager, and in my early twenties, I entertained the idea of landscaping and mowing for a while. I have since come to my senses. Regardless, there’s great satisfaction in having a well-maintained lawn. I’ve always preferred push mowers and never owned a riding mower. But now, I need to accept reality and consider the time factor. With a rider, I could cut our lawn in one fourth the time it takes now. Time’s a big factor when you’re over fifty. =)
Until next time ….