I spent Sunday afternoon engaged in my most coveted chore: mowing my back yard, a small field wrapped around granite boulders, with my riding tractor mower. The trees, flowers, grass and weeds in my yard are in the midst of a springtime revival, sudden and exponential growth, and the grass was taking over my yard.
Mowing is a task that many people offer to do for me, but it is something I enjoy for a variety of reasons:
- It takes me back to being 10 years old going door-to-door, along with my friend John Middlestadt, pitching our mowing services, knowing we had matured from the world of lemonade stands.
- It immerses me in spring growth — blossoms, flowers and green grass — something that is all too brief with the severe California drought.
- It gives me a sense of control and accomplishment — each pass of the mower reduces high grass and weeds into an even, neat looking lawn.
- It’s a nice feeling knowing that I’m protecting Killy and Sarah. Knocking down the tall foliage helps Killy avoid foxtails and ticks. And it gets rid of areas that rattlesnakes like to hang out and hide in.
- I love the smell of fresh cut grass.
When I’m mowing the yard I carry my cell phone with me — just in case. But I’m also stubborn. Yesterday was no exception. At one point I managed to get the mower stuck, hidden behind a boulder on the far end of the yard. Although my neighbor was home and just a phone call away, I chose to turn off the mower, climb down to the ground with my Vicair AllRounder cushion strapped to my butt, drag myself to the front of the mower, and push and rock it until I managed to get it unstuck. Stubborn? You bet! And small stubborn victories feel great —even though I managed to drag a shoe and pant leg through one of Killy’s little presents.
When I was finished, I enjoyed watching Killy run, sniff, romp and roll in the fresh cut yard, his tail wagging like crazy. I think he enjoys the smell of fresh cut grass as much or perhaps even more than I do.