Mowing and Other Things to Put Off

By Beacon Staff

Oh I’ve tried to negotiate with the lawn. But the grass only grows faster. In times of desperation I’ve even removed its sprinkler privileges. Then it rains.

After rain, grass resembles steamed spinach and strangles the blades on my aging mower. I demand cooperation, using spirited but questionable adjectives, until I realize I am no match.

I turn to the mower. Once again, it will be demoted to garage exile.

Summer is my favorite time of year. Because I do enjoy it so, chores seem cruel. And chores increase during the warm months. Mowing, weed eating, spontaneous attempts at gardening for no apparent reason – these are things I don’t feel like doing in the evening after work. On weekends, I like to get out.

Indeed, mowing is a small job, but my negligence and procrastination make it a much larger job. The grass grows high and unmanageable, and my 100-pound yellow Labrador’s poop hides in there somewhere. The job’s difficulty isn’t my main deterrent; mostly it’s just the overwhelming idea that I could be doing something else.

Growing up, my mom ran a property caretaking and rental business for people with seasonal or second homes. Around Livingston, much like here, there are plenty of such houses.

I was Lawnmower Boy.

I enjoyed this job as a kid. I got a few bucks to spend all day outside. It beat summer days in McDonald’s flipping burgers. My disdain for mowing eventually came because of my own front yard.

My father decided our yard seemed like a suitable place for a forest and planted more than 30 young trees over the course of a few years. Each small sapling was highly susceptible to a weed eater death. The larger ones were held up with ropes tied to fence stakes that lay hidden in the grass, with less than a foot exposed above the earth. It is an unexplainable sensation on scrawny arms when a huge DR Field Mower suddenly catches thick metal.

It’s all part of summer, I suppose. The mowing, the hidden poop, the allergies. Lounging on my back porch, the lawn freshly cut and no clouds in the sky, I allow myself to consider the occasional chore a small price for summer rewards.

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