Mowing the yard is a bittersweet chore for me. It’s not that I mind it so much; it’s just that it always used to be Robby’s job. It’s been three years since he died, and so I’ve had three summers of mowing, and I still feel almost guilty when I climb onto the seat of our riding lawnmower. There is still a part of me that wishes I didn’t have to be the one to mow. He never made any attempt to teach me how to operate the mower while he was alive – it was just “his thing.” The first time I mowed the lawn after he passed away I had to figure it out on my own. There was a sense of victory as I made that first lap around the yard – and then I dissolved into tears, and cried the whole time until the yard was finished.
Now I don’t cry – I think. That is my time to tune out and let my mind travel. I don’t wear an Ipod or anything to listen to while I spend that time going round and round in circles. I like to see the nice straight swathes of cut grass, and follow the trail from the previous pass. I use the time on the mower to think, plan, make lists in my head, etc. All that is fine, except I usually forget half of what I have come up with the moment I step off the mower. Dammit. Now what am if supposed to do?
We have a huge front yard. And a huge backyard. The only problem – weeds. I would have a great looking place if it weren’t for the stupid weeds. That’s about all there is to my yard right now. They have crowded out most of the grass. I have good intentions every year – get something on the lawn to kill the weeds and encourage the grass to grow back, landscape and enlarge the flowerbeds, build a deck, etc. But all I ever seem to accomplish is to keep the weeds neatly trimmed.
Oh, and another problem? The moles. Or gophers. I’m not sure which is down there, but the fact is there are varmints in my yard. And they don’t go away. I have yet to find anything that will repel and/or kill these beasts. Persistent critters.
So, as a result of the weeds and varmints, my mowing is an adventure. For example, every time I run over a mound of dirt with the lawnmower (courtesy of a critter) there is an immediate cloud of dust that hovers around me until the wind shifts. Anyone watching might think I was detonating tiny bombs in my yard. Tick, tick, tick …. poof! Tick, tick, tick, tick … poof! I need to start billing my neighbor for the inch of topsoil I deposit on his field next door every time I mow.
Also, I look absolutely enchanting after I am done mowing. Think “Pigpen” from Peanuts and you’re not far off.
But when the job is done there is a feeling of accomplishment. I love to see that expanse of yard, even and smooth, cleared and inviting in the afternoon sun. I think about all the BBQ’s and summer evenings I’d like to enjoy in that space.
Maybe I can save enough money, and find the time, to put in a deck NEXT summer. There’s always next summer. 🙂