With the wet spring/early summer and some timely rains now and then it sure has made for some beautiful lawns this year hasn’t it? And with that you have to take the good with the bad, too, though. The good being the nice full lawn and the bad being that the grass needs to be cut every second day or so to keep the lawn looking nice and trim. Actually, it’s an enjoyable chore to me now compared to my adolescent days when I had so much more important stuff to take care of besides cutting the lawn for Dad.
Back in the day, my brother Gord and I shared our household’s lawn cutting chores along with doing the odd neighbors’ or family friends’ yards, too, and I hated it. The actual chore wasn’t really the problem but it sure put a crimp in the old social calendar when I had to spend an hour-and-a-half cuttin’ the damn grass.
I must have been about 10 years old when I was first assigned the lawn mowing chore and do you know how much Hide n Seek, Kick the Can, Scrub Baseball, 500, bike riding, Red Rovering, tree climbing, rock throwing…time is lost to grass cuttin’? Huh? Especially with our all-too-quick summer season. Who had time to cut the grass?
Then, as I grew into my teen years, there was a whole new set of activities that were lost to the lawn mower. Important stuff, too, like hangin’ out at the Hub Café, or playing football, baseball, golf, or swimming, or having “Dirty Hombre” fights in the mud at Lawrysyn’s dugout north of town, or showing off my “coolness” to the new girl visiting her Grandparents for the summer, which, by the way, took up an enormous amount of time because she had a hard time seeing it, and then, later on, looking for a supplier for smokes and beer, no…wait a second…come to think of it that was the other minister’s kids doin’ that, yup, that’s right, it’s wasn’t me, my brother and our friends at all…nope. So much to do…so little time.
I was about 14 years old when we moved to Kipling and a short time after we had arrived I was sent down the block to cut the grass of an older woman who was an old family friend and as I was pushing the lawn mower down the sidewalk I began to wonder a bit why one of her grandsons hadn’t been assigned this particular chore. Then I turned into her yard and saw the knee-high grass and I knew that they were smart enough to stay away from that place until someone else had done the grass cutting.
I recall that it was hotter n Hades that day, too, and I cut and raked and cut and raked and cut and raked and when I finally went to collect my payment she told me she’d drop it off to my Mom a little bit later. Okay, I figured, I had to go home and shower up anyway and then I’d run up to the Hub Café with my bounty in hand for a Coke n fries and maybe a bit of pinball, or something, and then she dropped off the payment…it was big allright…a big canister full of homemade Hungarian noodles. Oh, for joy. Wow. I was so unimpressed. Thankfully, Mom threw a couple of bucks my way and I got my treats after all but not before a few anxious moments there.
Now, today, I’d almost gladly cut someone’s grass for a noodle payment. My, how things have changed, eh? I eventually learned to appreciate the beauty of a well-kept lawn and although I try to use my gasless reel lawn mower as much as possible I still have to bring out the gas fired one to quicken the job and tempt nostalgia with a good ol’ whiff of gas fumes and fresh cut grass. Awww, the memories.
“... mow the lawn perfectly, but neglect to make the bed? It's pure, unadulterated logic.
Everyone can see the yard - nobody can see the bed. The lawn is the canvas upon
which guys judge each other. It's the great redeemer.
If we aren't great lawn men, we're nothing.”
- Kevin Kerwin, 47 Husband Mysteries Solved.