One of the tortures of my youth has become a quiet place of
accomplishment and peace. I like to mow the lawn.
As a young person, I wanted to mow the lawn in the worst way. My
brother, Darrel, was in charge of all grass cutting and I wanted the
responsibility of mowing as it showed I was grown up. Darrel also
wanted me to transition this position of authority but was inspired
more in the way a car owner wants to sell a lemon to an unsuspecting
I grew up on a farm with a beautiful yard, complete with sprawling
paddocks of grass. We mowed the yard with a 20 inch push mower which
is akin to digging out a cemetery plot with a shovel, doable but
time-consuming. I remember breaking up the yard into several plots so
that I could do some on Friday night and some Saturday. It was
important to have an artificially small goal for Friday night as I
needed to finish in time to watch the television show “Black Sheep
Squadron.” We did eventually get a riding lawn mower which made
things much nicer and used the pusher for trimming.
Today, I have a nice zero-turn Toro Timecutter mower which is like
riding a recliner around the yard. I am picky when I spend money and
I love this mower. I also get to use Lisa’s headphone radio and even
wear shorts so I am pretty comfortable. I have cut back the sod from
any obstacle that requires trimming and replaced the sod with
concrete. The concrete allows me to trim anything from my seated
position in comfort.
I get a little overwhelmed at times when things go awry. It is said
that man plans and God laughs; using this premise, I must be God’s
closed circuit version of “Saturday Night Live.” When all else
fails, I can mow. When the lags bolts I purchased are too short, the
part I ordered was incorrect or my day otherwise comes grinding to a
halt; I can still mow. It is amazing to me how much I can accomplish
in a few hours and how good I feel about it. I sometimes will spend
hours on a project and have little to show for it however mowing
gives much for a little commitment. Mowing demands enough of my focus
that my brain can’t dwell on whatever is bothering me which also puts
me in a good frame of mind. It is like a Band-Aid for bad days.
Here is what I am trying to say. The task I found so distasteful is
one thing I have come to count on to feel accomplished. It is said
that what you remember about people are the irritating things so
maybe it is best to find a way to accept their bad habits. Perhaps it
is the same in that a task that seems a bother may have value beyond
your imagination if you will just work to make it happen. In either
case, the lesson is that life is going to deliver a certain course of
events and it is in how you deal with them that will determine
whether life is long and enjoyable or just long.
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