The Grass is Greener

Posted on June 17, 2014 under Storytelling with one comment


A grave situation



It all started in a graveyard back in 1965.

My very first paying job as a teenager was mowing grass at the local cemetery. I was hired by Joe Mike, the caretaker, and for the princely sum of $1.00 an hour I mowed for eight hours at a stretch. Along with a scheduled lunch break, the only other time the mower stopped was when it rained, or when there was a funeral.

We bought our very first home from my buddy Phil. At the time, he was renting the house to a lovely couple. They had some health issues and when we took possession of the house, the grass was several feet high on parts of the lawn. Before even attempting to mow, a friend of mine and I went at it with a scythe. We could have baled it and sold it.

When we were banished to the country, after our chickens became a nuisance in our neighbors’ gardens, lawn mowing took on a whole new dimension as our real estate expanded to more than an acre. How appropriate that we moved to Cloverville. We were rolling in clover. This was the apex of my lawn mowing career. It usually took about four and a half hours to complete the chore. In June, when the dandelions made their brief appearance, it was not uncommon to see them reappear on the front of the lawn moments after finishing the back.

The present house we occupy is large but, thankfully, it sits on a relatively small piece of land. So small in fact, that my wife thought that we could make do with an old model push mower. We would take a leadership role in the environmental movement. The Briggs and Stratton gas mower lay dormant for a week or so while we tried out the new green machine. A push mower and dandelions together won’t kill you but they can surely frustrate you to death. Why can’t a push mower level those noxious weeds?

After a long life of yeoman service….and poor maintenance on my part, our gas mower finally bit the dust. With the thought of the push mower looming, I agreed to accept an offer of an electric lawn mower that my mother-in-law was giving away.

I have often pondered how I might die, but until this point in time strangulation or electrocution were not on the list. I tried to employ logic, but soon discovered that there is no way to mow a lawn with an electric mower without using the “f” word. Can’t be done. Every time I had to flip the extension cord out of the way I found myself flipping the bird at the bloody machine for good measure.

Just before the end of the mowing season last year, my wife announced that we (she) had acquired a new electric lawn mower using Air Miles. I tried to restrain my joy. Luckily I wouldn’t get to use it for another six months or so. We picked it up a few weeks ago and, I must say, mowing has become fun again. This electric mower is light as a feather, powered by a rechargeable lithium battery and doesn’t need an extension cord. And the best part is the charge lasts for 25 minutes, just enough time to finish our small lawn and return to the Golf Channel.

We are about to come full circle. When we sell our house, there is a good chance that we will live in a mini home or an apartment. If there is grass to cut, a reasonably sharp pair of scissors should do the trick.

I bumped into a friend the other day and we were comparing lawnmower stories. She looked me straight in the eye and said, “Why are husbands like lawn mowers? “ Beats me. “They are difficult to get started, and then they don’t work half the time.”

When my time comes and my quest for the perfectly mown lawn comes to an end, it might be appropriate to finish the job where it all started.

Grab a few blades of grass and toss them on my grave.

Will the grass be greener on the other side?



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