As a teenager, I was a big, fat, pain in the keester.
I hated to get up in the morning. My ability to create drama made Sarah Bernhardt look positively Vulcan. I could’ve brought home the gold in snark at the cranky teenager Olympics.
And, I was lazy.
One of my few jobs was to mow our not-very-extensive lawn. Once every couple of weeks, my dad would tell me it was time, and I would say, “Yes sir, first thing tomorrow.”
Well, tomorrow and a few more days would come and go, while the uncut grass grew taller. Finally, my car keys would be confiscated. So bemoaning my birth to the ‘world’s meanest parents’, I would grudgingly get to work.
These days I can’t wait to mow. I probably mow a bit too often. The girl who would have rather had dental work is now a woman who has literally wrestled Petey away from the mower so I could do it. And it’s the push type, no captain’s chairs and cup holders for me, thank you very much.
Here, in no particular order, are ten reasons why.
1.)We used to have a very nice neighbor kid cut our grass. At $60.00 a pop, this cost us an average of one hundred fifty somolians a month. A can of gas for my mower is $1.25.
2.)I can’t tell you how many shrubs, seedlings, and tender young plants I’ve lost to the mowing of others. If the yard contained all the landscaping elements which were wiped out over the years, it would look like the gardens at the Biltmore estate around here.
3.)I have a standing rule: if I don’t feel like I’m going to keel over when I finish our house, I mow our neighbor’s yard. Looking at their newly shorn lawn, I am Lady Bountiful. It’s a heady feeling.
4.) I mow when I want. It’s never too long between cutting, and I’ve never woken myself up by running the mower under our bedroom window at the crack of dawn (well…10AM).
5.) When was the last time you worked up an honest sweat? Not a bought and paid for sweat at the gym, but because you worked hard outside, in the heat.
6.)It’s a job that doesn’t require much thought, so I get uninterrupted time in my own head. And it’s not as scary as you might think.
7.)About two years ago, I was so sick I came quite close to death. For a very long time, I was so weak I could barely walk across the room. When I push that mower over our yard, I revel in my now healthy body. I become Wonder Woman.
8.)There are very few jobs in this world where the results are immediately and dramatically evident. Cutting the grass is one. I have a path I follow, and every step is one more step toward completion.
9.)It really makes me appreciate being cool. When I am hot as a pistol and covered in perspiration, a cool breeze feels like heaven. And I never take air conditioning for granted anymore.
10.)This is only my own non-scientific estimate, but I’m pretty sure I burn at least 10,000 calories out there each time. This totally justifies the icy cold root beer or Fudgsicle® with which I reward myself.
If you have your own lawn-reluctant teenager, I do not recommend showing my list to them. If, as a kid, I had seen it, I would only have laughed, and felt very, very sorry for that crazy old lady.
Thanks for your time.