Friday, October 1, 2010

A Funny Thing

I'm about to go mow the grass.

And the strangest thing about that statement?

I actually LIKE mowing the grass.

Growing up, I never liked to do yard work.  There are several possible reasons for this.

It was always blazing hot.  And I didn't like to sweat.

Saturdays were the only day I could sleep late since my life as a carefree student was so very difficult.  I mean, odds were really good that I had gone to eat pizza and see a late movie with friends the night before and I was tired!

Neither of these excuses got me any sympathy at all from my parents who firmly believed in the enforcement of child labor.

But I think the real reason for my strong dislike of yard work was due to the chore I was consistently assigned.

You see, my little brother and I could never really operate any type of machinery in the organized fashion my dad preferred.  Mowers, blowers, trimmers, edgers, sprinklers... you name it, we didn't do it "right".  My dad wanted his lawn mowed with precision and two grumpy, sweaty, snot-nosed kids could not handle the heavy equipment.

But since yardwork was a family chore, we all had to be out there and we all had to be doing work!

So, the job my brother and I were assigned?

The dreaded "Pick Up Sticks".

I sense your smirk and it isn't funny - not at all.  You're thinking, "how hard can picking up a few sticks be?"

Well, I'll tell you.

We were not just picking up large branches that had fallen from trees.  No sir, we were picking up twigs of all sizes:  large, medium, small, and those that needed to be seen with a magnifying glass.  We also picked up pine cones and those round, sticky gumball things you find all over southeast Texas.

You see, the man with the mower was coming behind us and his path had to be clear!

We once cleared 8 acres of every stick, branch, limb, twig, pine cone, dead logs and trees all by ourselves.  OK -  not really.  My parents did help that time.  But 8 acres people!  There was nothing made of wood left on that piece of property when we got done.

My dad was an unashamed stick hater and he took it out on his children.  Maybe now you understand the trauma I suffered.

I'm doing better now, though.  I like to do yardwork.  Actually, I just like to mow the grass.

Now, I'm the one who gets to operate the heavy equipment.

And it's mindless work so I can just let my brain relax - no thinking at all.  And while I'm not a stick hater, (I think maybe that gene skips a generation) I prefer to just mow on over any sticks in my path.  I'm simply too lazy to bend over.

But the best thing about mowing?

You do it on Friday morning and you don't have to think about it again until next Friday morning.  Mowing is unlike any other chore I have in life - laundry, cooking, shopping, errands, cleaning.  All these tasks must be done almost every single day.  But not mowing.  I can finish the yard, put that mower back in the corner of the garage, give it a little pat and say, "see you next week!"

My washer laughs at me when I try that.

Me.  Liking to mow the grass.  Who would'a thunk?



  1. I love to mow the grass. I recently mowed over a dead frog and it didn't quite turn out the same as mowing over a stick. It was a horrible lingering stench. At least know I know what it's like to mow over a mostly dried out dead frog. Exercise and science.

  2. I will keep that in mind when mowing - avoid dried out dead frogs. I once saw my tractor-driving mom mow over a snake. Snake guts flew up in the air all over the place. It's still one of the grossest things I've ever seen.


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