To Enjoy Mowing the Lawn

I am now an old grass mowing man. This title is significant, not to anyone other than me, however for me it has great significance.

First off, I partly grew up mowing about 1 ½ acres of lawn with a 20 inch push mower. The other part was spent on a small rider until it broke down at which time it was back to the trusty old pusher. For these reasons, I was not a big fan of mowing the lawn which shaped my early perspective of lawn care.

My initial idea on lawn was that you kept it as small as possible, preferably the lawn would consist of mainly rock and wood chips. I used this method for years until the simple realization that rock is a great place to grow weeds and that there is nothing so easy as mowing.

To keep mowing easy meant to avoid trimming. I did the herbicide trick around utility poles and flower bed edges but typically these areas grew back in weeds which was worse than long grass. I tried a weed trimmer back when 2 cycle gas engines were first attached to a trimmer and that was an exercise in pain. The engines were temperamental, and repairmen became rich each spring cleaning out carbs and rejuvenating those awful little beasts.  I eventually cut out the sod around every trimmable area and replace it with colored concrete. This is a tactic that works and I still employ it.

At some point I found that mowing was kind of pleasant. The mowing lifestyle really took off for me at the advent of the zero-turn mower. This got even better when I tried Lisa’s “Worktunes” noise-cancelling, am/fm radio headset. I found I enjoyed mowing while I listened to a baseball game-an act that became iconic to summer. I also like the constant movement, it’s a little exhilarating.

Years ago, I used to say old men were too picky about the grass. My dad was picky about the grass and my brother, Steve, and I used to laugh about this little secret. I’ve told many people that those who continually expand their lawn are just looking for trouble. My thought behind this is that as you convert more old woods, old pasture or old scrap area into lawn-the more chance there is for flat tires and enhanced abuse to the mower from partially-buried rasp bars, horseshoes and screwdrivers.

I like commentator John Phipps. He recently did a piece on his enjoyment of lawnmowing. He and I both enjoyed the satisfaction of accomplishment that accompanies completion of the week’s mowing. I feel as though the world expects nothing more of me when I am mowing as I am working however it is really a nice little time each week to escape and relax. Maybe those old guys weren’t so picky about their grass, they just needed a little break.

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